When a child has a heart murmur, their heartbeat has a different sound due to the unique way that blood moves through the child’s heart. Even though parents worry when they learn that their child is afflicted with a heart murmur, most heart mourners in children are harmless.
Diagnosing a Heart Murmur in a Child
The first diagnosis of a heart murmur is made after birth through listening to the baby’s chest through a stethoscope. If the doctor suspects more tests are needed tool out heart problems and the child, then further testing will be used such as one of the following methods:
The child will be moved to a neonatal intensive care unit if further diagnostics or treatment is needed.
Should You Worry About Your Child’s Heart Murmur?
Some children just have more elastic hearts than others. if you were to fill a glass with water and blow over the top of it, it would make a sound different than a glass that had no water in it. Just because the heartbeat in a child is making an abnormal sound doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the child’s heart.
Most children are able to live normal lives compared to other children who do not have heart murmurs. They are able to play sports and enjoy outdoor activities just like other children and require no special safety precautions.
Safety Precautions for Young Children
Especially during the 1st year of a child’s life, you should stay in contact with a cardiologist until your child reaches their 1st year. During the 1st year of your child’s life, his or her heart will change rapidly over that period of time. You want to make sure that nothing abnormal develops.
When to Suspect the Heart Murmur is Something More Serious
If your child has a heart murmur and presents any of the following symptoms, quickly seek medical attention:
- Skin is bluish in the mouth or at the fingertips.
- Fast breathing, shortness of breath or excessive sweating without any reason for it.
- Skipped or irregular heartbeats and heart palpitations (such as feeling a fluttering feeling in the heart)
Even though your child has a healthy heart murmur, they could have acquired a heart valve disease through a different means. For example, sometimes a routine surgery will result in a bacterial infection that ends up attacking the heart and scarring of the heart’s valves. Something like strep throat could end up as endocarditis and weaken the heart valves. That is why its important that you contact your cardiologist if some of the above symptoms present themselves or you have at another reason to believe that there is more than just an innocent heart murmur involved.