Chest Pain in Children: 6 Questions for Parents to Ask

6 Questions to Ask When Your Child Complains of Chest Pain

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I see this scenario quite frequently in cardiology clinic. Generally speaking, about a quarter of my new patient visits complain of the following set of symptoms at their appointment:  chest pain lasting for several months, maybe 2-4 times a week, for less than 10-20 seconds at a time, at a moderate intensity, sometimes with activity, but more often not. And the child just recently told his or her parents about it.

Understandably, the parents are worried.

But the good news is that while it’s pretty common for children to say that their chest hurts or even that their “heart hurts,” it’s rarely caused by heart disease.

Most kids will complain of chest pain sometime between age 7 and their teenage years, but thankfully, it will be caused by an underlying heart condition in less than 1% of them. More frequently it is related to a viral illness, stress, or most commonly, musculoskeletal pain.

It is my hope that this information will give parents a little peace of mind: the pain manifesting in your child’s chest is rarely caused by heart disease. But I also understand how concerning it can be for parents, and sometimes further investigation may be necessary to narrow down the cause. So where should parents start?

I suggest answering the following questions:

  1. Has my child been sick recently?
    One of the more common causes of chest pain in children is from costochondritis. This is a condition characterized by inflammation in the joint between the breastbone and the ribs, typically caused by a viral illness or frequent coughing. Costochondritis is not concerning, but in some cases it can be long lasting and your child may need a prescription anti-inflammatory to get rid of it.
  2. Was my child injured recently?
    If your child was hit in the chest during a sporting event or even a fall, this could be a more obvious cause of the chest pain. However, even heavy lifting, frequent coughing, or intense aerobic exercise can strain the rib muscles and cause chest pain. You’ll want to contact your pediatrician if the pain is severe, persistent, or associated with difficulty breathing.
  3. Is my child stressed?
    While it might be difficult to imagine a 7-year-old being stressed, school pressures and the loss of a loved one, for example, can all contribute to feelings of stress. What may be even more surprising is that stress can cause chest pain. While chest pain caused by stress is harmless – it’s really no different than a stress-related headache – the duration of the pain is understandably worrisome for parents.
  4. When does it hurt?
    Does it hurt when your child is sitting down, or only when he or she is active? Chest pain from non-cardiac causes usually happens both when a child is at rest and when they are active. My first question is often whether the pain occurs during gym class or while watching TV. Chest pain that only happens with or immediately following moderate to vigorous activity, such as while running and playing competitive sports, is a different matter which does warrant further medical investigation.
  5. How long has it been hurting?
    Has it been going on for months or even years? If yes, then it is almost certainly not caused by heart disease. Chest pain caused by cardiac disease is either so severe that no child could cover it up or ignore it, or it is progressive and associated with other problems such as passing out or worsening fatigue, that it would be highly unusual for the symptoms to continue over several months. However, non-cardiac chest pain is the very opposite; it can often be ignored, is not associated with other concerns, and often just lingers in the background.
  6. How painful is it? Mild-to-moderate or severe?
    Typically mild-to-moderate chest pain is not related to the heart, and isn’t a cause for concern. However, the more concerning chest pain is when the pain is sudden and severe. Typically it will hurt so bad that your child will not want to go to school and will look like he or she is struggling with the pain. This kind of pain is most often caused by pericarditis, which is an inflammatory condition of the heart. Thankfully, pericarditis is very rare. But what’s interesting about it is that it’s the most common reason that a child’s chest pain is related to the heart. If your child has sudden onset of severe chest pain that is continuous and often occurs around the same time of an illness – contact your child’s pediatrician that same day.

The vast majority of the time, chest pain in children is not related to the heart. While there is no single medical history question or medical test that can determine the source of chest pain, hopefully the six questions discussed above can help parents and teens narrow down what’s potentially worrisome and what’s not. If you have any concerns at all, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician, and have your answers to the above questions ready. They will help steer your pediatrician in the right direction.

Read about potential ways to help your child find relief from chest pain in this related blog post.

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Dr. Nicolas Madsen

About the Author: Dr. Nicolas Madsen

Nicolas Madsen, MD, is a cardiologist at Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute, with special interest in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. He is focused on research and community outreach programs to find better ways to screen and educate children and adolescents regarding their risks for heart disease or sudden cardiac arrest.

