Irregular Heartbeat In Children, Causes And Treatments: How Serious It Is?

Nov 25, 2014 12:52 AM EST | By ABC


Irregular Heartbeat in children is alarming. If your child experiences fast or slow heartbeat, or change in its rhythm, then your child is experiencing arrhythmia.

Arrhythmia, also called as dysrhythmia is irregular heartbeat and is caused by several factors including heart problem to the extensive outside factors such as medications, fever and infection. Although most of irregular heartbeat is considered normal, there are also cases that need quick medical attention.

Irregular heartbeat in children can be classified into two. Tachycardia means that the heart beats too fast while bradycardia means the heartbeats are too slow.

Apparently, irregular heartbeat is caused by either primary arrhythmia or secondary arrhythmia. Most commonly irregular heartbeat in children can be caused by premature atrial contractions and premature ventricular contractions.

The most common detected irregular heartbeat in children is sinus arrhythmia, according to Pediatric Heart Specialist. However, sinus arrhythmia is perfectly normal. In some cases where it appears repeated or long term irregular heartbeat, ECG or rhythm strip becomes handy to clarify the issue.

Aside from the mentioned causes of irregular heartbeat, there were isolated reported cases of poisoning to the National Poison Data System showing children younger than 6 years old had abnormal heartbeat and seizures due to energy drinks.

One study conducted by Steven E. Lipshultz, MD, of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and his team finds that there are up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine in some energy drinks. A cup of coffee has 100 to 150 mg of caffeine.

The result upon investigating on the poison reports revealed that about 40 percent of the cases involved children 6 years old and below and had heart and nervous system problem after exposure to energy drinks.

One worst case of reported irregular heartbeat in children was found that the child was exposed to drinking energy drink blended with alcohol.

As it is hard to identify irregular heartbeat in children, parents must observed symptoms including irritability, skin paleness and problem with eating in infants and toddlers. Some children six years old and above can tell parents about their feeling of lightheadedness or feel a skipping heartbeat.

Other symptoms that must be observed include palpitations, tiredness, weakness, fainting, slow heartbeat, fast heartbeat, sweating and shortness of breath. It is important that parents must be aware of the symptoms and tell it to the doctor at once.

Chronic cases of irregular heartbeat in children can be treated by medicines, cardioversion, radiofrequency ablation, surgery and implantable devices including pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defribrillator (ICD).

It is important to detect and treat serious irregular heartbeat in children. With advanced technology today, there is no chance that your child could not to be cured.

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