Heart Disease in children & Infants | Cardiology

Heart Disease in Children

What is heart disease in children?

Heart disease is very difficult when touched by adults, but it is especially tragic in children. The effect of heart diseases in children is more. These include congenital heart defects, viral infections that affect the heart, and heart disease acquired in childhood due to a genetic disease or syndrome. The good news is that with the advancement of medicine and technology, many children with heart disease are living full and active lives.

Types of heart diseases in children

Here is the most common heart disease in children which are following:

1. Congenital heart disease

If your child has a congenital heart defect, it means that your baby was born with a problem with the structure of his heart. Some congenital heart defects in children are simple and do not require treatment. Other congenital heart defects in children are more complex and require multiple surgeries over many years.

Knowing about your child’s congenital heart defect can help you understand the situation and what to expect in the months and years to come.

Signs & symptoms

In some cases, symptoms of congenital heart disease do not appear until after birth. Newborns with heart defects may experience:

  • Blue lips, skin, fingers, and toes
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Difficulties in eating
  • Low birth weight
  • Chest pain
  • Growth retardation

In other cases, symptoms of a congenital heart defect do not appear until many years after birth. As symptoms develop, they can include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue

2. Atherosclerosis

The formation of fat and cholesterol in the arteries causes the arteries to harden and narrow, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cardiac arrest. Children can be diagnosed with atherosclerosis just like adults.

Arteries are muscular tubes that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to tissues throughout the body. When the tubes are narrow, they cannot carry blood throughout the body and less blood reaches the tissues.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of your coronary arteries:

Pain or pressure in the upper body, including the chest, arms, neck, or jaw. This is called angina.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Symptoms of the arteries that supply blood to your brain:
  • Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
  • It is very difficult to speak or understand the speakers.
  • Relax facial muscles
  • Paralysis
  • Intense headache
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Symptoms related to the arteries in your arms, legs, and pelvis:
  • Leg pain when walking
  • Numbness
  • Symptoms of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys:
  • Hypertension
  • Renal insufficiency

3. Arrhythmias

Arrhythmia means any change in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. If your child has an arrhythmia, her heart may be beating too fast or too slow, or she may have extra or extra beats. Arrhythmia can occur from a physical condition such as heart failure in response to external factors such as fever, infection, and certain medications. Crying and playing also briefly change a child’s heart rate.

Signs & Symptoms

Children with arrhythmia may not have any symptoms. For those who do, these are the most common symptoms:

  • You feel weak
  • Feeling tired
  • Feel your heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Low blood pressure
  • She feels dizzy
  • Epilepsy (syncope)
  • Not eating or eating well

The symptoms of an arrhythmia may be similar to other heart conditions or problems. Make sure your child sees their healthcare provider for a diagnosis

4. Kawasaki disease

Kawasaki disease is a disease in which the blood vessels become inflamed, most often in young children. It is one of the leading causes of heart disease in children. But it can be treated if doctors find it early. Most children recover without problems.

Signs & Symptoms

Kawasaki disease begins with a fever over 102 degrees and lasts for at least five days. Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • The rash can appear anywhere on the body but is most severe in the diaper area
  • Red, bloody eyes without pus, discharge, or scabs
  • Swelling and tenderness of the gland (lymph node) on one side of the neck
  • Swelling of the hands and feet with redness of the palms and soles of the feet
  • Very red, swollen, and chapped lips; Strawberry-like tongue with rough red spots
  • Significant irritability and confusion
  • Peel fingers and toes (2 to 3 weeks after onset of fever)

5. Heart murmurs

The heart murmur is the extra or abnormal sounds caused by the turbulent blood flowing through the heart. Murmurs range from 1 to 6, depending on how loud they are. One is a very low murmur. Six means a very loud murmur.

Signs & Symptoms

If you have a benign heart murmur, commonly known as an innocent heart murmur, you have no other signs or symptoms. The abnormal heart murmur doesn’t cause any other obvious signs or symptoms, just put aside the unusual sound your doctor hears when listening to your heart with a stethoscope. If you have these signs or symptoms, they may indicate a heart problem:

  • Skin that appears blue, especially on the fingers and lips
  • Sudden swelling or weight gain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chronic cough
  • Enlarged liver
  • Dilated jugular veins
  • Lack of appetite and lack of normal growth (in babies)
  • Heavy sweating with little or no effort
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Epilepsy

6. Pericarditis

Pericarditis is an inflammation or infection of the pericardium, a thin sac around the heart. There is a small amount of fluid between the inner and outer layers of the pericardium.

When the pericardium is inflamed, the amount of fluid between its two layers increases, compressing the heart and interfering with the heart’s ability to function properly.

Signs & Symptoms

The following are common symptoms of pericarditis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms can include chest pain:

  • Sensation especially behind the breastbone and sometimes the clavicle (clavicle), below the neck and left shoulder
  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the middle or left side of the chest increases when the child breathes deeply
  • Low fever
  • Irritated
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Arrhythmia

Children may not be able to describe themselves as having “chest pain” or explain how they feel. Sometimes children may express specific symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, or fatigue.

7. Rheumatic heart disease

Arrhythmia means any change in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. If your child has arrhythmia, her heart may be beating too fast or too slow, or she may have extra or extra beats. Arrhythmia can occur from a physical condition such as heart failure in response to external factors such as fever, infection, and certain medications. Crying and playing can also briefly change a child’s heart rate.

Signs & Symptoms

Rheumatic fever can be due to:

  • Carditis: inflammation of the heart muscle and heart tissue. Carditis causes a rapid heart rate, fatigue, shortness of breath, and exercise intolerance. It is the most serious of symptoms and can have long-term health effects. About 50 percent of people with rheumatic fever develop carditis
  • Arthritis: Swelling, redness, and pain in the joints, especially in the knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists. It is a common symptom and occurs in about 70 percent of people with rheumatic fever
  • Itchy rash without a splash
  • Subcutaneous nodules – small, tight lumps under the skin
  • Fever
  • Chorea: Involuntary movement of limbs

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