Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
6 year-old boy with pounding heart
About This Forum:

Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

6 year-old boy with pounding heart

My six-year-old son came to me several times throughout the day telling me to feel his heart because it was pounding.  You barely had to put your hand on his chest to feel it.  Each time he had been doing some minimal activity, but is normally very active and plays soccer and does gymnastics.  If it has happened before, this is the first time he has brought it to my attention.  Should we be concerned?
Related Discussions
773637_tn?1327450515
Dear MomAJK,

As pediatric cardiologists, we see pounding mean one of two things:  the heart is beating hard or it is beating fast.  Typically, children don’t complain about their heart beating abnormally.  So, we can see these complaints of 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 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 be seen by a local emergency department.  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.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
773637_tn?1327450515
Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
773655_tn?1340656399
Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank