Having a healthy heart is a big part of your child's life. Palm Beach Children's Hospital has a strong and passionate cardiovascular care team dedicated to improving children's quality of life.

Exceptional Cardiovascular Care for Children in Florida

Choosing the right provider for your child's heart care is essential. At Palm Beach Children's Hospital, you'll find a dedicated heart team of experienced pediatric cardiologists and staff who can provide excellent care, treatment and support to young patients and their families regardless of their heart journey.

While we offer minimally invasive cardiovascular care options and procedures, we usually start with conservative, noninvasive options to treat a range of heart conditions as the first line of treatment. Our team takes cardiovascular care to heart. From cardiothoracic surgery to routine screenings and interventional cardiology—we're here for you and your child with exceptional and compassionate care.

Fill out our request referral form or call 561-844-6300, and we'll connect you to our dedicated staff to provide helpful information about our pediatric cardiologists and services and assist you in making an appointment.

What Is the Purpose of Electrocardiography?

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a simple and painless test that measures the heart's electrical activity. The electrocardiogram test procedure can help pediatric cardiologists detect and locate problems within the heart, including the rate and regularity of your child's heartbeats, the size and position of your child's heart chambers and whether there is any damage.

The heart works by contracting in a particular order. This contraction forces blood to move within the heart's chambers. An electrical signal tells the different sections when to contract and rest. An electrocardiogram detects and records this signal as it travels across the heart.

How Do You Do an EKG on a Child?

A technician attaches small metal tabs called electrodes to different points on the shoulders, chest, wrists and ankles with sticky patches. Once the wires or leads are connected, your child must lie still on a table while the EKG machine records the heart's electrical activity. The machine prints out a tracing of each lead's activity on special graph paper. Your child may have to get up and exercise for a while as part of the test. A physician will then review the printout and interpret the results. The entire test takes only about 10 minutes.

The graph shows multiple waves reflecting the activity of the heart and read as follows:

  • Heart rate – the number of waves per minute on the graph
  • Heart rhythm – the distances between these waves

Additionally, the shapes of the waves show how well the heart's electrical impulses are working, the size of the heart and how well the individual parts of the heart are working together. At the same time, the consistency of the waves provides information about any heart damage.

Why Would a Child Need an EKG?

An electrocardiogram helps evaluate signs and symptoms that indicate heart problems. Patients experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue or unusual heart sounds found during an exam may need an EKG. If your child has symptoms such as a pounding, racing or fluttering heart or uneven heartbeats, then your child's heart doctor may order an electrocardiogram.

Other reasons to get an electrocardiogram:

  • Your child has had a heart attack or other heart problems in the past
  • You have a family history of heart disease
  • Your healthcare provider may want to check your child's heart health before a scheduled surgery or procedure
  • Your child has a pacemaker
  • Your child is taking medicine for heart disease

An electrocardiogram may help diagnose several problems with the heart, including:

  • Reduced blood flow to the heart muscle
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Problems with the heart not beating forcefully enough
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Diseases of the heart's valves

The electrocardiogram recording not only shows what the heart is doing at the time of the test but also indicates problems in the past, such as a previous heart attack. A previous EKG can be used as a comparison to help detect problems. Computerized electrocardiograms are used with other tests, such as echocardiograms and thallium scans, to help produce more accurate heart images.

Adults may need to have a baseline EKG once they reach their 40s. Anyone with a close family history of heart disease (father, mother or sibling) may need EKGs to help detect heart disease in earlier, more treatable stages. 

Why Choose Palm Beach Children's Hospital for Your Child's Heart Care?

When it comes to your child's heart, you want a passionate team of heart doctors and staff and advanced treatment in one place. Our commitment to excellent heart care for children reflects our recognition from the American Heart Association for stroke and heart failure treatment. At Palm Beach Children's Hospital, you can rest assured that your child's heart is in the right place with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable heart doctors and nurses. 

Insurances Accepted and Payment Plan Options

We understand that choosing proper care for your child's heart requires making important healthcare decisions. At Palm Beach Children's Hospital, we'll provide you with all the information you need upfront, including financial obligations. 

We have made it easier for you and your family to make payment arrangements that fit your budget through out-of-pocket prices and procedures for your peace of mind. We work with various insurance providers and flexible payment plans for most treatments and procedures. Please contact your insurance carrier directly if you have questions about your child's covered services and benefits. Watch this video or call 833-850-5053 to learn how we make healthcare more affordable for you and your family. 

If your child has an upcoming procedure or surgery you've been putting off, our dedicated staff is ready to address your questions and help make financial arrangements. Please visit our patient financial resources page to learn about our insurance, billing, payment plans, pricing information and estimates.

Find a Pediatric Heart Doctor in Palm Beach, Florida

We're here to help you determine the best care possible for your child's heart. Visit us at Palm Beach Children's Hospital, and we'll explore treatment options for your child's heart condition, so you can better understand the risks of some treatments and procedures. We're here with safe and compassionate care, always.

Let's help you better understand your child's heart. Please call 866-236-5933 or find a pediatric cardiologist near your location. If your child has signs of a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Please don't delay care.