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Trust your child’s heart

Understanding common cardiac symptoms in kids and teens.

young girl wearing a lab coat and stethoscope and holding a plush heart toy

Heart disease can affect little hearts and typically does so in large numbers.

These heart problems are divided into two categories:

  1. Congenital heart disease: one or multiple heart defects present at birth
  2. Acquired heart disease: a heart problem that develops as a child gets older

While some pediatric heart conditions can’t be prevented, there are signs parents can look for and steps they can take for earlier intervention and better outcomes for their children and teens.

“There are three common heart-related symptoms in children that typically cause concern for parents,” said Robert English, MD, a pediatric interventional cardiologist with Wolfson Children’s Terry Heart Institute. “In most cases, children with these symptoms don’t actually have heart problems. But if parents do suspect something is wrong, it’s better they trust their gut, and their child’s heart, and consult their child’s pediatrician, who can conduct a full medical evaluation and decide whether a referral to a pediatric cardiologist is appropriate.”

We break each of the symptoms down below to help parents better understand what their child may be experiencing.

Listen to Dr. English discuss this topic in more detail on Baptist Health's podcast, Baptist Health Radio.


The pediatric cardiology, electrophysiology, imaging, cardiac intensive care, cardiac anesthesiology and heart surgery teams with Wolfson Children’s C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Heart Institute treat a full range of pediatric cardiac conditions, from defects present at birth to heart rhythm disorders. To learn more, call 904.202.8550 or visit wolfsonchildrens.com/heart.

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