Symptoms that Might Indicate a Heart Problem

This is a list of the most common symptoms that might indicate a heart problem in children.

In most cases, children with these symptoms don't have heart problems. For instance, some children naturally sweat more, and many children sweat while they sleep. Palpitations may be caused by caffeine. Dizziness may suggest that your child isn't drinking enough fluid.

However, if your child has any of these symptoms, it's important to tell your pediatrician or primary care doctor. He or she will listen to your child's heart and make a full medical evaluation, and then decide whether a referral to a pediatric cardiologist is appropriate.

  • Infants
    • Getting out of breath with feeds
    • Getting sweaty with feeds
    • Turning blue inside the mouth (gums/tongue)
    • Passing out
  • Toddlers/children
    • Unable to keep up physically with other children
    • Getting out of breath with activity sooner than other children
    • Getting sweaty with activity sooner than other children
    • Turning blue around the gums/tongue
    • Passing out
  • Older children/teens
    • Unable to keep up physically with other children
    • Getting out of breath with activity sooner than other children
    • Getting sweaty with exercise sooner than other children
    • Turning blue around the gums/tongue
    • Chest pain with exercise
    • Passing out
    • Palpitations — heart skipping a beat or beating abnormally
    • Dizziness with exercise

Reviewed by Marie M. Gleason, MD, FAAP, FACC on May 02, 2013