Children and Heart Murmurs

In many cases, heart murmurs in children are harmless. However, if other symptoms are also present, the murmur may be a sign of heart problems. The treatment for heart problems that cause abnormal murmurs varies depending on the specific disease or condition.

Children and Heart Murmurs: An Introduction

The normal sounds heard during a heartbeat -- "lub-DUPP" or "lub-DUB" -- are the sounds of valves closing as blood moves through the heart. A heart murmur is an extra or unusual sound heard during the heartbeat. Murmurs can be very faint or very loud, and sometimes sound like a whooshing or swishing noise.
 
A heart murmur is not a disease; it is a sound that the doctor hears with the stethoscope. It can be normal in some children, or it could be a sign that something may be wrong. While most heart murmurs are harmless, some are a sign of a heart problem -- especially if other signs or symptoms of a heart problem are present.
 

Types of Heart Murmurs in Children

Heart murmurs can be innocent (harmless) or abnormal (meaning there are other signs or symptoms of a heart problem).
 
  • Innocent (harmless) murmurs. A child with an innocent murmur has a normal heart and usually has no other symptoms or signs of a heart problem. Innocent murmurs are common in healthy children.
     
  • Abnormal murmurs. A child with an abnormal murmur usually has other signs or symptoms of a heart problem. Most abnormal murmurs in children are due to congenital heart disease (heart defects that are present at birth).
     

What Are the Symptoms?

Most children with a murmur do not have any other heart murmur symptoms. The murmur is usually harmless. However, if a child has an abnormal heart murmur, he or she may have symptoms that include:
 
  • Blue coloring of the skin, especially on the fingertips and inside the mouth
  • Poor eating and failure to grow normally (in infants)
  • Fast breathing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue.
     
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters

Information on Heart Murmurs

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2014 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.