Common Heart Conditions in Children

Heart diseases are hard to deal with for full-grown adults. When these diseases affect children, it can be particularly bothersome. There are many cases of children being affected by heart ailments in the top heart hospital in Hyderabad.Children can be affected by various types of heart issues, including congenital heart disease, issues acquired due to genetic syndromes or illnesses, and viral infections affecting the heart. Fortunately, advances in technology and medicine mean that children can easily live full and active lives.

Congenital heart defects

A congenital heart defect is a kind of heart ailment children are born with. This is usually caused because of heart defects being present at birth. Common congenital heart defects that affect children include:

  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which causes underdevelopment of the left side of the heart
  • Heart valve disorders such as aortic valve narrowing and restricting the flow of blood
  • Disorders that involve holes being present in the heart, particularly between the major blood vessels and the chamber walls. These include:
    • Atrial septal defects
    • Patent ductus arteriosus
    • Ventricular septal defects
  • Tetralogy of Fallot, in which the following 4 defects combine:
    • Hole in the ventricular septum
    • Displaced aorta
    • Thickening of the right side of the heart
    • The passage between the pulmonary artery and right ventricle being narrowed.

These diseases can affect a child’s health over the long term. Treatment of congenital heart defects typically involves surgery, medications, catheter procedures, and even heart transplants in extreme cases. Lifelong treatment and monitoring might be needed in certain cases.


It is a child heart problem in which fat and plaques filled with cholesterol build up inside the arteries. With increased build-up, it causes narrowing and stiffening of arteries, which means an increased risk of heart attacks and blood clots. Typically, atherosclerosis develops over several years.

It is not usually for teenagers or children to suffer from the condition. However, health issues like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension increase the risk among children. In children with risk factors like obesity and a family history of diabetes or heart disease, screening for high blood pressure and high cholesterol is recommended. Typical treatment for the disease involves lifestyle changes such as modifying diet and exercising.


The abnormal rhythm of the heat is known as arrhythmia and it can cause inefficient pumping of blood by the heart. Children can be affected by various types of arrhythmia, including:

  • Slow heart rate or bradycardia
  • Fast heart rate or tachycardia, with supraventricular tachycardia being the most common type among children
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • long Q-T Syndrome

Symptoms of the disease include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, difficulty feeding, and fainting. Treatment can vary based on the arrhythmia type and the extent of its effect on the health of the child.

Kawasaki disease

It is a rare disease that mainly affects children. The condition causes the blood vessels in the feet, hands, mouth, throat, and lips to inflame. It also causes fever and lymph nodes to be swollen. The exact cause of the disease is still unknown. Treatment is based on the extent of the condition, but usually involves intravenous aspiring or gamma globulin. Corticosteroids may be used for reducing complications in the future. Children suffering from the disease usually need monitoring of heart health throughout life.

Rheumatic heart disease

Streptococcus bacteria is known to cause scarlet fever and strep throat. If it is left untreated, it can even cause rheumatic heart disease. The condition can have a serious and permanent effect on the heart muscle and the heart valves. Typically, rheumatic fever occurs in children aged 5-15, while the rheumatic heart disease symptoms usually show up only 10-20 years after the original disease. The best pediatric cardiac surgeon in Hyderabad will always recommend to promptly treat strep throat with antibiotics to prevent this disease.

Viral infections

Apart from causing the flu and respiratory illness, viruses can also impact heart health. Myocarditis can be caused by viral infections, in which the ability of the heart to pump blood is affected. It is rare for viral infections to affect the heart and may cause few symptoms. Even when the symptoms do show up, they are similar to the symptoms of flu, such as fatigue, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath.

Pediatric Cardiac Surgeons at Rainbow Children’s Heart Institute, Banjara Hills, can be consulted for all kinds of doubts regarding heart diseases and common heart conditions in children.