It's natural to be concerned about the slightest things and take every precaution to avoid harm when it comes to your kids. Heart disease is one of the things you watch out for. That's why taking your kids for cardiac testing is crucial, especially if they exhibit certain symptoms. Here, you'll learn more about the importance of cardiac testing and the signs you shouldn't ignore.
What Is Cardiac Testing?
Cardiac testing is a non-invasive procedure that checks heart health and detects any abnormalities or defects. It includes electrocardiograms (EKGs), echocardiograms, stress tests, and more. The sooner you diagnose any heart issues, the quicker you can take corrective measures to avoid complications later in life.
Why Is It Important for Kids to Get Cardiac Testing?
Children with heart conditions may not show apparent symptoms. It's common for them to experience breathing difficulties, fainting spells, chest pains, or irregular heartbeat. In some cases, symptoms are mild or don't show at all. That's why routine testing is necessary to rule out any potential risks. If left unrevealed, heart-related complications can lead to stroke, heart attack, and other life-threatening conditions. Moreover, routine testing assures that your child is healthy and provides peace of mind to you and your family.
When Should You Take Your Kids for Cardiac Testing?
Some essential signals that call for cardiac testing are:
- Syncope (fainting spells)
- Chest pain/discomfort
- Shortness of breath while running or playing
- Pain/cramps in the legs
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Chronic coughing
- High blood pressure
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, or a doctor has advised a cardiac test, do not delay the examination and schedule it as soon as possible.
How Is Cardiac Testing Performed on Kids?
Cardiac testing varies depending on the child's age, health status, and symptoms. A general practitioner may refer you to a pediatric cardiologist, who will conduct an initial evaluation and suggest the appropriate test. EKGs and echocardiograms are common tests and take only a short time to perform. Stress tests assess the heart's health while under exertion and may take up to an hour. The good news is that these tests are non-invasive, involve no pain, and are hassle-free.
What to Expect During and After Cardiac Testing?
During cardiac testing, parents need to ensure that the child feels comfortable and relaxed. You can help by answering their questions, holding their hands, or being present in the room. Your pediatric cardiologist will explain the results to you during the visit, and in some cases, may recommend a follow-up. After the test, your child can go back to their regular routine, and there's no need for special care.
Testing your child's heart health should be a priority to avoid any risks and ensure peace of mind. Always be mindful of any symptoms, and don't ignore them even if they appear mild. If you're unsure of any tech-related terms or procedures, ask your doctor or specialist for guidance. Taking care of your child's heart health now can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Contact a doctor to learn more about pediatric heart testing.