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What to do When Your Child has Arrhythmia?

What to do When Your Child has Arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia is a medical condition where the heart has an abnormal heart rhythm. It may be that your child's heart rate will be too fast, too slow, or irregular. Even if some research suggest that this condition mostly occurs in the elderly, some children also experience it.

Therefore, it becomes very crucial for parents to be aware of this condition and its treatment. While in most cases, arrhythmias are usually harmless, but in some instances, they can be severe and even life-threatening for the child. Hence, you should always keep a watch on your child's heartbeat and monitor it to detect an abnormally slow or fast heartbeat, especially if your child isn't performing any rigorous physical activity. If arrhythmias are detected at an early stage, the paediatric cardiologist in Delhi can help manage and treat the condition well within time.

 

What causes arrhythmia?

Arrhythmias can be caused due to various factors such as disease of the heart muscle itself (cardiomyopathy) or a heart defect the child may have suffered when he or she was born (congenital heart disease). Other factors such as infection, fever, chemical imbalances, and medication can also cause abnormal heart rhythm in children.

 

How does it occur?

Our heart is powered by an electrical pathway that helps in the pumping action of the heart. The electrical pathway runs through the nerves in the walls of the heart. A circuit is created when the electrical signal is generated from each heartbeat that travels from the top of the heart to the bottom. If the circuit works properly, the heart functions at a regular, smooth pace. But if something interrupts the circuit, the heartbeat becomes irregular, and it can result in arrhythmia.

 

Signs to look out for

Generally, arrhythmia does not always manifest apparent symptoms or signs that can be indicative of the conditions. However, the Heart Hospital in Delhi recommends few common red flags that one must be aware of:

  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Palpitations
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Fainting or near fainting
  • Paleness
  • Chest pain
  • A slow heartbeat
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Feeling pauses between heartbeats
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty feeding (infants)
  • Irritability in infants

 

Treating the condition

If a child is experiencing arrhythmia, it could be an isolated occurrence and harmless. In many cases, arrhythmia can be treated by treating the underlying issue, such as fever or infection. Depending on the child's age, the type, and the cause of arrhythmia, treatment is decided by the doctor. The doctor may use various treatment options such as medicines, cardioversion, pacemaker, catheter ablation, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), and surgery.

 

How to Manage arrhythmias in children amidst the pandemic

Sometimes a child may experience restlessness and struggle along with breathing problems. While this may indicate anxiety and stress triggered by being homebound in the pandemic, this symptom could also indicate an underlying heart issue like arrhythmia. Thus, parents must be watchful and consult the doctors through telemedicine or by visiting the Vimhans Nayati Hospital to get an opinion and begin the appropriate course of therapy based on the examination.

 

Maintaining heart health in children

We must prevent heart issues arising in children at such a tender age. It is therefore crucial for parents to lead by example for their children and incorporate a heart-healthy lifestyle for the entire family, such as:

  • Consuming a healthy and nutritious diet
  • Staying active by doing moderate exercises and maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Avoid smoking when your child is around
  • Do not drink excessive coffee and alcohol in the house.
  • Reduce stress
  • Please help your child in organizing a schedule for themselves to maintain discipline.

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