Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."
Question: Is pediatric arrhythmia ever considered "normal"? Twice in the past week, I've noticed that my 5-year-old son's heatbeats were not spaced evenly. There seemed to be noticible pauses between sets of 4 or 5 beats. Other times, his heartbeats seem regular. Should I be concerned if he seems healthy otherwise? If I take him to see his pediatrician about this, what should I expect her to check?
Arrhythmia's, simply stated are variations of a regular heartbeat. Normally,
the heart beats with a regular rhythm which helps pump and supply the body
In children, it is not uncommon to find what is called a sinus arrhythmia.
Sinus describes an area in the heart that is responsible for transmission of
the electrical impulses that regulate heartbeat. In children, there are some
things such as fever, medicines, anxiety, allergic reactions as well as
exposure to certain chemicals or fumes that can cause the heart to have an
One thing that is very important when evaluating an arrhythmia is whether or
not there are any symptoms. No mention was made of that. For example: The
time you notice it (at play, rest or sleep, eating). All these things are
important, together with listening with a stethoscope. This tool is
invaluable because it amplifies all heart sounds, making it easier to hear
different heart sounds and rhythms.
Even with the aid of this instrument, it may not pinpoint the area of the
heart that is responsible for the changes in rhythm.
Because I have not examined your son, it would be a good idea to
follow-through with your plan to see the pediatrician. According to what your
son's doctor finds, she may or may not refer your son to the cardiologist.
Again, please followup with the pediatrician.
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My 12 year old daughter experiences difficulty sleeping due to fear of the dark and being alone. Is this normal?
Ask Dr. Betti your questions
This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.