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Comments

  1. Mike April 08, 08:50
    Thanks so much doctor...I really appreciate it!
    • Craig May 11, 13:23
      Hi, My name is Craig,I'm 14 years old and I have being getting pains in my chests a couple of months now it used to be just a little one the odd time and it would only last a couple of seconds but lately the last month or so its bin getting worse and the pains are all over on the left and right side of my stomach,2 weeks ago I woke up at 3:00 am and whenever I tried to breathe a little it gave me a very sharp pain and hurt badly so I tried breathing a very little bit at a time then it eventually went away,it lasted up to about about 5 minutes? Today I was in P.E and I had this running test that I ran a a lot but nothing was hurting me then when I stopped I got a drink then went outside to play a game or Baseball in the field and when I was running both sides of my chest were hurting but when I breathe it wasn't hurting,sorry I wrote so much just wanted to tell you the things that's happen'd to me lately...?
      • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
        Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 14, 11:57
        Craig: It sounds a lot like typical chest pain of the teen years. However, I think you should discuss this with your parents. Do you notice if the pain is worse if you press your hand hard on your chest during one of these episodes - if yes, then that would confirm that the pain is in the chest wall muscle. After talking to your parents, they may want to discuss this with your doctor. Hope that helps.
      • ashley June 10, 19:16
        hi my name is Ashley and im 13 years old i was going up the stairs when i had a sharp pain in my left chest area and i couldn't move for like one minute but when i finally did i called my mom and she told me to take Tylenol but that happens like 3 times a month and i use to have ulcers but there gone now so im really scared about what is wrong with me so i looked it up and i found this so what do you think i should do
        • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
          Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 18, 13:31
          Ashley: I am not completely sure what you mean by the comment that you "could not move". I assume you mean that the pain was so bad that you were not able to keep climbing the stairs. If you meant that you passed out, then I would recommend that you see your doctor soon. However, if you did not pass out, I would instead talk to your mom more about these events. You might even consider writing down when they happen (and what you were doing at the time). It is most likely that these events are related to muscle pain, but if they are getting more frequent or if you notice other symptoms, then maybe a trip to the doctor will help (after your tell your mom what you are experiencing). Hope that helps.
    • Pam Stine May 18, 16:39
      My 14 yr old complains her heart hurts almost every day. I took her to the pediatrician and she discovered a heart murmur and sent us to a pediatric cardiologist who said she has a functioning heart murmur and it shouldn't cause any problems. She is still having chest pains usually after eating but not always I have given her alka-seltzer chews and it will go away. some times large crowds will cause her heart to hurt but she also will have labored breathing. if I take her BP it is in normal range as well as pulse. Should I take her to a stomach Dr or back to the heart Dr? I also have her keep a food journal and rate her pain
      • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
        Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 26, 07:43
        Pam: Functional (also known as benign or innocent) heart murmurs are quite common. I think you can trust the cardiologist's opinion as it concerns her murmur evaluation. The fact is that chest pain and murmurs are both common (and very often not related to heart problems), so to have both is not unusual. It is also reassuring from a heart point of view that the chest pain appears related to eating. I would keep the evaluation going with her pediatrician - and he/she may eventually consider a referral to a GI specialist. Hope that helps.
    • Mark May 31, 10:12
      Hi my name is mark 15 years old and I have been getting pain in my chest and apper ribs. I get really worried about this because I have had this for months and think about it every day. Once I got it, it got worse after sport games. But for the last two weeks it has been abit better because I do streches quite more and go to the pools to help my muscles. Also when I play sport I don't get any pains at all.
      • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
        Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 01, 11:26
        Mark: From your description, it certainly sounds like you are experiencing the common non-heart related chest pain of adolescence. I would continue to focus on the things that make the pain better. However, please make sure you mention your symptoms to your parents in make sure they are up to date on how you are feeling. Hope that helps.
    • Michele June 06, 20:46
      Hello, About 4 weeks ago I received a call from the school nurse that my 8yr old had been running laps during PE and was complaining his heart was stinging. The pain subsided and he returned to class. This evening he was on a light jog with me and at 1/4 mile in he asked me to stop because his heart was stinging. We walked for a bit and then tried again, same thing after about 70 yards of running. He says it has been happening since the incident at school, but has not complained to me until today. He describes it as "stinging" pain and feels like someone is squeezing his chest. I have notified his pediatrician, but have not had a reply. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.
      • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
        Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 08, 10:21
        Michele: Pain that occurs exclusively with exercise, as you describe, should be evaluated by a doctor. Thankfully, the majority of the time the pain is still not from the heart, but the possibility is greater if the pain only happens with more vigorous activity. It is often the case that you will be referred to a pediatric cardiologist if one is available where you live. If possible, I would recommend a referral to a specialist as a first step instead of a lot of immediate diagnostic testing. Hope that helps.
    • Brina May 23, 21:40
      Hello..my name is Sabrina and I'm 16 years old. I keep having pains underneath my left nipple, the pain is so bad that I can't move from the spot that I'm in and I struggle to breathe. I don't have asthma or anything like that. But all of the doctors I've went to tell me it's just hormones or muscular pains. And none of the pain reliefs prescribed to me have worked. Me and my mother have been diagnosed with afib and I have a heart murmur but the doctors said its irrelevant to what I'm feeling. I've also had a lack of desire for food and I feel full even when I haven't eaten. I do my best to try an eat some food anyway. But it makes me feel sick and fatigued. Do you think there's anything wrong with me?
      • Rachel Camper
        Rachel Camper May 31, 06:20
        Hi Sabrina, I reached out to Dr. Powell, one of our cardiologists, to help me answer your question. Here's his response: Sabrina, I’ve very sorry to hear about the pain you are feeling. It seems that you have even dealing with this pain for quite a while. There is a lot in your comment and I will try to address all of your concerns. It sounds like your pain is most likely not involving your heart since your pain is made worse with breathing and position changes. As I’m sure you read in our blog post, pain because of your heart can be affected by position changes, pressure to the chest or different types of breathing as your heart sits inside your rib cage. While the majority of your story makes me feel like your chest pain is probably not your heart, the fact that you said you have a personal and family history of atrial fibrillation gives me a little pause. I would encourage you to discuss these symptoms with you pediatric cardiologist if you have not done so yet. If your cardiologist feels reassured, then I would feel better that your heart isn’t causing the pain your having. Now, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist and I think continued follow-up with your primary care doctor will be your best plan. Maybe you could discuss other, non medication based treatments like heat, massage and physician therapy? Again Sabrina I am very sorry to hear about these pains and I hope this was helpful in some small way!
  2. Lori April 08, 12:58
    Hi, My 14 year old son was ready to get on the school bus this morning when he complained of overwhelming tiredness (which he feels before a seizure...he has epilepsy). He also stated he had pain and pressure under his sternum, dizziness, headache and numbness over his entire body. He has been ill since August with strep, has bbeen hospitalized at CNMC in D.C. , has Sydengams Chorea, autism, and other health problems. Yesterday his eyelids were swollen. He did not seize but. Is still in bed with the same complaints. Should I wait this out or have him evaluated. He did have diarrhea once this morning.
  3. Lori April 08, 13:27
    This is a continuation of my post above. My son's BP's are 98/58 in his LA and 96/56 in his LA. His HR is 56. He said the things that bother him the most is the h/a at the top of his head, the "cold-numbness" all over his body and the overwhelming tired feeling. His face and lips were pale but pinkened up when he started to talk. I asked again about the chest pain and told him to point to the pain. He actually pointed to his stomach. The area of pressure is under is sternum. His temperature is normal. I see no rashes. I asked him if he wants to see the doctor and he said not yet. We only have one car which my husband drove to work. I would appreciate your advice. Thanks, Lori
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 09, 15:13
