Measure Your Child’s Pulse
You will know you have found your child’s pulse when you feel a throbbing or beating. Once you find it, count the number of beats in a 60-second period.
Alternatively, you can count the number of beats you feel in 30 seconds and then multiply that number by two.
Use a clock with a second hand, a stopwatch, or the timer on a cell phone to track the time. You might also want to use a phone app that measures the pulse. These often require you to place a finger on the camera lens for the measurement, so they may not be a good choice for young children who have a hard time holding still.
Children With Heart Defects Need Special Care To Prevent Infections
Please speak with your childs cardiologist about whether your child requires antibiotics for some procedures such as when they have teeth removed or when they have other surgery which involves the mouth, nose, intestinal organs or genito-urinary systems. Bacteria may enter the bloodstream during these procedures and can cause serious infection in the abnormal part of the heart.All medications should be checked with the pharmacist, family doctor or cardiologist. The usual immunisations should be given at the normal times after advice from the doctor.
Factors That Can Affect Resting Heart Rate
In addition to age, there are a few other factors that can affect your resting heart rate.
- Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
- Medication side effects. For example, medications such as beta-blockers can lower your resting heart rate.
- Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight. People who are living with obesity may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- Cardiovascular conditioning or deconditioning
- Endocrine or hormonal abnormalities.
- Postural tachycardia syndrome . This syndrome produces an abnormal increase in heart rate after sitting up or standing. In addition to heart palpitations, some typical symptoms of PoTS include dizziness and fainting.
- Body positioning. Heart rate can increase temporarily when you move from a sitting to a standing position.
- Smoking. Smokers tend to have a higher resting heart rate. Quitting smoking can help bring it back down.
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What Else Should I Know
Some smartphone apps can count a pulse by pressing a finger over the camera lens. For a good reading, your child needs to be very still, so this method works best in older kids who can cooperate. Some fitness and other smart watches can take a pulse too. Before using one of these, ask your doctor if it’s a good idea or if they recommend a particular heart rate app.
Learn Cpr And Emergency Procedures
Parents of all children should learn CPR. You could help save your childs life, including in cases of sudden infant death syndrome .
CPR skills, including recognition of signs of breathing difficulties and cardiac arrest, are vital if your child has heart disease or is at risk for life-threatening arrhythmias.
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What Are Common Symptoms Of Irregular Heartbeat In Children
Some children do not experience noticeable symptoms. Others may be too young to verbalize what they are feeling. Babies, for example, may seem tired, fussy, and have trouble eating.
For children who are able to notice their symptoms and describe how theyre feeling, the following signs may accompany an irregular heartbeat:
- feeling tired or weak
- having palpitations or a fluttering feeling in the chest
- experiencing chest pain
- noticing that heartbeats feel fast, slow, or off-rhythm
- feeling short of breath or having trouble breathing
- appearing pale
How Is This Problem Diagnosed
Clinical features: As described above, infants may be diagnosed because of symptoms of congestive heart failure including poor feeding, unusual sleepiness, irritability, vomiting, rapid breathing, and/or pale skin color. In children, the problem is found because of symptoms of “heart racing” that may be associated with dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and/or fainting. Physical findings: Most of the time the physical exam is normal when the child is not having an episode. Rarely, the problem is associated with a heart defect. In this case, the child has the physical findings associated with that defect. Medical tests: One of the first tests usually done is an electrocardiogram . However, unless the child has WPW or is having an episode at the time, the ECG at rest is usually normal. In this case, a device called a transtelephonic ECG recorder is used to record an ECG at the time of symptoms. Other tests that may be done include a Holter monitor, echocardiogram, and/or exercise test. If further information is needed a special type of heart catheterization called an electrophysiologic study may be done.
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Diagnosis Of Supraventricular Tachycardia
A doctor typically diagnoses this condition by recording the hearts electrical activity. Electrocardiograms, Holter monitors and event monitors are the most common methods for recording the hearts electrical activity and diagnosing SVT. Holter monitors and event monitors are portable devices that can record the hearts activity for extended periods. Exercise stress tests are sometimes used to help diagnose SVT.
