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How can chest pain affect a child's life?

Chest pain in children is extremely common. In fact, it is one of the most frequent reasons a child may be referred to a cardiologist. It affects girls and boys equally. Fortunately, chest pain in children is rarely due to a heart condition, unlike in adults. Chest muscle, lung irritation, asthma, gastrointestinal reflux (heartburn), and anxiety are examples of causes of non-heart-related chest pain.
Numerous studies have shown that chest pain can have a significant impact in the lives of children. Over half of children with chest pain will miss some school due to it. Restriction of activity, both by the child as well as by parents and other adults, is common. Chest pain in children can be a source of significant anxiety for the child and others. Additionally, chest pain may be perceived differently in young children compared to teenagers. For instance, a very young child may complain that “my chest hurts” when in fact, he or she may be sensing an abnormal heart rhythm rather than true pain. 
While chest pain in children is rarely a sign of heart disease, a visit to the pediatrician’s office can help identify the cause and in many cases, may alleviate worry for the child and family members.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.