Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
my 5yr olds heart speeds up when resting
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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.

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my 5yr olds heart speeds up when resting

his heart has done this since birth we will be sitting and i feel it at normal rate then out of no where it doubles for 5 to 10 sec he has complained of pain but not too often he also has lymph nodes in groin that have been swollen for about 8 months had one the size of a golf ball.also when sleeping his breaths are delayed at times almost as if he stops breathing been to his doc and they never looked into to far what could this be?
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773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Jessndee,
Rapid heart beats are typically either a normal heart beat or an abnormal heart beat (arrhythmia).  From just this history, I cannot tell exactly what your son is experiencing.  There are some arrhythmias that, though they are abnormal, are a nuisance.  But, there are also some arrhythmias that are both abnormal and dangerous.  Therefore, I do think that it would be worthwhile to get these palpitations evaluated.  A family history can be reviewed, which can be important in certain cases of arrhythmias.  An ECG can be obtained, which can look for a risk for underlying rhythm abnormalities.  Also, there are monitors that can be worn for one month at a time that record the heart rate during specific events, such as when your son has her palpitations.  These can be evaluated to make sure that these are benign.  Something that you can do in the meantime is to try to count how many beats are occurring in one minute; the best way to do this is to count how many beats happen in 6 seconds and multiply by 10.  If there are more than 180 beats per minute at rest for no good reason, then this is most likely an arrhythmia.  

Finally, if your son has persistent palpitations for more than 20 minutes, or has associated dizziness, passing out, or chest pain, he should be seen at your local emergency department.
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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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