      Lori: While I would like to provide you a meaningful recommendation that would potentially relieve you of the logistical challenges of bringing your son to his doctor, I am afraid that such a recommendation is not possible. Despite your well written question with detailed information, I think that your son's level of medical complexity goes beyond my ability to confidently provide you and him an accurate recommendation. While chest pain is part of his description, I would be more curious to have him seen by his doctor for the feelings of fatigue and numbness. Sorry to be of little direct help, but I think you would be best to have this discussion with his regular provider. Hope that helps.
  4. Sue April 08, 18:30
    Hi there My 12 year old daughter has had chest pains for over four weeks now, they are very random and only a few a day at the most. They seem to be to the left of her sternum (almost beside her sternum) just a shooting pain. Not debilitating, but it is now concerning her. They last no time at all and then she is fine but she does mention tightness on taking a breath in after. Does this sound worrying? She had a cold but we visited the Dr who said her chest is clear, she did however give her antibiotics to help clear any infection as the cold had been dragging on for literally 6 weeks!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 09, 15:13
      Sue: Your daughter's chest pain sounds classic for musculoskeletal chest pain (short, random, stabbing pain). It is not uncommon to have such pain after a severe cold ( I suspect that maybe coughing causes some of the mild muscle injury). In addition, your description does not sound like pericarditis, which produces a much more consistent, long lasting, severe type of pain. I suspect she will start to feel better soon. Hope that helps.
  5. nadia April 15, 09:15
    My 7 year old daughter is very active and fine but a few months ago she started with cramps and pain under her ribs and btween them in the chest area. She gets it when we walk to school or back home about twice a week today was the first time she had it for longer and when we walked home she cried so much I had to give her half a panado she's sleeping now. She doesn't get it when she runs or plays netball.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 16, 09:22
      Nadia: My guess you are asking this question from outside the US given your description of using Panado for pain and your daughter's involvement in netball - which serves as a good reminder that pediatric chest pain is common worldwide. It certainly sounds like you have an active daughter, which is wonderful. I assume that her medical history is otherwise unremarkable without a history of passing out or trouble breathing/asthma. From your description, your daughter sounds as if she is experiencing muscle based chest pain (crampy, between the ribs, present over months). I think your next steps should be based on how she is feeling. If the pain is getting worse (lasting longer or more frequent), it might be the right time to discuss this with her doctor. Hope that helps.
  6. nadia April 16, 09:38
    Thank u doc I took her to the doctor today as she was crying a lot yesterday walking from school and last night about nauseousness he says it looks like dyspepsia and recomends me trying buscopan says if it doesn't improve to take her back
  7. Jackie April 16, 21:28
    Hello, My 14 year old year girl has been having chest pain for several months now. It's a daily pain with it hurting various times during the day. It hurts in various places in her chest. We have visited the doctor who took x-rays and said nothing was wrong. We waited and when she kept complaining we took her to the doctor again and she said it was normal for her age. But the pain doesn't affect her if she moves or touches her chest. She says that sometimes the pain is more in the middle in the inside, if that makes any sense, and lasts a couple of seconds. She says the pain is sometimes moderate, and sometimes a bit more stronger. She is healthy doesn't eat junk food, and is a moderate active person. She also hasn't been sick or anything. Should I be worried?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 21, 15:58
      Jackie: Well, as a parent myself, it is with a grain of salt that I would say not to worry about your daughter, since after all, as parents, we always worry about our kids (especially if they are having pain). However, given your description, I do not worry about a heart source to this chest pain. Notice my answer to Klaudua's question from 4/19 – even across the world in New Zealand, another 14 year old girl is having exactly the same type of pain. These episodes of brief, random, and stabbing bouts of pain are terrible because they hurt, but thankfully they are not because of a sick or problematic heart. Hope that helps.
  8. Melanie April 19, 04:48
    Hi my 8 year old daughter started complaining that her heart was hurting about 4 days ago and it's still going on now she's also been complaining of head aches and feeling sick and just dose my seem her self should I b worried
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 21, 15:57
      Melanie: I wonder, since it has been a few days, if your daughter is feeling better? I hope she has recovered to her normal self at this point. If she has not, I would check in with her doctor given that she has been feeling sick for more than a week. It's not the chest pain that points my advise toward seeing her doctor, but rather, it's the fact that after about a week of kids "feeling sick" consistently, then it is probably time to have a formal clinic visit. Hope that helps.
  9. Klaudua April 19, 05:32
    Hi my 14 year old daughter complains of chest pains she says she has them at least one to three times a day and they last for up to two to three minutes she explains them to be a very hard stabbing pain which makes it hard for her to breath until they are over afterwards she feels slightly light headed should I be worried about this
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 21, 15:56
      Klaudua: Your daughter is describing almost perfectly the typical symptoms of teenage chest pain (short, frequent, stabbing, random, and often worse with a deep breath). While quite painful, these symptoms are fortunately almost never associated with the heart and are instead coming from the chest wall itself. Hope that helps.
  10. Omy April 19, 18:28
    Hello, my 10 yr. old son was born with a murmur. For about a year now my son complains that his "heart" hurts. I took him to his Pediatrician's Office who told me it is very common for kids his age to suffer from Heartburn. However, a lot of the times the pain will come when he hasn't eaten anything at all. Last night he went to bed w/tremendous pain in his heart (As he describes it) and what concerned me is that he awoke with the same pain if not worse. He was pale as a ghost and hot. He got extremely sweaty and started to throw up. He says his pain feels as if someone punched him in the heart. I don't know if this concerning or not but he's in so much pain he is crying from it. Please help me put my mind at ease whether it means to investigate further or not.. thank you.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 21, 15:24
      Omy: I can certainly appreciate your concern given that your son has had this pain for about a year and now that pain seems to be worse. While it is true that heartburn can be the cause of chest pain, it is not my experience that this is the most common source of pediatric chest pain. In addition, while your son is describing that his "heart is hurting", I would modify that to say that it is really his chest that is hurting. My advise would be to re-discuss this concern with his pediatrician. I do not say that because I have a high suspicion for cardiac reasons for the pain (I do not), but rather that if he is consistently experiencing "tremendous" pain, I think that is a good reason to check in again with his doctor. Hope that helps.
  11. Heather April 21, 21:32
    Dr., My 8 year old lil boy came home today and said his chest started hurting. His exact description was "it was beating so loud then started to hurt". He was sitting at the reading table when this occurred. So what exact category does this fall into and what would be the best course of action? Concerned Mother, Heather
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 27, 08:26
      Heather: It’s hard to know based on that description alone what might be the source of the sensation that your son noticed. It sounds like he was calm at the time and that this came out of the blue. This is not an unusual occurrence and the most common source is just normal heart activity. In kids, sometimes they notice the sensation of the heart beating normally and this may upset them and then the heart speeds up because they are upset/scared/etc. If your son is otherwise healthy, I think you can continue to watch closely. If this sensation returns, then I would discuss it with his doctor. If it doesn’t, I think you can chalk it up to normal activity. Hope that helps.
      • Heather April 27, 22:48
        Thank you his Dr ordered a EKG which showed abnormality. Then it occurred twice more lasting a few hours with trouble breathing. We actually see a cardiologist tomorrow to find out more.
  12. Elaina April 22, 23:37
    Hi, I'm 12 years old and very randomly when I stretch, my chest will get a moderate pain that lasts for a few seconds. This just started today and I don't know if I should be worried. It happens like 3-4 times a day at most. I think it might be growing pains but I'm not sure and I read that if you have stress this happens and I'm a little stressed about school tests. Should I be worried because I'm getting scared because my cousins friends dad had a pain in his chest and he was having a heart attack and then he died...I'm scared, should I be??
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 27, 08:26