Heart Rate May Foretell Autism Features In Infants
Nicholette ZeliadtNumbers game:
Babies with a family history of autism have heart rates that are unusually low and that respond aberrantly to speech sounds, according to a new study1.
If the findings are confirmed in larger studies, a low heart rate might indicate heightened risk of autism, says lead investigator Katherine Perdue, research associate at Boston Childrens Hospital. The results suggest that these babies also have impairments in attention to social cues such as speech.
Studies over the past two decades have shown that heart rate tracks with attention: An infants pulse slows briefly when she turns toward a compelling sight or sound and returns to baseline as she loses interest.
Heart rate slows less in response to sound in babies who have an older sibling with autism than it does in controls, the new study shows. These baby sibs have a 20 times greater than average risk of autism. None of the children included in the study were later diagnosed with the condition, but they remain at high risk for other problems, such as delayed speech.
The findings, published 17 May in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, may partly explain the risk of language problems in baby sibs. If a baby is not attuned to speech, he could be missing out on opportunities for learning language, Perdue says. It might not be autism per se, but it could be something thats related to communication in some way.
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How Your Baby’s Heart Rate Changes
Though there are many words to describe the moment that you first hear your baby’s heartbeat, most people use words like galloping to describe how the heart rate sounds. While the heart rate in pregnancy is faster than an adult’s heart rate, the truth is that a normal fetal heart rate changes during the stages of pregnancy and throughout the day.
How Does Tachyarrhythmia Affect My Baby
Fetal tachyarrhythmia is generally defined as a heart rate that exceeds 180 to 200 beats per minute.
In most cases, if the increased fetal heart rate occurs only intermittently, or if it can be controlled with medication during pregnancy, the prognosis is good.
In rare cases, a sustained fast heart rate can lead to fetal heart failure or non-immune hydrops, a life-threatening condition where fluid accumulates in multiple areas of the babys body, causing severe swelling. Outcomes in these cases are poor.
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Treatment Of Transposition Of The Great Vessels
Treatment for transposition of the great vessels involves a procedure called balloon septostomy. This may need to be carried out to enlarge the small opening between the atria that is normally present at birth, so that more oxygenated blood can reach the body. Subsequent surgery will be organised, usually in the first two weeks of life, to reconnect the arteries normally.
How Are Arrhythmias Treated
Many arrhythmias in children are isolated occurrences and harmless, and do not need treatment. In many cases, arrhythmia is treated by treating the underlying problem, such as fever.
Treatment, when needed, depends on the childs age and the type and cause of the arrhythmia. Treatment options include:
- Medicine: Many arrhythmias respond to medicine and need no other treatment. However, medicines have side effects and have to be watched closely.
- Radiofrequency ablation: This procedure involves a cardiac catheterization and uses radiofrequency energy applied to the area where the arrhythmia begins, heating it and causing tissue death. This is generally used to cure many forms of tachycardia.
- Cardioversion: This is a procedure in which an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert an irregular or fast heart rhythm to a normal rhythm.
- Implantable devices:
- Pacemakers: These are small devices, placed just under the skin, that use electrical pulses to control abnormal heart rhythm.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator : These devices are also placed under the skin. They use electrical pulses or shocks to help control life-threatening arrhythmias.
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Normal Fetal Heart Rate During Pregnancy
Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
How do you know if your baby’s heart rate is normal? This is a question that you probably have from the first time you hear your baby’s heartbeat. What you hear might really surprise you. Most people are not prepared for how quickly a baby’s heart beats in pregnancy.
How Is Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia Treated
You might not need treatment if your symptoms are minimal or if you only have episodes of rapid heart rate occasionally. Treatment may be necessary if you have an underlying condition causing the PSVT or more severe symptoms like heart failure or passing out.
If you have a rapid heart rate but your symptoms arent severe, your doctor can show you techniques to return your heart rate to normal. Its called the Valsalva maneuver. It involves closing your mouth and pinching your nose while trying to exhale and straining as if you were trying to have a bowel movement. You should do this while sitting and bending your body forward.
