While chest pain is often associated with heart problems, that’s rarely the case when it comes to children. In fact, only 1-4% of chest pain cases in children have to do with their heart. However, if your child is complaining of chest pain, it could still be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Nauman Ahmad, MD, FAAP, and our team at Pediatrician Specialty Practices in Federal Way, Washington, want you to know what some of the common conditions are that cause chest pain in children.
Common conditions that can cause chest pain
If your child is complaining of chest pain, one of these factors is probably the root cause of it.
1. Acid reflux
When stomach contents come into the throat, it creates a burning sensation both in your child’s throat and chest. Heartburn can be extremely painful and can trigger the same nerves that are associated with heart pain as well.
2. Esophageal spasms
If your child has involuntary muscle contractions in their esophagus, it can cause pain in their chest, right under their breastbone.
3. Swallowing difficulties
When your child has a hard time swallowing, it can put extra pressure on their chest and esophagus which can cause quite a bit of pain throughout the chest area.
Similarly to adults, children can experience chest pain and tightness when they’re under a lot of stress or are feeling anxious.
Asthma is an inflammatory disease that causes your child’s airways to narrow and can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest pain.
6. Colds or the flu
When you or your child have a cold or the flu, coughing is an almost unavoidable symptom. If your child’s cough is severe or long-lasting, it’ll probably cause them chest pain after a period of time.
If your child develops an infection in their lungs, or pneumonia, it can cause chest pain on either side. Chest pain along with coughing and a fever are good indicators that your child has pneumonia.
Bronchitis is another infection that can affect your child’s airways. This condition causes severe coughing and can contribute to chest pain.
9. Irritated ribs or chest muscles
Any type of injury or strain that happens to your child’s ribs or chest muscles is going to cause chest pain, especially while breathing.
10. Heart problems
While it is rare, chest pain in children could be a sign of heart problems like congenital cardiomyopathies, coronary artery anomalies, myocarditis, or pericarditis.
No matter the reason for your child’s chest pain, our team at Pediatrician Specialty Practices takes great care in finding out the root cause and treating it to avoid further health complications.
Don’t delay in seeking treatment for your child’s chest pain. To set up an appointment with us, call our office at 253-785-3388 or use our online scheduler today.