Parents’ Guide to Children's’ Heart Conditions
Heart conditions in young children are more often than not related to congenital heart defects that are present since birth. Not all heart conditions are congenital, some are acquired heart diseases that children develop during the years of their growth. Both these disorders can be categorised as pediatric heart conditions. While congenital heart defects can be of several types, the acquired heart diseases that are more commonly associated with adults, are of primarily two types. Rheumatic heart diseases and Kawasaki disease are the most common acquired heart conditions in children and young teens. Congenital heart defects (CHD) can vary from mild to severe depending on the state of development of the heart in the infant.
- Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic fever is a serious illness that is accompanied by strep throat in children. Rheumatic heart disease is considered as the most serious perversion to this fever. When children are affected with the rheumatic fever, antibodies are created within them to combat the infection but in some rare cases, these antibodies can destroy the valves of the heart, leading to rheumatic heart disease. Other comorbidities that can be observed here are swelling and pain in the joints, and rashes and skin bumps. However, upon timely medicated this can be treated successfully.
- Kawasaki Disease
More than 80% of children diagnosed with this disease are below 5 years of age, and it is most commonly seen in children of Asian race. In this disease, the immune system of the child attacks the body wherein it causes damage to the coronary arteries and cardiac muscles. Other comorbidities include swelling in the lymph nodes and several other places along with fever and rashes on the body.
Hypertension or high blood pressure in children is fairly uncommon and even so, it goes largely undetected due to no visible symptoms. It is recorded that in the United States, less than 3% of children suffer from hypertension. This heart condition can be hereditary and parents with hypertension should have their children checked up for blood pressure every year to ensure that this condition does not cause any further problems like heart attacks or strokes in the future. Maintaining healthy body weight and regular exercise with reduced consumption of salt can help control this.
Cholesterol buildup within the arteries can develop early on in childhood and progress into adulthood. The buildup of fatty plaque or atherosclerosis is considered as the biggest cause of death among adults in developed countries like the USA. Therefore, this condition should be taken seriously at an early age in children. Familiar hypercholesterolemia is a hereditary condition wherein children develop high cholesterol levels early in childhood. To control this, parents need to encourage healthy exercise and diets in their children from an early age.
- Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are of several types ranging from Aortic stenosis, Atrial septal defect (ASD), Ebstein anomaly, Truncus arteriosus, and Patent foramen ovale (PFO) to even Coarctation of the aorta (COA), Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), Ventricular septal defect (VSD), and Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). These defects are present at birth due to malformations of the heart during gestation. To know more about these and correctly diagnose children probably suffering from these, it is best to contact a pediatric cardiologist or pediatric heart surgeon using the E-consultancy services of MediBuddy. Most CHD can be corrected surgically and some milder ones can even be controlled by routine medication. However, parents should be well-informed about the post-operative care that is often tedious in many cases. Moreover, children, as they grow older, should be taught to self manage their medications and treatment in these cases.
Keeping all these plausible heart conditions in preview, parents should be aware and watchful of their children developing the related symptoms and be quick to consult a paediatrician or other child specialist for an expert diagnosis. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Consult Now ' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']Despite several diagnoses and suggestion available online for free, it is always advisable to consult a real doctor through paid forums like the highly reliable services of MediBuddy.[/av_promobox]