Common causes of chest pain in children

(Ragesoss/Creative Commons)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Along with Valentine’s Day, February marks American Heart Month, which is a great time to talk about heart health.

Adults are not the only ones who complain frequently of chest pains. Often children with chest pains are rushed to the emergency room by parents fearing the worst.

The good news is that, Dr. Ryan Redman, emergency room director at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, says chest pains in children are rarely serious. However, he says they are still something that should be checked out by a pediatrician.

Signs of chest pain in children may involve tightness, discomfort, a burning sensation or pain when taking deep breaths, according to Dr. Redman. He says common causes of chest pain typically involve injury to the muscle or bones of a chest wall.

At East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Dr. Redman said he does see children with chest paint quite frequently. Typical causes include lifting heavy weights, getting hit hard in the chest or even coughing. He said chest pain can also be caused by inflammation of the “joint” between breastbone and the ribs, stress or anxiety, asthma or even acid reflux.

Dr. Redman said parents should rush their children to the emergency room if they have trouble breaching, a racing heart, loss of consciousness or blue or gray color around their lips. He said while sudden cardiac arrest is not common in children, kids that play sports and have a family history of heart problems are at greater risks.

Prevention could include regular physicals and routine immunizations to prevent infection.

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