When your child complains of chest pain

Caring For Our Kids

Adults aren’t the only ones who complain frequently of chest pains. Children with chest pains are often rushed to the Emergency Room by concerned parents.  

The good news is that chest pains in children are rarely serious. But, according to Dr. Katy Stordahl, Children’s Hospital ER Physician, it’s still something that should be checked out.

According to Stordahl, she does see kids complaining of chest pains regularly.

•    (Some) Signs & Symptoms include: 

  •  Tightness
  •  Discomfort
  •  Burning sensation
  •  Pain when taking deep breaths

Common causes of chest pain are asthma, injury to muscle or bones of chest wall- caused by things like lighting heavy weights, getting hit hard in the chest, even coughing; inflammation of the “joint” between breastbone & ribs, stress/anxiety, even acid reflux. 

Stordahl says while sudden cardiac arrest isn’t common – it does happen to children, particularly those that have a certain family history of genetic heart problems are at greater risks. 

The best prevention methods parents can take for their children are regular physicals, routine immunizations to prevent infection, avoid foods known to cause indigestion, know your family history,

But, Stordahl says, there are usually no warning signs for sudden cardiac arrest- that’s why it is important to know CPR and act quickly if you notice warning signs. 

Also, many schools and other public places have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to use in case of sudden cardiac arrest. It’s important that staff know where to find them and how to use them properly. 

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