Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

6-year-old with fast heart beat - should I worry?

(89 Posts)
imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 20:27:37

My dd is as fit as a fiddle, eats well, gets lots of exercise. She's had problems with allergies - asthma, eczema and she has a severe allergy to nuts.

Over the last week she's complaining of a fast heart when she lies down and keeps calling me in in the night. Her heart rate is going up to 150+ then it seems to ease off again by itself after about 10 minutes. I thought perhaps she was having a nightmare and waking up with an anxiety attack... ? Can you get them when you're 6?!? However it started tonight when she lay down to sleep and she's finding it difficult to settle.

Any ideas? Is it likely to be anything I should worry about? She seems more tired than usual at the moment, it was the first thing she said to me tonight when I picked her up. She's usually full of beans. She also wanted to go straight home where she would normally want a play in the park on the way.

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 20:32:18

A child's heartbeat does normally beat faster then an adults (around 100 beats) but this is a little too fast. What's her heart rate now?

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 20:36:11

To be honest, you need to contact NHS direct, tell them that your daughter is having an episode of VT whilst resting. They will more then likely call an ambulance to get this checked out as it should not be left. It's standard practice, they will make sure she's OK and do an ECG in the ambulance.

lenny101 Thu 29-Jan-09 20:38:11

Is she using Salbutamol? That speeds heart rate. However, whether she is or not, Please get this checked.. (DS1 severe heart defect), I don't think you should hesitate to get a referral to cardiologist,particularly with tiring.

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 20:48:58

Is everything OK?

lenny101 Thu 29-Jan-09 20:51:48

Hey imaginery friend, how is she?

lenny101 Thu 29-Jan-09 21:05:03

Hoping you're getting some advice by phone then getting her looked at. xx

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 21:30:41

She's gone to sleep at last. I didn't see your messages until she was already asleep. Her heart is slower again now. I measured it at 80 when she woke this morning so it's obviously quite low at resting moments. It doesn't seem to go fast for long at a time.

She doesn't use ventolin, she's on a steroid inhaler, same one for about 2 years now, it controls her asthma so well that she rarely needs ventolin.

She's so active that I find it hard to imagine a problem with her heart. After school today she ran home most of the way but she did seem quite out of it.

What should I worry about?

SlightlyMadScotland Thu 29-Jan-09 21:33:30

I think that you should get it checked. 150bpm is fast for a 6yo.

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 21:35:43

There are a number of things that this could be but it isn't normal for a child to have a resting rate of 150, it really does need checking as soon as possible. Pop her to the GP tomorrow, she needs an ECG and some other tests so they can find out what's going on. If it happens again in the mean time you must call NHS direct. Cardiac problems like this in children are very rare. Some are there from birth, some can develop after an illness but I really wouldn't leave this. It's a type of arrythmia (sp?) so needs looking at.

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 21:38:09

I'll keep a close eye on her tonight. I'm concerned though - am I putting her at risk letting her sleep? I'll get her to the GP tomorrow. she's got a really important day at school, she gets an award and she's been looking forward to it for weeks. Should I still go ahead with that? I'm not sure what level of panic I should go into?

noddyholder Thu 29-Jan-09 21:39:30

check it out for sure IF.It is too fast and teh reason she is more tired is because her heart is having racing episodes which is like she is doing more exercise than usual.It could be something they can deal with really easily good luck x

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 21:41:34

But am I putting her life at risk by not taking her immediately to A&E?

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 21:50:00

Just checked on her. She's restless and very sweaty but heart around 95 per minute.

Is this a sign of something?

SlightlyMadScotland Thu 29-Jan-09 21:51:50

Difficult to say IF without knowing the cause. I have to say I dopn't know what i would do in the circumstances.

If this is not a new occurance then it probably isn't going to be a problem to wait until tomorrow, but I probably wouldn't leave it any longer than tomorrow.

Could she be excited/stressed? by this award?

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 21:53:02

I think you should give NHS direct a call and see what they say. I think that it does need looking at by a medical professional and she needs some tests but you need to contact them. There's a risk in leaving it as you nor I know what could be causing it. They will go through other symptoms with you. I would also see the GP though.

It's a tough decision whether to take her to A&E. If it were my child, I would take her. It could be nothing, then again. I do tend to err on the side of caution though. It really is a tough call as it could be one of many things, most of them not serious but one or two really shouldn't be left. Maybe she needs the cardiac monitoring though.

JodieO Thu 29-Jan-09 21:53:15

I would call nhs direct now definitely with a view to taking her to a&e, you can never be too careful. Hope everything's ok.

SlightlyMadScotland Thu 29-Jan-09 21:53:23

95bpm is about right for a 6yo I think.

I don't think sweaty is a positive sign though.

Maybe call NHS direct - but I suspect that as soon as you mention tachycardia (fast heartbeat) they will say ambulance.

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 21:56:00

Even though it's not fast now?

Oh I don't know what to do. Wish dp was here. He's not back from work yet. Plus we've got dd's best friend over for the night while her mum's away and the friend is currently lying on the sofa watching a DVD as she can't sleep.

JodieO Thu 29-Jan-09 21:58:48

You seem to want people to say it's all fine and that she doens't need to be seen, I'm not trying to be harsh or scare you but you don't know what's wrong with her. You should, at least, call nhs direct imo. I wouldn't risk leaving it no matter what. You'd take her friend with you if you had to go in and get in touch with her family.

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 21:59:11

You run the risk of it increasing again whilst you are asleep, hence the need for the cardiac monitoring. Phone NHS direct first and run it through them. If she develops this again then call an ambulance.

dd's friend will have to go with you if they tel you that you need to take her in. I know it's hard but she may need monitoring, they wouldn't do this unless then needed to.

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 21:59:48

Could it be anxiety?

Last night when it happened she said she'd had a nightmare that she couldn't breathe and that she died. I didn't know which came first - the nightmare or the pounding heart. The sensation of it might have given her the dream, no?

I'm feeling pretty anxious myself right now.

imaginaryfriend Thu 29-Jan-09 22:00:48

I've called NHS Direct, waiting for them to call me back.

scrooged Thu 29-Jan-09 22:01:23

It could be a number of things. Anxiety's possible but this is down to a doctor who has carried out all the tests to determine, not us.

Give them a call.

SlightlyMadScotland Thu 29-Jan-09 22:01:28

Sounds if your heart is telling you what you need to do. You just need to face up to is not somehitng you want to do...but I think it sounds like you have to.

NHS direct first perhaps?

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