16 answers

Chest Pain in 4 Year Old Daughter

Last week my 4 year old daughter was complaining of horrible chest pain, she could hardly move, she was doubled over, and she said it hurt when she breathed. She also had a fever. I gave her a TUMS earlier in the day wondering if it was heartburn but it didn't help. I also gave her Tylenol and it helped her fever some. I ended up taking her in to the ER because she kept complaining and the pain wasn't going away, kinda weird for a 4 year old. At the ER, they first said she had an irregular heartbeat (she had an innocent heart murmur when she was 2), they did a chest xray and an EKG and said that everything was fine. So, I guess my question is, has anyone else had a child with chest pain, and what was the diagnosis? They sent her home and said just to watch her and that the pain was coming from the chest wall. The next day she was kinda out of it, but has since then bounced back.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

How does she react to wheat products? When I was younger I would get horrible chest pains and it seemed to be after I ingested wheat. I would get her a blood test CBC for Celiac disease.

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How does she react to wheat products? When I was younger I would get horrible chest pains and it seemed to be after I ingested wheat. I would get her a blood test CBC for Celiac disease.

Hi J.,

I know that my daughter gets heartburn from time to time and when she was younger she was put on meds for it. She would just say that it hurts and points to wear it hurt. Heartburn and that run in her family on her dad's side and can be passed on. I only have heartburn when I am pregnant and have been getting it now. This is the worse I've ever had it where I am throwing up and double over with pain, crying. I have gotten a fever with it as well as some back pain that only comes when the heartburn comes. You may want to talk to your childs doctor about it, it could be heartburn and they may put her on something or run tests of their own to know what is going on.

Good Luck.

Hello J., Go to the records dept. at the hospital and request copies of all of her records including the EKG. With all of that in hand, talk to her regular doctor about it. If you get no answers then consult with a specialist. Don't stop until you get your questions answered. Remember, the squeeky wheel gets the oil, so keep squeeking! Good luck, and happy holidays.

If my 4 year old complained of chest pain, I would take her to the pediatrician. The thing is about ER doctors they don't specialize in any one field, especially children. If she had an innocent heart murmur (I'll be honest I am not clear as to what that means) when she was 2, I definitely would be going to the pediatrician, and maybe a heart specialist.

My intention is not to scare you, but I feel it is better to be safe than sorry.

I hope everything goes well!


J. -
What a scary experience for your daughter - I have had this same pain as has my friends daughter who is 15. I thought I was having a heart attack so went to the ER. all tests came back fine - blood work, ekg, x-rays - so they ended up calling it some long medical term - basically the muscle between the ribs was inflammed, so when I breathed (especially deep breath) the rib cage expanding made those muscles expand causing pain. They told me to rest, use advil for pain, no heavy lifting for a couple of weeks. It did eventually go away.
My friends daughter, ended up having a virus that had settled in the muscles between the ribs and she was not allowed to do sports, run etc for several weeks. She is better now and has been released to do sports, but she said it still hurts some if she really gives 100% at baskeball.
Hope this helps some and that your daughter gets to feeling better.

It could be Pleurisy (sp?) which is an inflamation of the lungs. I would follow up with your pediatrician, even if she is feeling better.



I would strongly suggest making an appt with your pediatrician. From there I would request a referral to see a pediatrician cardiologist. It doesn't hurt to be extra cautious.


I would definetly follow up with your Ped Dr. And maybe get a second opinion. In my opinion you dont want to mess around with kids and their hearts. Keep a close eye on her too.

My 6 year old complained about this some time ago. She began throwing up in the mornings before she even ate. We took her in to the doc and they said it was acid reflux. Im not sure if your daughter has the same thing, but it might be something else to look into, Good luck~~~

Of course you are going to follow up with your pediatrician, right? I can say, that the muscles between the ribs are very, very tender, and if they get pulled, it really hurts. It would be unusual to be doubled over in pain, but it could happen. The fact that she had a fever doesn't lead to that though, it almost sounds like a pluracy (sp?) (inflammation of the lining of the lung.) Please do followup with your pediatrician if you haven't done so already. And I don't mean next week, or tomorrow. Today. It's better to check it out further, even though you have been to the er.

G-d, that had to be scary. I agree, most Emergency Rooms do not specialize in Pediatric medicine. If she complains about her chest hurting again, take her to the ER at the University of Michigan. They have a Pediatric ER and it's fantastic. I've had to take my kids there a few times for high fevers and they are absolutely great. Good luck and I hope she feels better!

I've had chest pain on and off forever, even putting me in the ER with no reasonable explination. The EKG sometimes shows inverted Q-waves, but they don't know what that means, which I still don't know how a doctor cannot know what that doesn't mean. I've been through cardiac stress tests and all and they still don't know what causes the pain. BUT, since I've been on this muscle relaxer for my fibromyalgia, I've noticed that I don't have it anymore, which makes me think MAYBE it was just simply a muscle spasm around the heart??? I don't know. Sometimes, belching would help too, so it could just be a gas bubble under the rib cage. Best thing to do would be to check with a cardiologist to be sure. You definitely don't want to take a chance with your baby girl. Better safe than sorry.

J.-My oldest daughter who is now 26, used to do the same thing. We have a history of heart disease in the family, so like you, I took her to the ER. They told me it was just "gas". You could actually see a bulge in her chest. So on the way home from the ER, I stopped and bought a 2 liter bottle of 7-Up and one of Vernors Ginger Ale. When we got home, I poured about 1 cup of the 7-up in a glass and told her she had to drink it all - fast. It worked. She stood there with her shirt off and you could actually see the bulge start moving! It slowly moved upward and all of a sudden she let go of this huge burp, that did not sound like it could have possibly come from a child! She smiled, said "cuse me", laid down n the floor and went sound to sleep! Another type of pop or soda that works really well is Faygo Cream Soda. I am not a mom who gives their kids sugar loaded drinks, but the crbonation in these three really help the movement of gas! After all these years, she still calls Cream Soda "burping" pop.

Did they mention or ask you at the hospital that it is possible that she may have pulled some chest muscles. I myself have done that, and I too was scared. Fortunatley my mother is an cardiac care nurse. She listened to my heart and checked my blood pressure, and then I took Motrin and the pain went away within a half hour. So, that could be a possibility.


Please take her to a chiropractor.

sounds like inflammation of the cartilage of the ribcage or muscles between the ribcage, essentially what the Docs said. Not sure why it develops but symptoms sound related to the ribcage or chest wall rather than the heart itself. Chest pain from the heart or radiating from the stomach is usually not related to breathing. . When someone has pain from the chest wall or ribcage it is made worse with inhalation( taking a breath) because those structures expand as the lungs expand.

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