      Elaina: Thanks for your question. I am impressed by your question given your age (it is well written). When chest pain occurs with movement like you describe (stretching), or when it occurs with pressure on the chest, then you can feel very confident that the source of the pain is in the chest wall muscle itself and not because of the heart (like growing pains). Chest pain in adults is a totally different issue and I would not want you to confuse your pain with that of your cousin’s friend’s dad. Hope that helps.
  13. Mary April 23, 21:17
    My daughter is 12. She's been having left side chest pain for two months. A few days ago she felt faint while on a field trip. The school called and I had them take her to the er. While there they discovered that her blood sugar was low. She also has numb tingling feelings in her hands and legs at times. They did an EKG in the er. Also I took her to see her pediatrician yesterday. They did another EKG and blood work. All these test came back fine. Her thyroid is fine as well. Still they can't tell me what's wrong with my baby. This morning while preparing for school, she began crying about the pain again. So back to the er we went. Another EKG was done. And that was clear also. Please help me! I'm so worried!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 27, 08:25
      Mary: It sounds like your daughter has been evaluated several times, which makes the likelihood that her chest pain is because of her heart very low. Unfortunately, as you may have read in this blog, significant chest pain in adolescents (and pre-teens) is quite common and it can be really painful. However, if you continue to worry, then maybe the next step is a review by a pediatric cardiologist just for peace of mind. Hope that helps.
  14. Makia April 26, 03:09
    My daughter is 15 she complaint about chest pain an pain ribs adge an that heart hurt causing her feel that she can breath.she just mention to me That started 2weeks ago I took her to accident and emergency hospital after she told me .doctors did ECG an heart xray every thing came back normal. But still complaint about the pain. Doctor provided something for pain an inhaler med .my daughter mention pain still hurt last 10mins or less some time. Then 5 days after she had emergency after school walking from school with friends to catch the bus .friends my daughter pass out for about 5mins after come to she told then she can breath they offering her med inhaler in her bag. Until ambulance came. 5days before doctor mention it may be astma too. But chest pain still there. So again doctor did ECG an blood testing an urine every thing came back normal but my daughter still complaint about the chest .doctor give pandol 500gm for pain an she said mommy my chest still hurt an breath still cutting make her not able to breath .told me she have tighNess in her chest. Would do you recommend.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 27, 14:05
      Makia: Because you describe your daughter passing out while walking after the bus, her situation is quite a bit different than the other kids who are described on this blog with chest pain only. The combination of passing out and chest pain suggests to me that a visit with a cardiologist is the next best step. While the cause may still be not heart related, the combination with passing out during activity puts your daughter in a different category. Hope that helps.
  15. Maureen webber April 27, 07:53
    Quick question can this occur in a 4.5 year old too my son was getting dressed and studding started crying that his chest really hurt right in the center part. Bathroom doesn't seem to be the cause. So I'm just wondering if he's issue is the same and not to worry or take him to the emergency room? And if I have questions maybe someone else does too.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 27, 14:06
      Maureen: Good question. Non-heart related chest pain can occur at any age of childhood. While it is more common in teens, I have certainly seen it in younger kids as well. For kids your son's age, I am typically quicker to suggest a conversation with his pediatrician. While the likelihood is strong that this pain episode had nothing to do with his heart, there are a couple other causes that his doctor can help sort out (namely reflux type pain). Hope that helps.
  16. Kayleigh April 27, 09:05
    My daughter is 2 years and 3 months. She has suffered from cyanosis since she was around 6months old. She has had a heart scan and ECG - Her right side is slightly large but said nothing to worry about. I was told the cyanosis was nothing to worry about too. But the cyanosis has got worst and happening around 4 - 5 times per day and over the last week has started to complain of pain in left arm and under her armpit. I have asked to be refered again for the cyanosis (a couple of weeks ago) but should i be worried about the pain in her arm and ask to be seen sooner? Dont want to seem like an over paranoid parent Many Thanks Concern Parents
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 30, 13:42
      Kayleigh: I think a return visit with your daughter's doctor makes a lot of sense. The interpretation of your question is dependent on what you mean by cyanosis – does it mean blueness around the mouth or does it mean more full body blueness including inside the mouth (full body color change is much more concerning as around the mouth cyanosis is usually quite normal and not worrisome). I also wonder how long ago the heart ultrasound (ECHO) was performed. If it was more than 6-12 months ago, there is a chance that a repeat scan might show further enlargement of the right side of the heart, which may be a clue to the source of the problem (if the cyanosis is full body – not if it is only around the mouth). The left arm pain is less clear if this is associated. Hope that helps.
  17. Amy April 29, 21:44
    My 16 year old daughter was playing in a varsity softball game the other day and she got hit with a 75-80 mph ball in the center/left side of the chest. She now has chest pain, shortness of breath, and her chest feels like its fluttering. Could this just be a muscle strain or some inflammatory thing? Or is it something I should take her to the doctor for? Thank you!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author April 30, 13:41
      Amy: Wow – that sounds terribly painful. Thankfully, the primary heart health issue in the setting of this type of blunt chest trauma is immediate (and thankfully, very rare). The chest soreness and shortness of breath is almost certainly associated with a chest muscle injury. A quick check would be if the pain is reproducible with direct pressure on the area of soreness (hard pushing on the area with a few fingers should do it). In any case, the pain should be getting better daily. If the pain is not getting better daily (or if the shortness of breath is getting worse), and if the pain is not reproducible with outside pressure, then a visit to the doctor is in order. Hope that helps.
  18. Laura Wailes April 29, 21:56
    Thank you for your post and your kind and thoughtful responses. My 6-year-old son was complaining about similar mild pain only during the evening and had decided he needed to go to the doctor. He is a beginning reader and was able to read some of your posts with help and see that you are a doctor from a hospital for children and felt comfortable that his heart is ok! I appreciate this resource.
  19. debbie May 01, 09:11
    My daughter of 14yrs old has been having severe chest pains for the past 2 years now.i have been to the drs and hospital so many times i think they're getting fed up with me.but im extremely worried.her pains started at the same time she started to develop unevenly..ie right breast is twice the size of the left and according to my daughter its very heavy.the Dr has said its tietzes disease prescribed naproxen which doesn't ease the pain.in fact the medication gives her heart fluttersand is also affecting her eyesight in which she needed another prescription glasses.the hospital recently said she dodoesn't have tietzes so were confused as well as worried.please can you help.. the not knowing is really crippling. many thanks.debbie
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:20
      Debbie: I am sorry to hear about your daughter's pain and the difficulty getting to the bottom of the source. The uneven breast development sounds like something that needs to be further evaluated, and I can certainly imagine that there might be some association with the chest pain. Obviously, I am not able to provide a diagnosis given the limitations of this mode of communication, but I would advise you to find a doctor you trust and work with him or her to get to the bottom of this concern. Given that it has been going on for 2 years, I would advise against trips to urgent or emergency care, and instead invest in working through the possibilities with the same doctor. Hope that helps.
  20. Tammy May 01, 18:23
    My son is 10 years old he has be complaining of chest pain and there was a knot over his left side of his chest. He was watching T.V. all 4 times that this happened. He says that it feels like someone punching him on the inside. Took him the the E.R. they took a chest x-ray found nothing wrong went to his regular doctor she ordered another set of x-rays a EKG and a echocardiogram. Not sure what else to do. Can this be like a muscle cramps in his chest?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:21
      Tammy: It appears your thoughts of a muscle concern are on the right track. The fact that the pain occurs during periods of rest is quite reassuring. I can't tell if he has already received the EKG and ECHO from your question, but I suspect, given your description, that these tests will offer some reassurance. Hope that helps.
  21. Hayden May 02, 02:02
