Can Kids Have Heart Attacks?

Like any other elementary school kid, Jane was playing with her friends when she suddenly fell to the ground and became unconscious. Without wasting any second, a staff member performed CPR upon finding that Jane was experiencing chaotic heartbeats and wasn’t breathing too well. The 911 dispatcher guided the teacher until help arrived. Meanwhile, the staff was able to get the area sheriff involved, who continued the process along with a defibrillator to get Jane conscious. Although Jane was taken away by the ambulance and had a long road to recovery, lifesaving CPR improved the outcome. This is a perfect example of receiving the necessary training, acting promptly, and saving someone’s life.
The number of American adults living with heart conditions has always been widely reported. But we do not realize that cardiovascular problems can affect little hearts too. Over 40,000 infants are born with birth defects of the heart, out of which almost 25% require invasive treatments right in the first year.  The condition is no better for older kids, and heart-related issues, especially heart attack and heart failure, are becoming commonplace. To find more information about children’s heart risks check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Difference Between A Heart Attack And Heart Failure

Joyful boy jumping on Playground

Child playing on playground

What distinguishes a heart attack from heart failure? In layman’s language, a heart attack is an emergency as the blood flow to a part of the heart may be partially or entirely cut off. On the other hand, heart failure gradually weakens the heart’s ability to pump blood to different body parts. You might observe a similarity in symptoms like chest pain, breathlessness, discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back, fatigue, weakness, wheezing, irregular heartbeat, and more. However, the difference lies in how a part of the heart can lose its blood flow compared to when it loses its ability to pump blood effectively. A heart attack comes first and gradually weakens the heart’s pumping ability leading to life-threatening consequences.

Can Kids Have A Heart Attack?

Can a kid have a heart attack? Kids and teens can experience heart problems and get an attack. However, it is very rare and can often result from congenital defects. Kids in otherwise good health can also get on the road to poor heart health without proper advice. Therefore, following heart-healthy habits early on can reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and optimal lifestyle choices can prevent the situation from worsening.

Being Proactive Can Be Lifesaving

The first few moments after a heart attack and heart failure are crucial. On average, it can take minutes or more for help to arrive. With each passing minute, the survival chances get slim. Knowing what to do and what not to do can be the real differentiator in saving a child’s life.
Even with basic training, bystanders, family members, and employees can take steps to care for someone suffering. Doctors and parents of Jane acknowledge that Jane wouldn’t be here with them if she hadn’t received quality CPR. Hence, emergency training can save lives, and Jane is living proof.
Check out relevant courses by First Response Training to get certified and empowered and prepare yourself for emergencies.

Check out relevant courses by First Response Training to get certified and empowered and prepare yourself for emergencies.

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