6 Oct 2022 | 5 min Read
Author | 740 Articles
Our heart is so important that it’s no wonder that people worry when they find out about heart problems. Also called cardiovascular disease, heart disease may predominantly affect older people but the younger generation is not entirely immune to it.
Heart diseases such as problems with arteries, heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes can affect a child from birth or can happen later as a defect.
The heart is the main centre of the cardiovascular system. The heart pumps blood to all of the body’s cells through the body’s blood vessels and the blood carries oxygen which is needed by the cells. Now, cardiovascular disease occurs when the heart and blood vessels do not work optimally.
Heart disease isn’t infectious and one can’t catch it like the flu or a cold. There are certain things that can increase the chances of getting cardiovascular diseases, also noted as risk factors.
There are some risk factors like old age or a history of heart ailments in the family. However, one can have control over some risk factors like smoking, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure and excessive weight gain. All of these can increase the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases.
Kids normally don’t have any symptoms of heart and blood vessel problems. However, by starting to adopt heart-healthy habits right from the beginning, you can reduce their chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
There are many children who appear healthy despite having heart defects and show no symptoms. In fact, you may not know they have a heart problem. If a child does have symptoms, he/she can develop them in the first few weeks after they are born. Here are some common symptoms:
All these symptoms result from a reduced oxygen supply to the body. This happens as a result of blood not getting enough oxygen or the heart not pumping enough blood.
It is extremely rare for a heart attack in childhood. But some potential causes of a child heart attack include the following:
Congenital Heart Disease
Children with a history of certain congenital heart defects are at higher risk than others of having a heart attack from the blockage of a coronary artery.
Anomalous Origin Of The Left Coronary Artery
One example of congenital heart disease is the anomalous origin that happens in the left coronary artery. This happens when the heart and blood vessels are developing.
Acquired Heart Disease
Acquired heart conditions are the ones that develop after birth. Here are some conditions a child may develop.
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic fever can be a result of untreated strep throat or strep pharyngitis. However, this is uncommon in places where doctors treat strep throat on time with antibiotics.
Rheumatic fever if not treated promptly by doctors can lead to long-term heart damage or rheumatic heart disease.
The condition also causes sudden fever. Some other symptoms include:
According to research, blunt chest trauma caused due to injury or an accident is considered a rare cause of heart attack in children.
There are different surgeries for the heart and blood vessels that treat heart diseases in kids. These include:
There are some parents who worry that heart diseases in kids can cause sudden death. This isn’t the case as fortunately, it is extremely rare in children. Most children with heart problems can be treated successfully and can live active and healthy life. Check with your doctor about the level of physical activity that is safe for your child.
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