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A NOTE FROM OUR NURSE ~ April 2018

 
 

Chest Pain in Children

While chest pain in an adult can be serious, chest pain in children is usually not. Below are some
things to consider if your child reports chest pain:
Muscle Overuse. Chest pain can follow sports, lifting or upper body work. This type of muscle
soreness often increases with movement of the shoulders.
Muscle Cramps. Most brief chest pain lasting seconds to minutes is from muscle cramps. The ribs
are separated by muscles. These fleeting pains can also be caused by a pinched nerve. These chest
wall pains are harmless. Brief muscle cramps are also the most common cause of recurrent chest
pains.
Coughing. Chest pain commonly occurs with a hacking cough. Coughing can cause sore muscles in
the chest wall, upper abdomen or diaphragm.
Asthma. Children with asthma often have a tight chest. They may refer to this as chest pain. They
also get chest pain when they have lots of coughing.
Heartburn. Heartburn is due to reflux of stomach contents. It usually causes a burning pain under
the lower sternum (breastbone).
Chest Wall Injury. Blunt trauma usually just causes a bruised rib. Sometimes, it causes a rib fracture.
Heart Disease (Serious). Heart disease is hardly ever the cause of chest pain in children. Chest pain
that only occurs with exercise could have a cardiac cause.
Pleurisy (Serious). Pleurisy is a complication of pneumonia. If the infection involves the lung’s
surface, that area of the chest will hurt.
You should seek immediate medical care if your child is having trouble breathing or has fainted, if
there is a bluish tint to the lips or face, if your child is weak, if there has been a blow to the chest or if
your child looks or acts very sick.
You should call the doctor if your child has a fever, chest pain occurs with exercise, sore muscles last
more than 7 days, heartburn lasts more than 2 days on treatment or chest pains are a frequent
problem.

Wishing everyone a healthy spring!

Susan Quigley, RN, NCSN

April 2018 Tiger Times