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Heart Health

  • A to Z Symptom: Chest Pain A to Z Symptom: Chest Pain

    Most causes of chest pain in kids and teens are not serious and will clear up with minimal or no treatment.

  • A to Z: Arteritis A to Z: Arteritis

    Learn about conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

  • A to Z: Atresia A to Z: Atresia

    Learn about congenital defects and conditions that affect vessels, valves, and passages in the heart and other organs.

  • A to Z: Endocardial Cushion Defect A to Z: Endocardial Cushion Defect

    Learn about congenital heart defects and conditions that affect newborn babies.

  • A to Z: Hypertension, Intracranial A to Z: Hypertension, Intracranial

    Learn about causes of vision loss and conditions that can affect the brain and nervous system.

  • A to Z: Periarteritis Nodosa A to Z: Periarteritis Nodosa

    See Polyarteritis Nodosa.

  • A to Z: Polyarteritis Nodosa A to Z: Polyarteritis Nodosa

    Learn about polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), a rare disease causing inflammation of the blood vessels.

  • Aortic Stenosis Aortic Stenosis

    Aortic stenosis means the aortic valve is too small, narrow, or stiff. Many people have no symptoms, but kids with more severe cases will need surgery so that blood flows properly through the body.

  • Arrhythmias Arrhythmias

    Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms usually caused by an electrical "short circuit" in the heart. Many are minor and not a health threat, but some can indicate a more serious problem.

  • Atrial Septal Defect Atrial Septal Defect

    Atrial septal defect (ASD) — also known as a "hole in the heart" — is a type of congenital heart defect. Most ASDs are diagnosed and treated successfully.

  • Birth Defects Birth Defects

    Some birth defects are minor and cause no problems; others cause major disabilities. Learn about the different types of birth defects, and how to help prevent them.

  • Blood Blood

    Blood is vital to bodily function. Read this article for the basics about blood, blood cells, blood diseases, and more.

  • Body Basics: The Heart (Slideshow)

    Learn how this amazing muscle pumps blood throughout the body.

  • Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy

    Cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscle becomes weak and enlarged, which makes it difficult to pump blood through the body. There’s usually no cure for the condition in children, but it can be treated.

  • Coarctation of the Aorta Coarctation of the Aorta

    Coarctation of the aorta (COA) is a narrowing of the aorta, the major blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the body.

  • Congenital Heart Defects Congenital Heart Defects

    Congenital heart defects involve abnormal or incomplete development of the heart. Many treatments are available for the defects and their related health problems.

  • Ebstein Anomaly Ebstein Anomaly

    Ebstein anomaly is a rare heart defect that affects the tricuspid valve. It can cause problems that range from very mild to very serious.

  • First Aid: Chest Pains First Aid: Chest Pains

    Chest pain can be caused by many things, but it is rarely a sign of heart trouble in children. Here's what to do about it.

  • Heart and Circulatory System Heart and Circulatory System

    The heart and circulatory system are our body's lifeline, delivering blood to the body's tissues. Brush up on your ticker with this body basics article.

  • Heart Murmurs Heart Murmurs

    Heart murmurs are very common, and most are no cause for concern and won't affect a child's health.

  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    High blood pressure, or hypertension, is usually associated with older people. But some kids do have it, and it can be life-threatening if left untreated.

  • If Your Child Has a Heart Defect If Your Child Has a Heart Defect

    Congenital heart defects are relatively common, affecting almost 1 in every 100 newborns in the United States.

  • Interrupted Aortic Arch (IAA) Interrupted Aortic Arch (IAA)

    An interrupted aortic arch (IAA) is a rare heart condition in which the aorta doesn’t form completely. Surgery must be done within the first few days of a baby’s life to close the gap in the aorta.

  • Kawasaki Disease Kawasaki Disease

    Kawasaki disease is most common among children of Japanese and Korean descent, but can affect all ethnic groups. The first symptom is a high fever that lasts for at least 5 days.

  • Long QT Syndrome Long QT Syndrome

    Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a condition that affects the electrical system of the heart. Some kids have no symptoms, while others may feel changes in their heartbeat or feel lightheaded.

  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

    The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects two major arteries before birth and normally closes after a baby is born. If it stays open, the result is a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

  • Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

    The foramen ovale is a normal opening between the upper two chambers of an unborn baby’s heart. It usually closes soon after the baby’s birth — when it doesn't, it's called a patent foramen ovale.

  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

    Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) happens when the autonomic nervous system — which controls things like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing — doesn't work as it should.

  • Pulmonary Stenosis Pulmonary Stenosis

    Pulmonary stenosis means the pulmonary valve is too small, narrow, or stiff. Many people have no symptoms, but kids with more severe cases will need surgery so that blood flows properly through the body.

