Diagnosing Heart Disease in Children

iStock_000057711158_Large.jpgThere are many different heart diseases that can be present in children. From arrhythmia to heart murmurs to high blood pressure, it’s important to diagnose heart disease in children as early as possible so treatment can begin. Below are a few of the most common heart diseases in children and how they are diagnosed and treated.

Arrhythmia

The most common arrhythmia happens during breathing as your child may experience his or her heart rate speeding up for a few beats upon inhaling. During exhale the heart rate will slow down. This is called sinus arrhythmia. While this is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, there are other types of arrhythmias in children, as well. Your child’s doctor will want to identify what type of arrhythmia he or she has in order to properly treat it. Most types of rhythm disorders respond to medications; however, there are a number of other treatment options such as surgery or an artificial pacemaker if needed.

Heart Murmurs

Most often, heart murmurs are a result of defective heart valves. Innocent heart murmurs, sounds made by the blood circulating through the chambers and valves of the heart, are common in children and are harmless. When your child’s doctor first hears the murmur, he or she will likely recommend additional testing to ensure the murmur is innocent. Some murmurs are an indication of a bigger problem with the heart in which case your child will be sent to a pediatric cardiologist who can recommend a treatment based on the determined problem.

High Blood Pressure

While most people assume high blood pressure (HBP) is only associated with adults, it can actually be linked to children and even babies. Aside from diet and weight, factors such as heart and kidney disease, as well as certain medications, can lead to HBP. Most children can maintain a healthy life by focusing on a heart-healthy diet, healthy weight and regular physical activity; however, medication can be used when needed.

It’s important that your child receives regular medical exams and bloodwork. For a full medical evaluation, visit Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care to speak with a trained health expert. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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