    I just turned 15... for years i sat playing xbox and drinking 44oz. Sodas each day.. and i got the the point where i was feeling a pinching pain in my right side, i was like 222 pounds.. this was 2-4 months ago. It was my wakeup call . So i started turning things around . I felt the same thing with the throw up lightheaded feeling, chills again.. so i ate or drank and it went away.. i havent been to the doctors.. and i pretty much know i have diabetes.. i can feel when my blood sugar is low and i have snacks i bring with incase.. i also have a test kit where you prick your finger.. i quit drinking the sodas cold turkey, started eating less carbs and more protein and have since.. lost 30 pounds (im now 190) being 5'9. I had these chest pains most people are describing.. random, sharp or "stabbing" pain in the left side of my chest sometimes worse when breathing but i can jog a little and im fine .. having diabetes and being overweight and unhealthy, im always very worried And stressed. im afraid diabetes is messing up my body in many ways but i dont see how because im doing better than i was before..
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:28
      Hayden: First of all, congratulations on your energy and commitment to working on becoming healthier. A proper diet and regular exercise is the best medicine there is and I am glad to hear that you are making some positive changes. In addition, I would strongly advise you to visit your doctor. A diagnosis of diabetes is a serious matter, as you know, and I want to make sure you are seeing a doctor to determine if you in fact have full blown diabetes, pre-diabetes, or something else entirely. I know going to the doctor can be expensive and inconvenient, but when it concerns lifelong health concerns like diabetes, it really is a good investment. Best of luck and hope that helps.
  22. Carla May 02, 08:00
    Hi my 7 yr old came from school with chest pain, the pain last it 2 _ 3 min or less. I took her to e.r they did ekg snd ex ray everything looks normal. The pain is so severe that she shakes and looks life she bout to pass out. I took her to go see her doc nothing they can do can you tell me what to do to help my baby thank you
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:29
      Carla: It sounds like your daughter is experiencing non-heart related chest pain given what you have learned from a visit to the ER and her doctor. Hopefully the pain will improve soon. Non-heart related chest pain can be quite uncomfortable and I can appreciate that your daughter's discomfort must be difficult to watch. If the pain continues, I think the best question to ask her doctor again is not if the heart is the reason for the pain, but what else might be the cause. This may help focus the question. Hope that helps.
  23. Megan Copeland May 04, 18:43
    My 14 yr old daughter has been telling me about her chest pain for several mouths. She has been running and jumping lately. Her pain hurts when she's talking and pressing on it. She said that it come and goes. Should I take her to go see a doctor?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:18
      Megan: Your daughter's pain sounds very typical of chest muscle pain and not heart related pain. In fact, it is so typical that 7 minutes after you entered your question, another parent (Sandy Lin) asked almost the identical question about a child only 1 year younger than your daughter. Chest pain in teens can feel scary as a parent, but thankfully, while it is uncomfortable, it is very rarely related to a medical emergency. Hope that helps.
  24. Sandy Lin May 04, 18:50
    My 13 yr old daughter has been complaining me about her chest pain for several mouths. She has been running and jumping lately in the track team in school. She said her pain hurts when she's talking, pressing on it, and while she's burping. Her pain is in the center of the chest and a little bit toward the left. Since she said that it hurts when she presses on it i'm thinking it's probably because she sprain one of her muscle. Last time i took to her to her doctor to get her physical filled out, her doctor said everything was find. She also said that the pain come and goes. Should I worry bout this? Thank You
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:17
      Sandy Lin: I think your thoughts are right on target. Any chest pain that can be reproduced with pressure from the outside (hand on the chest) or from the inside (deep breath or burping) is not heart related. The pain is from the chest muscle itself. Hopefully that is a relief. The pain is quite real, and importantly, it really hurts. But thankfully it is not the result of a problem with the heart. Hope that helps.
  25. Antonella May 05, 05:56
    Hi my 14 year old son has been complaining of his heart beating in aggressive mode sometimes, and at the same time he would feel tired. At the hospital they took a chest x ray, done ECG, and even the echo test and all resulted good. even had a thyroid exam and came good as well. On sunday they did the Holter but we do not have the results yet. I am worried sick. He has been talking to a counsellor at school just in case it is something that is worrying him but so far they are saying everything is ok. what could it be?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 05, 15:17
      Antonella: It sounds like your son is receiving careful attention. Hopefully he was able to wear the Holter during one of these episodes. If the Holter was able to catch one of these episodes, then it should be able to provide you with a clear answer. It does not sound like the other testing showed any worrisome findings. If the Holter is normal, which is most likely based on common things being common, it may be that your son is noticing a "normal" fast heart rate, which can be irritating/bothersome/frightening. If the Holter is abnormal, then the cardiologist should be able to counsel you and him appropriately. Hope that helps.
      • Antonella May 08, 02:44
        thanks it does put my mind at rest that they are doing all the test necessary. We are also waiting for a urine 24hr test result. They told us that they will test it for chemical in the urine. Hopefully it comes negative as well.
  26. Nora May 09, 21:50
    I am a 14 year old girl and since I was about 11 or 12 I have been having dull chest pains on my left side. It mostly occurs when I lay on my left side and sometimes it gets better when I switch to my right side. I think my heart beat increases a bit and I do feel a bit short of breath sometimes. This was worse when it first started happening but it got better for a year, only happens very rarely. Recently it started getting worse again, happening more often. Also, I have noticed it will happen after I have recently worked out. So if I have a hard swim practice or do a bunch of sit-ups, the next night I will get the pains. I don't know if this would help but I am 140 lbs, 5'8'', I eat healthy except at night I will end up eating probably too many cookies :) and I swim competitively 8 months of the year as well as doing sit ups, squats, etc. sometimes. Please let me know what's up! Do I need to be worried? Thank you!!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 12, 08:33
      Nora: Firstly, let me complement you on your commitment to exercise – competitive swimming makes for a grueling training schedule. Your chest pain sounds very typical of chest wall muscle pain that is common in teens. The fact that it hurts more when resting on your left side and is relieved when resting on your right is consistent with the pain very likely being located in the chest muscles. Have you noticed if ibuprofen helps when the pain is at its worst? However, before you take any medication, make sure to share this with your parents. Hope that helps.
  27. Terri May 09, 23:15
    My 12 year old son complains of chest pain on the left side while running and vigorous physical activity. I brought him to an asthma dr and was told it is not asthma. I am concerned that this is heart related. Pain stops when he stops exerting himself. Does this sound like it is heart related?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 12, 08:34
      Terri: It is hard to know for sure given the information you provided in your question. As you have likely read, the odds are strongly in favor that this pain is not heart related since less than 1% of chest pain episodes in otherwise healthy children are related to the heart. However, the fact that this only occurs with exercise can make a difference. Have you discussed this with his regular doctor. It is reassuring that this is not asthma, but there are many other non-heart related things that this could be. Hope that helps.
      • Terri Chamberlin May 12, 08:46
        Yes, I spoke with his pediatrician and he is being referred to a pediatric cardiologist for an evaluation. I am hoping that evaluations will not require many test that will expose him to radiation but at this point I feel we have no options. I'll keep you posted. Thank You!!
  28. Sally May 11, 08:50
    Hi my son has been complaining of chest pain for a couple days now, he says it hurts on when he is running or being active but he's fine when he's just sitting down. I am concerned because he says the pain is very sharp.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 14, 11:57
      Sally: Sharp pain is usually a good sign that the pain is not heart related. However, pain that only appears with activity may be more likely to involve the heart (although still not the most likely reason). However, as you may have read, if the chest pain is only during significant activity, then I think a visit and discussion with his regular doctor is a good idea. Hope that helps.
  29. Michelle May 15, 04:34
    Hello, My 14 year old daughter has had chest pain she describes as sharp which are felt under neath her left breast and all the way to the sternum. She has had it slightly happening all week but very bad since yesterday. I got her to take a deep breath and she said it felt sore. It is not sore when i press against the area though. She actualy had this problem happen 3 months ago too but then it went away after a few days. Both times she looks a bit unwell and weak when it happens. This time just before the chest pain started she had a sickness with a very painful throat but that seems to have cleared now. it sounds like it might be costochondritis however my real concern is about her pulse rate. I measured it today several times and it is at around 120 beats per minute. i have never measured it before so have nothing to compare it to but perhaps its been like this for a while. she has also had trouble some nights falling asleep for the last several months and i noticed doing deep sighs often in the last few months too. she does basicaly hardly any physical exercise. any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. thank you