You can perform this maneuver at home. It may work up to 50 percent of the time. You can also try coughing while sitting and bending forward. Splashing ice water on your face is another technique to help lower your heart rate.
Treatments for PSVT include medications, such as or flecainide or propafenone, to help regulate your heartbeat. A procedure called radiofrequency catheter ablation is a common way to correct PSVT permanently. Its performed in the same way as an EPS. It allows your doctor to use electrodes to disable the electrical pathway thats causing the PSVT.
If your PSVT doesnt respond to other treatments, your doctor may surgically implant a pacemaker into your chest to regulate your heart rate.
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What Causes A Low Fetal Heart Rate
There are various factors that can play a part in an abnormal fetal heart rate. Some of those factors include:
- Underlying conditions in the mother, including infection, fever, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, adverse reaction to anesthesia , or any other health issue that may cause oxygen flow to be compromised.
- Complications during labor, including uterine rupture, placental abruption, or umbilical cord compression.
- Birth complications that are due to improper or insufficient fetal heart rate monitoring.
If medical professionals fail to monitor the babys heart rate properly, there may be serious complications that occur. Some of those injuries include:
- Brain damage
Supraventricular Tachycardia In Children
Supraventricular tachycardia is an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart beat. It means the heart is beating too fast. This is usually because of an extra electrical connection between the top and bottom chambers of the heart.
SVT is the most common abnormal fast heart rhythm in children . Babies can be born with it, or children can develop it later. SVT is rarely life-threatening and is highly treatable, at all ages.
Pediatric electrophysiologists are doctors who specialize in taking care of children with arrhythmias like SVT. Our EPs see a large volume of children with this condition and offer the latest treatments.
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Why Choose Lurie Childrens For Treating Arrhythmias Like Svt
Learning there is a problem with your babys heart can feel overwhelming. Families who come to Lurie Childrens take comfort in knowing we have:
- Top-ranked pediatric heart care: U.S. News & World Report ranks us among the top hospitals for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. We treat children with the most complex types of arrhythmia and congenital heart disease.
- Large EP program: Our team of EP specialists see a large volume of children with SVT, as well as other kinds of tachycardia. An EP is on call 24/7 and were integrated into every area of the Heart Center.
- Experience treating all types of arrhythmias: From heart block to rare genetic arrhythmias like CPVT, we treat the range of conditions that affect the hearts electrical system. Our EPs work closely with our Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic to trace arrhythmias that run in families.
- Expertise with cardiac ablation: The standard is radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to burn tissue causing the SVT. But were one of the few programs in the region to also offer cryoablation therapy. This uses cold to freeze the tissue and is safer for some types of SVT.
What Are The Long
The outlook for children with SVT is excellent. The problem is usually not life- threatening and there are safe and effective treatments available. Exercise guidelines: Exercise guidelines are best made by a patient’s doctor so that all relevant factors can be included. Usually no activity restrictions are necessary for children with SVT and the child may participate in all physical activities including competitive athletics. If an episode occurs during competition, the child should remove himself from participation until the arrhythmia is converted. Also, activities that involve climbing or heights should be avoided since an episode may cause dizziness leading to a fall. See the section on Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome for exercise information specific to this sub-type.
Dick M., O’Connor B, Serwer G, LeRoy S, Armstrong B. Use of radiofrequency energy to ablate accessory connections in children. Circulation 1991 84:2318-24. LeRoy S. & Dick M. Supraventricular tachycardia. In Zeigler VL & Gillette P, eds. Practical management of pediatric cardiac arrhythmias. Armonk, NY: Futura Publishing Co. 2001: 53-109. Weindling SN, Saul JP & Walsh EP. Efficacy and risks of medical therapy for supraventricular tachycadia in neonates and infants. Am Heart J 1996 131:66.Written by: S. LeRoy RN, MSN, CPNP. Reviewed by: M. Dick, MD, Peter Fischbach Reviewed September, 2012
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