Hi Doctor, My 5 year old son said that his heart was pounding today and it was! He said to feel his heart it was pounding. I felt it and iy was he was just sitting eating chips no exercise at all any ideas?
As pediatric cardiologists, we see pounding mean one of two things: the heart is beating hard or it is beating fast. We can see the heart beating hard if there is stress or if the child doesn’t drink enough fluid during the day. It can also happen in the face of an arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Beating fast at rest is often an arrhythmia, although it can also be dehydration as above. I find that adolescents tend to have more of the dehydration, but younger kids can have an arrhythmia as the cause of this sensation. If it has only occurred once, though, it may never happen again. If it is occurring more frequently, lasting at least 20 minutes, or giving him other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or passing out, he should definitely see a pediatric cardiologist for more evaluation. It would also be helpful to measure a pulse rate or a heart rate. If it is greater than 180 beats per minute at rest, this is probably more consistent with an arrhythmia. An easy way to measure a pulse rate is to count the number of pulsations in 6 seconds and multiply by 10
In the meantime, do make sure he is adequately hydrated—skim milk or water is best. We try to limit the juices and sodas (and chips, too!) because of the extra calories.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.