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 18, 09:17
      Michelle: I think your first thought about costochondritis is likely to be correct given your description. The pulse rate is a little elevated at 120 beats per min but I would check it a few more times before making too much of it. Is she in pain when you check? Is she anxious when you check? Is she recently active when you check? I would try a few times when she is feeling nice and calm to see what rates your notice. My guess is that 120 is normal given whatever environmental stimuli are happening at that time. If it continues to be elevated, then I would discuss your findings with her doctor. Hope that helps.
  30. Brook May 17, 10:37
    Hello. Last year, my 17 year old son began complaining of rapid heat beat and subsequent extreme dizziness if he stopped or even briefly paused intensive activity (such as basketball during PE). His pediatrician referred us to a pediatric cardiologist who had him wear a monitor and asked that he try to recreate the symptoms. He was not able to because school was out and it stormed of two days. He also had a stress test which revealed his heart accelerates abnormally fast and remains very high for the duration of exercise. An echo showed a "floppy" valve. The doctor did not give a diagnosis but felt he would do well as long as he was able to stop when he felt the symptoms occur and that he'd never be able to play sports at a competitive level as a result. For the last two days, he said he's been experiencing an achy sensation near his heart- sometimes after eating, but belching does not relieve the pain. He's about to head off to college and I'd like advice on whether his symptoms sound alarming or if it seems something was missed or something new may have developed. He is not overweight, generally active, does not consume excessive amounts of caffeine, smoke or do drugs, and eats like a typical teenage boy. Thank you in advance!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 18, 09:15
      Brook: My advice would be to return to his pediatric cardiologist (or maybe a second opinion from another cardiologist). The reason for this advice is that it does not sound like your first encounter led to a full diagnosis (I am unsure what is meant by a "floppy valve" and the monitor sounds inconclusive), and at this point it sounds like some restrictions have been placed on your son's activity. While these restrictions may in fact be correct, I am unsure, based on your description, why they are currently recommended. My opinion is to dig a little deeper - with the hope that maybe there is no heart related reason to be concerned and that may give you some peace of mind before college. Hope that helps.
  31. Brandi Marlow May 18, 13:53
    My 7 year old daughter has allergies, headaches every so often and normal growing pains. Otherwise she is healthy but is 54 inches and 88 lbs even though we eat fairly healthy and are generally active. She takes (took) Claritin. She got something viral (a cold) and was fevered for two days. I took her in on the third day (Weds) because she was complaining of chest pain and was still fevered. The Dr listened to her chest and it was clear. I was relieved because that was the main reason I had taken her in, for the chest pain twice before....even before the viral fever. Her ears were full of fluid so they prescribed an antibiotic. She went to school the next day. The following day (Fri) she was getting ready for school and had just taken a bath after taking her Claritin, Amox 500 and vitamins. She came out dripping wet into the living room and said her chest was hurting really bad. I walked with her back into the bathroom to help her dry off. She took two steps into the bathroom and passed out onto the floor. She was unresponsive for probably 30 seconds to a minute. The chest pain was never so sever and never lasted more than a few minutes and she was off doing something else. Once she came to (after I got my phone and my son was on the phone with 911) I drive her to the ER. The EKG came back fine. The pain is in the center lower part of her chest. The Pediatric Cardiologist wants to monitor her heard on a Holter to make sure nothing is going on with the heart. That came about from the ER visit, but that's not until June 2. I took her off Claritin daily to make sure it wasn't causing the headaches or chest pain so the only thing she was on was the new antibiotic which I asked to be switched from Amoxicillin to the Z pack, because I was afraid it was related to the passing out. Her brother is allergic to Penicillin drugs. Today we visited our Pediatrician who thinks she may have passed out from the pain. (She has a low pain tolerance). She is tender if you press on the center of the chest low. Our pediatrician prescribed Zantac and a two week waiting period to see if the chest pain comes back before submitting her to radiation and other blood tests.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 26, 07:43
      Brandi: it sounds like you have done all the right things for your daughter. As you have recognized, passing out during an episode of chest pain is a different circumstance than chest pain alone and deserves further evaluation (which it sounds like you are receiving). The possibility remains that her heart is still well and it is something else causing the pain and passing out. But again, those details need more evaluation to sort out. Hope that helps.
  32. Aamirah May 18, 17:51
    Hi i am a 17 years old girl I was born with heart murmur and for the past few days or weeks I have been getting really bad chest pains when I stand up and when I sit down. Should I go and see my doctor?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 26, 07:44
      Aamirah: The first step is to tell your parents. I hope they can help you with these chest pain episodes. As you have likely read, teenage chest pain is common and very rarely is it an emergency. If it continues and you are concerned about the symptoms, then it may be helpful to talk to your doctor. Hope that helps.
  33. Terry May 22, 07:17
    My 14 year old daughter has been complaining of pain / tightness on the right side of her chest. This has been happening over the last 4-5 months. It comes and stays for a few days then she is ok. But it is now happening more often and lasts longer. She does play softball so I thought maybe she pulled a muscle. But she knows when it a muscle or not. She says it hurts more by just relaxing lying down and watches tv. This actually has woken her up at 3:00 in the morning, then can not go back to sleep. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Any suggestions
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:31
      Terry: Has your daughter noticed if the pain is worsened or brought on by pressure on her chest (by her own hand) or with a deep breath? This would suggest that pain is from her chest muscles and may be related to an injury from sport. The fact that it hurts during rest makes a heart source less likely. In addition, if she was having chest pain from heart disease, then other symptoms would most likely have emerged given the many months of pain. Hope that helps.
  34. Jacorrey Frank May 24, 13:35
    Hi my name is Jacorrey.I'm 13 yes. old,and I've been feeling a lot of arm pain that causes weakness on my chest and other parts of my body including my legs,arms, and my hands.what do you think it is?
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:34
      Jacorrey: Hard to know from your description what is causing you to feel this weakness. However, if you are noticing some real changes to muscle strength, I would discuss this with your parents and your doctor. It is quite unlikely that the cause of this related to your heart, but there might be other causes that need to be explored (especially if the weakness is progressive). Hope that helps.
  35. Jacob May 25, 11:18
    Hi, I'm 13 years old (almost 14). When i'm thinking about my heart it starts to hurt. I can't get out of my mind that i'm going to have a heart disease. I'm getting pain in random body parts for like 1-3seconds. (Like Fingers, Wrist, Abs left and right side) Sometimes i get left abs pain when i walk. By the way i'm getting random stabs in my whole chest. But when i'm thinking about my heart i'm feeling that like an elephant is sitting on my chest what should i do.. When i'm walking outside with my friends talking about stuff i don't feel pain or even think about it. By the way i'm an Athlete i'm ripped, i have 6abs if that is going to change anything. Sorry for my english mistakes, i'm from Lithuania, please answer. And one last thing I'm feeling pain for whole day sometimes it stops when for example i'm reading books or something. I'm getting these random pains already for 3weeks ~ I think now i'm getting less pain.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:33
      Jacob: Thanks for your question. You bring up a good point that sometimes worry itself can cause chest pain. However, as you point out, when you are distracted by friends or activity, your chest pain disappears. You should feel comfortable that this is a very strong indication that you do not have a heart problem as the source of this pain. Instead, I would discuss with your parents what may be the source of your worry and maybe that will help lessen the chest pain episodes. Hope that helps.
  36. Jessica May 26, 12:39
    Hello! My son is 5 years old. For the past couple weeks every once in a while he will say he has a sharp pain in his rib. It's always when he is sitting or laying down. The pain lasts anywhere from seconds to a couple minutes. He is a very healthy child and had his last we'll check a few months ago and the dr said everything was great. I guess I should add that he is very tall for his age so I'm thinking it could be growing pains? Thanks so much!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:32
