4 Things to Know About Life With a Pacemaker

shutterstock_80224573As the technology that powers pediatric cardiology has improved, implanted pacemakers can generally provide reliable service from five to seven years or more.

Thanks to these advances, in most cases children with pacemakers lead normal life, healthy lives.

1. Precautions to Be Aware Of

In case of an emergency, your child should wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace to let others know about the device. Medical ID cards are also useful for children old enough to carry a wallet.

Modern electronic equipment such as mobile phones, radio transmitters and microwave ovens will not interfere with a pacemaker. However, your child should take care when handling magnets or coming close to very strong ones such as those used in security devices at airports or in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

2. Is It Possible to Be Active?

Once your child’s pacemaker has been implanted, they should be able to participate in the same play and physical activities as other kids their age. Having a pacemaker won’t prevent them from living a normal life, but there are a few considerations you should take into account.

When involved in a physical, recreational or sporting activity, children with a pacemaker should avoid the risk of being struck in the chest.

3. Make a Habit of Checking Pulses

Your doctor may ask you to check your child’s pulse rate periodically to ensure the pacemaker is functioning normally. Make sure to report any symptoms that your child had before receiving their pacemaker or are unusual to your child’s doctor immediately.

4. Ongoing Care

Although your child’s pacemaker is built to last several years, make sure to check it regularly to ensure it’s working properly. Your child’s pediatric cardiology team will want to check the pacemaker regularly, so you should expect to visit around every three months.