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Chest Pain In Children

| May 22, 2012

 

Chest pain in children are often not taken serious, but can be life threatening especially when it is an acute or chronic one. It can affect a child’s performance in school and the child’s activities in general. Chest pain in children can originate from the muscles of the chest wall, the ribs, breastbone and also from the internal organs like the lungs and heart.

Causes of chest pain in children

Chest pain in children are caused by different factors including respiratory conditions, infections, injury and cardiac diseases. Some of the factors that cause chest pain in children are

Respiratory conditions

Some respiratory conditons can cause major chest pain for a child, like asthma which is accompanied by difficulty in breathing and severe cough. This tends to get worse if the child engage in activities like running or crying. Infections affecting the lungs like pneumonia and bronchitis also leads to chest pain. Other symptoms that have been observed are cough, headache, stomach pain, fever and so on

Acid reflux

This occurs when a child feels a burning sensation, due to a rise in the stomach acid, into the food pipe after eating. This is accompanied with an irritation just below the breastbone and lying down often increases the pain. Other symptoms accompanied by acid reflux are nausea, vomiting, sore throat and acidic taste in the mouth.

Injury

This is usually the main cause of acute chest pain in children. This is experienced through a sharp pain from the chest wall, this can be caused by an injury in the ribs like an inflammation in the rib joint. When the muscles of the rib are stretched, the child will experience pain in the chest while breathing. Injury can be gotten when playing, especially sports like football.

Cardiac disease

Some conditions related to the heart can cause chest pain in children. Some of these conditions includes pericarditis which occurs when there is an infections in the heart lining. Other conditions include excessive thick heart muscles and rhythmic disturbances in the heart rate. This is accompanied by pains in the jaws, shoulder, arms and neck. There are also inherited heart conditions like abnormalities in coronary artery which can give rise to a chest pain.

Other causes

Children suffering from life threatening disease like sickle cell anemia and chest tumours like lymphomas, could also suffer from chest pain. An infection in the cartilage can also cause chest pain in adolescent girls.

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Image Reference

  1. http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/lifestyle_measures_gastroesophageal_reflux_disease_000085_8.htm

Category: Chest Pain

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