      Jessica: Sudden and brief episodes of chest pain that occurs often during periods of rest is very unlikely to be related to the heart. Younger children like your son can have chest pain related to chest wall muscle discomfort. These episodes should become less frequent in the near term. It sounds like your little guy is otherwise active and healthy, which is reassuring. Hope that helps.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:46
      Jessica: It certainly sounds like non-heart related chest pain. I suspect his doctor is spot on in terms of his evaluation. Hope that helps.
  37. Tessa Idrees May 26, 14:30
    My son is almost 7 years old and sometimes he is not even doing anything strenuous and he will come tell me that his heart is sore and I should take his temperature, on feeling his heartbeat it will be palpitating extremely FAST, he sometimes complains of abdominal pains at the same time, but very rare. I am concerned at the fast rate that his heart would be beating and that not doing anything like running or sport. Like tonight it happened while he had a total quiet afternoon and had been sitting and watching television for the majority of the late afternoon. Please could you advise me on this, it has happened quite often and also he seems to sometimes get such bad headaches that he vomits from it...Thank-you for the time to help. Kind Regards a concerned Mother.Tessa
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:36
      Tessa: Kids can have irregular heart rhythms and sometimes these are discovered by noticing a fast heart rate at times of rest. A 7 year old should have a heart rate of less than 120 beats per minute when he or she is relaxed. If you are noticing a heart rate significantly above that rate, I would discuss that your child's doctor. It may be that an evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist is a good option. If you can count the heart rate over a minute, that would be quite helpful. Hope that helps.
  38. Megan May 27, 06:12
    I have been having chest pains for a while now, they used to be quick stabbing pains that made me stop breathing for a while but right now it is more of a tight pain that has been going on for a few hours. It's like a tightening pain right over my heart, maybe a little higher. I'm very concerned I will die or have some sort of heart failure if I go to sleep. My dad said it was just growing pains. Thank you so very much for your help.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author May 28, 08:35
      Megan: Your dad is very likely to be correct. However, it sounds like you are very worried. Have you expressed these worries to your parents? Sometimes talking to your doctor can help relieve some of these concerns, which may be the most helpful thing to do at this point. Remember that heart disease is uncommon in kids and young adults. In addition, chest pain is caused by the heart less than 1% of the time in young adults. It is very different than chest pain in adults over the age of 40. Hope that helps.
      • nams May 30, 12:08
        m sorry this is in continuation with my query no.39 below. i didnt know how to edit it so please note that below problem is happening since 2 months . n 3 doctors said it was fine but the pain is sharp and really scary though not constant so pleaseeeee reply below query :) n the doc told me to do exercises and no medicines required . ill do exercises but will i just have to be patient ? and do i consult a pulmonologist or not required ?
        • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
          Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 01, 11:27
          Nams: It sounds like you have had several experts evaluate this pain and I think you should feel reassured by their assessment. Chest pain in teenagers can be quite painful and irritating, but thankfully it is very rarely related to the heart. I would focus instead on managing the anxiety that you speak of. Hope that helps.
  39. Leila May 28, 21:39
    Hello there. I'm a 14 year old girl living in the Philippines. Lately, I've been getting chest pains somewhere on the upper left side of my chest. I keep getting worried about it but seeing your recent answers to other comments, I can say that it might be normal. But then, this ache I feel is associated with me unconsciously forgetting to breathe when I sleep, causing me to wake up like I've been drowning. I also had incidents of "nearly passing out". By nearly, I mean when I'm about to fall from getting very dizzy but I don't pass out on the floor. I told my parents about chest pains years ago. At 2011 actually. By then the doctor just prescribed me with pain killers and it lessened. I'm scared because it came back this year and it keeps getting worse although I don't feel it often. Maybe about 4-7 times a month. I don't know if there's something wrong with me because this aching is making me paranoid. :( Just before I wrote this comment, I had an aching episode that lasted maybe 5 minutes or less. It's also aching whenever I go to sleep. Like when I lay down to sleep, it hurts and I kept remembering the time I forgot to actually breathe. Now I have loss of sleep... Thank you for reading and hope that I can get well sooner or whatever because I'm really tired of fighting the pain away.
    • Leila May 28, 21:43
      But I'm not saying whenever I go to sleep it hurts. Sometimes I just get so paranoid that it'll come back once again.
      • Leila May 28, 21:45
        It may be hurting for a short period of time but each time it goes back, it's worse. Short yet painful.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 01, 11:30
      Leila: From your description, it certainly seems that your are experiencing the normal chest muscle pain of teenagers (as you acknowledge in your question). The episodes of "nearly passing out" sound a lot like what happens when people get up from sitting, squatting, or lying down too quickly, which is quite common. However, if these passing out episodes are associated with activity, then I would make sure you talk to your doctor. I also don't know what to make of your description of forgetting to breath when you sleep – have you mentioned this to your parents and/or your doctor? It's most likely that none of these symptoms have anything to do with your heart, but given that you are reporting all of these concerns, I think it would be best to make an appointment with your doctor. Hope that helps.
      • Leila June 08, 21:36
        Thank you for the reply :)
  40. Rabi May 29, 07:13
    Hi ,I am 18 years old.. From last 2 years i was facing sharp chest pain.when i went to doctor she said its nothing n gave me some medicines after taking medicines i felt that i am well now... But again now from 2 months i am suffering from pain in my hands,arms,neck and legs down to feet..My left hand and left shoulder blade hurts more than other body parts i feel pressure and burning sensation in my chest..My left arm has lost its power whenever i pick up something my arm feels like its going to fall..i cant even hold something tightly .. Secondly a strange head ache that comes and goes... Even when i wake up from a good sleep i feel headache and sometime its too much...my urine was very dark in colour..it was brownish which is now colourless like water..one more thing is that one of the nails of my right hand is purplish..wherever i go people ask me what happened to your nail..i didnt had any accident or anything and nor is it from the day i born..it started becoming purplish as i entered my teenage.. Last month i went to doctor for blood and urine tests but it was all well .. I took lots of medicines but still m getting weak and body pains that never goes away .. Headache is often at left side of the head and hurt my eye too ...My eyes were white but now they seems a bit yellow .. Doctor says all is well..there nothing to worry about.. My heart beat increases whenever i walk fast or i just walk two steps...i dont know whats goin on with me .. Can u help please? I cant bear this body aches anymore..i lost 3 kg of my weight simply.. Which sometimes increase and somtimes its decreased..its was 49 kg and now it is 46 kg ... Help me......
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 01, 11:28
      Rabi: I am sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time at present. However, I am not likely to be able to help you more than a doctor you can see in person. It sounds like some testing was performed and that was all normal. I would trust the recommendation of the doctor and if you feel there is more to discuss, you can always make another appointment. Sorry I can't be of more help.
      • Rabi June 01, 12:28
        Its ok doctor... But still if u can tell me something about the left arm pain that doesnt go away anytime ..In addtition to that m having neck pain along with arm pain... Thanks for reply .. :) ...
        • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
          Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 04, 08:43
          Rabi: I am sorry to report that I am not able to clarify the reason your are experiencing these symptoms any further. I would need to be able to perform a physical exam, which is not possible in this format. Best of luck.
          • Rabi June 04, 10:59
            Okay ..thank you .. :)
  41. Chelsy May 29, 09:15
    My 3 year old has been telling me his heart hurts, always in the morning right after he gets up. This has been happening for the last few weeks, we get through our morning and he makes it to school (daycare) fine. Its just very worrisome when your 3 year old says "mommy the icky stuff is squeezing my heart" Thank you Chelsy
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 01, 11:28
      Chelsy: I agree with you that 3 years old is a young age to consistently report pain. As is the case with most young children, I suspect what he means when stating that his "heart hurts" is that his chest hurts. However, chest pain in his age group is a little different than a teenager. Thus, I would suggest a chat with his regular doctor. If there is some underlying reason, it is not likely to be the heart, but there are other possible reasons for chest pain (asthma and reflux more likely than a heart concern). Hope that helps.
