What are common causes of chest pain in children?

As a parent, you may worry that your child’s chest pain is a sign of a heart condition. This is very rarely the case for children, in contrast to adults. More than 95 percent of children who have chest pain will not have a heart condition. 
Common causes of chest pain in children include the following: 
  • Musculoskeletal - irritated chest muscles, cartilage or ribs
  • Lungs - irritation of a lung’s membrane (pleuritic irritation) or asthma-related symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal - acid reflux, esophageal spasms, difficulty swallowing
  • Psychogenic - chest pain can be commonly associated with anxiety
  • Idiopathic - no specific cause can be found; this is the most common occurrence

Continue Learning about Pain


Pain is your body telling you that you have hurt it. This is a good thing, important when you are injured. It can also help diagnose problems with your body. Sometimes pain continues long after it's necessary. Amputees report phan...

tom pain in the legs or arms they no longer have. There are different kinds of pain, and describing the type is useful in diagnosis: recurring, constant, steady, knife-like, radiating, sharp, dull. Medicines that dull pain are analgesics. Those that kill all feeling are anesthetics.

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.