Heart murmur in children – symptoms – causes – what to do.

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A heart murmur is an extra noise in the heart. Several things can cause heart murmur in children. A heart murmur doesn’t always mean that your child has a heart problem or heart disease.

Causes of heart murmur in children

A heart murmur is an extra noise in the heart, in addition to the heart’s normal noises.

The most common cause of a heart murmur in children is turbulence or vibration when the blood flows through the heart valves.

This is known as an ‘innocent murmur’ and can happen when your child has a fever. There’s nothing wrong with your child’s heart, and the murmur usually goes away with time. It’s thought that at least half of all children have innocent heart murmurs.

Other types of heart murmur might happen because of heart disease or other heart problems. These problems can be either present from birth or happen later in life. These heart murmurs are usually caused by faulty heart valves or by unusual blood flow through a hole in the wall between the heart chambers.

Symptoms of heart murmur in children

If your child has an innocent heart murmur, she’ll have absolutely no symptoms of heart disease.

If your child has a significant heart murmur, he’ll usually have symptoms related to heart disease. These might include breathlessness and blueness of the lips and of the fingers and toes. If the murmur is present from birth, these symptoms might appear immediately or soon after the birth.

You can’t hear a heart murmur without a doctor’s stethoscope.

When to see a doctor about heart murmur symptoms

Any problems with a baby’s heart are likely to be picked up at birth, when the midwife or pediatrician checks over your newborn. If problems aren’t spotted then, they’ll probably be picked up in checks during your baby’s first few weeks.

Tests for heart murmur

If your doctor has any concerns about the significance of your child’s heart murmur, the doctor might order an ECG and a chest X-ray

The doctor might also refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist. This is a doctor who specializes in heart problems in children. The cardiologist might do an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound scan of the heart.

Heart murmur treatment

An innocent heart murmur doesn’t need any treatment, because there’s nothing wrong with your child’s heart. It’ll probably sort itself out in time.

If your child has heart disease, she’ll probably need some form of treatment. This can range from medication to surgery, depending on what kind of disease it is and how bad it is