  42. nams May 30, 12:03
    i am 17 yr old and am having chest pain since 2 months. it comes in different places all the time and it is sharp . 2 cardiologists took ecg and ekg and said it was absolutley normal . it was anxiety. so i went to do physician . he said sometimes some nerves get stimulated and this happens it will dissapear on its own . no need to worry at all . but it is quite irritating. i would be very thankful for telling if i really need to stop following up doctors and relax !
  43. Selena May 30, 20:59
    Hi so one part of my chest hurts and the other doesn't it please help :-(
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 01, 11:26
      Selena: I'm afraid that your short description makes it hard to offer any specific help. However, as you can read from this blog, please know that most chest pain episodes in kids/young adults are not related to the heart. Hope that helps.
  44. Sophie June 02, 02:40
    Hi I am a 13 year old girl and I have costochondritis, but I am still quite worried if it is something else. I have been having chest pains for a while, since early last year. I went to the doctors and she said I have costochondritis. I went home and learned about it. Apparently, costochondritis goes on for a short period of time, shorter than I have had my chest pains for. I have not only been having chest pains, but also a bit of back pain kind of high to the left side. I get these pains very often. I am quite a worry-er! I know that my left bone of the upper middle of the chest (sorry I'm not sure what it's called) kind of pops out more than the right. Also, sometimes if I press on my left ribs it hurts in some ribs. I rarely get the back and chest pains on my right side. I eat pretty healthy, having things like hummus, carrots, crackers and apples. I sometimes get a bit of an achy pain in my upper arm recently, but then again I did have immunizations about 3 weeks ago. Sometimes I find that when I run my chest pains don't hurt. I am quite worried, please let me know if I am just worrying too much and it really is chostocondritis, a stress thing (I stress a lot about this) or if it's something I should be worrying about. Thank you!
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 04, 08:41
      Sophie: Thanks for your question. Whether your chest pain is from costochondritis or another chest muscle issue, it certainly sounds like it is not related to your heart. Unfortunately, this type of teenage chest pain can go on for a very long time, but that does not mean that something terrible is going on. In fact, the longer you have these types of symptoms, the more confident I am that your heart is not the source. You are also right to notice that stress and worry can make the pain worse. Hope that helps and make sure to tell your parents that you continue to notice this pain.
  45. Erin June 02, 02:51
    Hi, I am a 14 year old girl and recently I've been having pains in the right side of my chest. These pains only last ten or so seconds and they usually occur when I bend over or am sitting down and move to the side. But they only happen once or twice a week, not every time I bend over. The thing that is worrying me about these pains are that they are on the right side of my chest.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 04, 08:40
      Erin: The location of the pain is not actually a sign of any worrisome problem. In fact, your pain sounds a lot like that of other teens your age – that is to say, it sounds like the common chest muscle pain that is brief, episodic, sharp, random, and not exclusively with exercise. Make sure you share how you are feeling with your parents. However, as you will read in the blog, the odds are very strong that your heart is not the source of this pain. Hope that helps.
  46. Katelyn June 04, 10:23
    I'm typing on my phone so let me clear up some of what I said. The pain is not extremely bad, I can bare it, but is extremely uncomfortable. And because of asthma and mitral valve prolapse is what I believe it's called, I wanted to ask. And I forgot to mention I get tired even when I haven't done anything.
  47. Katelyn June 04, 11:24
    Hi, im Katelyn and I'm 14. I don't think that my chest pains are anything really. Asthma runs through my family and my mom had a heart problem where a valve doesn't close correctly. Because of these reasons I thought I would just ask. So let me tell you what I feel, there's pain all throughout my lungs, ribs, spine, neck, and sometimes my abdomen. The pain isn't too bad and it's bearable but it's very uncomfortable. I get out of breath very easily like vacuming or getting groceries out of the car. I somtimes have trouble breathing as well. I sometimes feel I need to vomit but I haven't yet. I don't just feel these pains when laying down, it's all the time. Every once in a while the pains will stop but it's usually everyday. It's been going on for a week and I think I should wait and see if they stop. I am always so tired too, even if I get a lot of sleep. And like i said I'm not too worried about it, I feel like if I go to the doctors they will say all is ok. I have told my mom and she said if it continues she will take me to the doctor but I don't think it's necessary.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 05, 10:43
      Katelyn: It sounds like you have given this a lot of thought. I am glad to hear you have told your mom how you are feeling. I think your approach sounds like a good plan, especially if you are keeping your parents notified of any changes. However, if your symptoms worsen (more severe, more frequent) and you begin to worry more, then a visit to your doctor may be a good idea. Hope that helps.
  48. kavitha June 05, 10:41
    Hi, My 3 1/2 old child getting pain in left chest whenever I am feeding food. But rest the time he is very quite. I am concerning whether is having reason for avoiding food or really it's a problem.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 08, 10:22
      Kavitha: This sounds like something you should discuss with your child's doctor. Pain with eating can be a product of reflux/heartburn or it could be related to pain with swallowing (possible compression of the esophagus). Or alternatively, it might be behavioral and not related to a physical problem. Your child's regular doctor should be able to sort this out. Hope that helps.
  49. Ariana June 10, 06:22
    Hi I'm 15 and since Christmas I have been having on and off chest pain. I do have a heat contion called pumnary valve stenosis I don't know if that spelled right. It is just on and off it hurts more if I take a deap bearth.........thanks
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 11, 09:06
      Ariana: Because non-heart related chest pain in adolescents is so common, even those teens born with congenital heart defect conditions like yours (pulmonary valve stenosis) will have these episodes without the heart being the source of the pain. In fact, the on-off nature of the pain you describe since December (especially with more pain on deep breathing which stretches the chest from the inside) makes this sound a lot like non-heart related pain. However, your risk for heart related pains is higher than the teenage population without a congenital heart defect history. Thus, here is my advice: First, tell you parents. Second, let your regular doctor know. If everyone agrees that this sounds like non-heart related chest pain, then that should settle the question. However, if there is any continued worry for the heart as the source, then talk to your pediatric cardiologist. Hope that helps.
      • Ariana June 11, 22:44
        Ya I next time I will tell my dad but the last time I went to a heart docter was like 14 years ago aha. Because I used to live in Texas and my heart docter is in Texas. Anyways whe I so it hurts more if I bearth like when I bearth the pain just shoots it too my lungs. Oh and also I did have a hole in my heart when I was. By but it closed up on it own
      • Ari June 11, 22:56
        Thanks did u receive my other replay I don't see it but anyway I forgot to say that I did have a hole in my heart when I was a baby but it closed on it own. The last time I been to a heart docter was about 14 years ago. Because I used to live in Texas and the place that I want was there. But when I take a bearth the pain shoots in to my lungs. When I having it I don't take deep bearth cuz it hurts the next time it happens I will tell my dad.
  50. megan June 10, 11:50
    hi, i'm a 14 year old girl and i have been getting a horrible chest pain just below my sternum and it has been worrying me a bit. i have just had a severe cold for about 2 weeks and i wondered if that had anything to do with it as i have been coughing a lot too.
    • Dr. Nicolas Madsen
      Dr. Nicolas Madsen Author June 18, 13:31
      Megan: Coughing can definitely lead to chest pain. We often don't appreciate how much stress and strain coughs place on our chest. I know this well as I watch kids recover from heart surgery every week, and every time they cough, it hurts their recovering chest a lot. Hopefully your cough is better at this point and the chest pain is getting better. Hope that helps.
      • Lex April 28, 00:18
        Hi I’m a 13 year old female and this whole week my heart has been hurting. It feels like little pokes. Usually lasts 10 seconds or less. This pain always happens when I’m lying down. Sometimes it happens when I’m standing and sitting. I don’t get why this pain is happening because this whole week I’ve just been sleeping or gaming. I did eat like a bird this week and I haven’t drank water at all. I don’t think it’s gas because I haven’t been eating gassy foods.
        • Rachel Camper
          Rachel Camper April 30, 05:31
          Hi Lex, I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing chest pain. If you haven't already, please talk to your parents about it. You might find it helpful to watch Dr. Madsen's video together. It could help you determine which symptoms are worrisome and warrant a trip to your doctor. Hope this helps!