Fred Bodimer, KMOX Health & Religion Editor

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –– A local cardiologist says parents should use Valentine’s Day to take a step back and think about their child’s heart health.

Abnormal heart rhythms (also known as cardiac dysrhythmia or arrhythmia) are more common than you might think — one half of one percent of all kids have them — according to Dr. George Van Hare, director of Cardiology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital:

“Typically, it’s an episode of the heart going very rapidly when it really shouldn’t be going so rapidly,” Van Hare says. “We all know that our heart goes fast when we exercise, so this would be your heart going fast at other times, or after exercise, it keeps beating fast for a very long period of time.”

The heart beat may also be too slow, and may be regular or irregular. Once diagnosed, Van Hare says medications can be used to control them, but he says in many cases an outpatient procedure called a catheter ablation is used to correct it.

(Copyright KMOX)


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