Should You Worry About Your Child’s Chest Pain?
A sudden, sharp pain in your child’s chest may be scary, but it’s rarely anything serious. Learn when to worry and when it’s just Texidor’s twinge.
Kids can get chest pain too — even sudden, sharp pain that takes their breath away.
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While it may be scary, brief episodes of chest pain usually aren’t caused by the heart or lungs, says pediatric cardiologist Kenneth Zahka, MD.
“Of course, heart problems are the first thing many parents think of, but chest pain in children is most often not due to a serious condition,” he says.
So what does frequently cause chest pain in kids and teens? It could be due to:
These conditions go away in a few days. The best treatment is taking pain relievers and staying away from activities that aggravate the pain.
Texidor’s twinge (also called precordial catch syndrome) is also a common cause of childhood chest pain. (It’s named for one of the physicians who first identified it in 1955.) Fortunately, the most harm it does is cause worry.
Dr. Zahka describes it as:
This pain can be stunning. But it typically leaves as quickly as it comes — with no explanation.
What causes Texidor’s twinge isn’t known for sure, but it most likely has nothing to do with the heart. Some doctors think it’s a muscle cramp or caused by a compressed nerve.
So what should you do about Texidor’s twinge? Like other common childhood chest pain, there’s no treatment for it, but it should go away quickly on its own. If the pain recurs, try anti-inflammatory medicine, like ibuprofen.
“Texidor’s twinge isn’t dangerous or life-threatening and usually resolves by adulthood,” says Dr. Zahka.
Serious chest pain feels different than Texidor’s twinge, according to Dr. Zahka. Usually, serious pain is:
Pain related to the heart also typically radiates out from the chest. If your child has these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
It’s never wrong to consult a healthcare professional if you are worried about your child’s chest pain symptoms. A pediatrician or pediatric cardiologist can help get to the bottom of it.