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

    Supraventricular tachycardia is a type of abnormal heart rhythm in which the heart beats very quickly.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)

    Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a combination of problems caused by a birth defect that changes the way blood flows through the heart.

  • Tricuspid Atresia Tricuspid Atresia

    Tricuspid atresia is a congenital heart defect. A baby born with tricuspid atresia often has serious symptoms soon after birth because blood flow to the lungs is much less than normal.

  • Truncus Arteriosus Truncus Arteriosus

    Truncus arteriosus is a heart defect that happens when a child is born with one large artery instead of two separate arteries.

  • Ventricular Septal Defect Ventricular Septal Defect

    Ventricular septal defect (VSD) — also known as a "hole in the heart" — is a congenital heart defect. Most VSDs are diagnosed and treated successfully.

  • When Your Baby Has a Birth Defect When Your Baby Has a Birth Defect

    If your child has a birth defect, you don't have to go it alone - many people and resources are available to help you.

  • When Your Child Needs a Heart Transplant When Your Child Needs a Heart Transplant

    If your child needs a heart transplant, you're probably feeling lots of emotions. Fortunately, many kids who undergo heart transplants go on to live normal, healthy lives.

  • Words to Know (Heart Glossary) Words to Know (Heart Glossary)

    A guide to medical terms about the heart and circulatory system. In an easy A-Z format, find definitions on heart defects, heart conditions, treatments, and more.

  • Caffeine Caffeine

    Caffeine is in many foods and drinks, but it's wise to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum, especially in younger kids. Here's why.

  • Carbohydrates and Sugar Carbohydrates and Sugar

    Carbs are the body's most important and readily available source of energy. The key is to eat healthy ones, like whole grains, and avoid foods with added sugar.

  • Cholesterol Cholesterol

    Most parents probably don't think about what cholesterol means for their kids. But high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, which has its roots in childhood.

  • Exercising During Pregnancy Exercising During Pregnancy

    Most women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you'll need to make a few changes to your normal exercise routine.

  • Fats Fats

    Some fats are good for kids and an important part of a healthy diet. Here's what parents should know.

  • Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year-Old Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year-Old

    Kids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.

  • Fitness and Your 2- to 3-Year-Old Fitness and Your 2- to 3-Year-Old

    Kids this age are naturally active, so be sure to provide lots of opportunities for your child to practice basic skills, such as running, kicking, and throwing.

  • Fitness and Your 4- to 5-Year-Old Fitness and Your 4- to 5-Year-Old

    Take advantage of your child's natural tendency to be active. Staying fit can help improve kids' self-esteem and decrease the risk of serious illnesses later in life.

  • Fitness and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old Fitness and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old

    School-age kids need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence, and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.

  • Fitness for Kids Who Don't Like Sports Fitness for Kids Who Don't Like Sports

    Some kids aren't natural athletes and they may say they just don't like sports. What then?

  • Healthy Drinks for Kids Healthy Drinks for Kids

    What kids drink can drastically affect the amount of calories consumed, as well as the amount of calcium needed to build strong bones.

  • Healthy Eating Healthy Eating

    Good nutrition and a balanced diet help kids grow up healthy. Here's how to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits.

  • How to Take Your Child's Pulse How to Take Your Child's Pulse

    Need to check your child's heart rate? Follow our guide and check with your doctor if you have questions.

  • Kids and Exercise Kids and Exercise

    Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.

  • Nutrition & Fitness Center Nutrition & Fitness Center

    You know the importance of exercising and eating nutritious foods, but do you know how to raise a healthy and active child? Get practical advice and tips.

  • One Formula for a Healthy Lifestyle One Formula for a Healthy Lifestyle

    Learn about an easy way to remember the basics of a healthy lifestyle for your kids.

  • Quick Poll: What Heart Healthy Choices Do You Make? Quick Poll: What Heart Healthy Choices Do You Make?

    Take our quick poll, and see how your habits compare with others'.

  • Should I Start My Child on an Exercise Program? Should I Start My Child on an Exercise Program?

    Find out what the experts have to say.

  • Strength Training Strength Training

    With a properly designed and supervised program, strength training can be a fun way for kids to build healthy muscles, joints, and bones.

  • Teaching Your Child How to Swallow Pills Teaching Your Child How to Swallow Pills

    Swallowing a pill is something that many of us take for granted. But just like any skill, learning to swallow a pill takes practice.

  • When Can Young Kids Start Exercising? When Can Young Kids Start Exercising?

    Find out what the experts have to say.

  • Your Child's Weight Your Child's Weight

    "What's the right weight for my child?" is one of the most common questions parents have. It seems like a simple one, but it's not always easy to answer.

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