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Wolff-parkinson-white Syndrome in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a condition that causes tachycardia (fast heartbeat). A normal heartbeat in babies is 100 to 150 beats per minute, and 55 to 110 in older children. WPW may cause 150 to 300 heartbeats per minute. WPW develops because an extra piece of heart muscle causes more electrical activity within your child's heart. WPW can develop for no known reason. Congenital heart disease or a family history of WPW can increase his risk.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your older child has chest pain or feels dizzy or faint.
- Your child has fast or abnormal heartbeats even after treatment.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to slow or regulate your child's heartbeat.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Vagal maneuvers are methods that can slow your child's heartbeat during a WPW episode. Your healthcare provider may recommend your child coughs, holds his breath, or puts an ice pack on his face.
Have your child carry medical alert identification:
Have him wear jewelry or carry a card that says he has WPW. Ask your child's healthcare provider where to get these items.
Ask about exercise:
Exercise can cause episodes of irregular heartbeats. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise your child needs each day and which exercises are safe for him. Ask if he can play sports.
Limit your child's caffeine as directed:
Caffeine can trigger episodes of irregular heartbeats. Your child's healthcare provider may tell you not to allow your child to have caffeine.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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