What Are Symptoms of Arrhythmia in Children?
Babies can’t tell you their heart is beating too fast or too slowly. Even once children are old enough to know something doesn’t feel “right”, the abnormal heartbeat might only happen at certain times, making it difficult to identify.
Tachycardia is a heartbeat that is faster than the body requires. The most common is supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). There are also ventricular tachycardias, including ones we see in our Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic, such as Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) and CPVT.
Symptoms of tachycardia may include:
- Heart palpitations either at rest or during exercise (these do not always mean something is wrong)
- Chest pain (children with a racing heart may label this as pain)
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting (called syncope)
Bradycardia is when the heart beats too slow. The most common is heart block.
With bradycardia, we tend to see symptoms such as:
- Trouble feeding (in infants)
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Tiring easily during physical activity
When to See a Doctor
If you feel your child’s heart is beating too fast, too slowly or is skipping a beat, request an appointment to see a doctor.
Seek immediate medical attention if your child is experiencing shortness of breath, extreme weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near fainting episodes.