There are some common signs of Heart Failure in children that will help you to better understand your child’s heart condition. One of the common causes of heart failure in children is a defect of the heart (Congenital) when the baby is born. According to the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention), a form of heart abnormality that can cause heart failure affects about 1% of newborns in the United States.
Doctors say that, If the defect is identified at a very early age, that is easily treatable by operation or other medical procedure. When the baby grows, it becomes more complicated to fix the defect. Identifying if your baby has any heart defect or not at a very early age is the main thing to do.
This article will focus on how you can easily identify signs and symptoms of heart failure in your baby and if there is any heart defect that may cause heart failure in the future.
Defining Heart Failure
As you may already know, heart failure is when your heart no longer pumps enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Congestive heart failure can also be referred to as this condition.
There is no stopping the heart from pumping, but it does not pump as efficiently as a healthy heart. It is usually the result of an underlying heart condition that is progressive and results in heart failure.
Two main reasons can cause a child’s and an adolescent’s heart failure. A congenital heart defect causes “over circulation failure,” which occurs when blood mixes inside the heart. Secondly, “pump failure” occurs when the heart muscle no longer contracts normally due to damage.
Effect Of Heart Failure on Children
Heart Failure affects children very badly. It can interrupt daily activity and even stop growth in children. Different types of heart failure may cause different types of effects. There are three types of heart failure:
- Right-sided failure
- Left-sided failure
- Bilateral failure
As the right side of the heart becomes less efficient, it cannot pump enough blood forward into the vessels of the lungs. Congestion on the right side of the heart causes blood to flow back into the veins. Fluid retention eventually causes swelling in the feet, ankles, lower legs, eyelids, and abdomen.
A failing left side of the heart results in inefficient blood pumping out of the body. In this situation, blood backs up into the vessels in the lungs, causing the lungs to become stressed. As a result, breathing becomes more difficult and faster. In addition, the body does not receive enough blood to meet its needs, resulting in fatigue and poor growth in children.
Signs Of Heart Failure In Child
The following are some of the most common symptoms of heart failure children may experience. It is important to keep in mind that each child may experience symptoms differently.
- Legs, ankles, eyelids, face, and (occasionally) abdomen swell
- Breathing that is too fast
- Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath
- Getting too tired to eat or falling asleep during feeding
- An insufficient appetite
- A short-term weight gain caused by fluid retention, even when appetite is poor
- Lung congestion and cough
- Feeding, playing, or exercising while sweating
- Having difficulty breathing while feeding, walking, or climbing stairs
- The loss of muscle mass
- A lack of weight gain
- Skin temperature and color change (cold and clammy, or sweaty, flushed, and warm)
Symptoms and severity of the condition depend on how much the heart’s pumping capacity is affected. If your child has similar symptoms, it is highly recommended to consult with a nearby specialist doctor as early as possible.
Early diagnosis helps to treat the disease more easily than diagnosing late, especially for heart issues.
Treatment For Heart Failure in Children
HF, diagnosed at a very early age, can be curable. Doctors say that the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier and more efficient the treatment will be for all kinds of heart diseases in children.
If your child suffers from heart failure, their healthcare provider will decide on the specific treatment based on the following factors:
- Age, health, and medical history of your child
- Disease extent
- The tolerance of your child for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Disease course expectations
- Preferences or opinions you have
Surgery may be necessary if heart failure is caused by a congenital (present at birth) heart defect or an acquired heart problem such as rheumatic valve disease. A pacemaker or medication is often helpful in treating heart failure initially.
As medications lose effectiveness, many congenital heart defects must be surgically repaired. It is also possible to use medications after surgery to help improve heart function during the healing process.
FAQ on Children’s Heart Failure
Heart failure is when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Children with heart failure may have a variety of symptoms that can range from mild to life-threatening.
While there is no cure for heart failure, treatments are available to help manage the condition and improve the quality of life for children with heart failure and their families. Here are some common questions and answers about heart failure:
Q: What is the most common cause of heart failure in children these days?
Ans: Children with congenital heart defects are most likely to suffer from heart failure.
Q: What are the common symptoms of HF in children?
Ans: In children, trouble breathing, tiredness, and poor growth are common symptoms.
Q: What are the treatments for HF in children?
Ans: In certain cases, treatment can involve fixing a defect, taking medicine, or using a device to help.