Your child may need treadmill stress testing to measure their heart’s response to stress or exercise. At Children’s Cardiology Group in Orange and Mission Viejo, California, the team of expert cardiologists monitors your child’s heart activity when they perform activity on a treadmill for evaluation. To find out more about this helpful screening test, call one of the locations or book a consultation online.
Your child is hooked up via electrodes to an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine while they exercise on a treadmill. Your child will have their blood pressure monitored during the test and may have a pulse oximeter attached to measure the oxygen in their blood.
Your child walks on the treadmill as their vital signs and heart rhythm are monitored. The incline and speed of the treadmill are increased periodically to increase your child’s workload. The exercise continues until your child reaches a target heart rate — determined by the doctor, your child’s age, and physical status. The test may also be halted if your child is unable to continue due to fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heart rhythms, or other symptoms.
Before and after the test your child will have their breathing checked using a machine that measures how well air moves in and out of their lungs (pulmonary function testing). This will help your doctor to determine if they have any lung issues, such as exercise-induced asthma.
Following the test, your child sits for about 15 minutes after exercising while ECG results and blood pressure are monitored.
Usually, treadmill stress testing is performed on children older than age 6. Young adults and teens also benefit. Your doctor will advise you whether this is the appropriate screening test for your child.
The team at Children’s Cardiology Group establishes a baseline ECG and blood pressure reading prior to the exercise session. Your child should come to the test wearing comfortable clothing and shoes appropriate for use on the treadmill. They should have had water and a snack a couple of hours before the test. It is always a good idea to bring along a water bottle as well.
You are likely sent home right after testing unless your doctor finds something that requires further observation or admission to the hospital. The results of the test may prompt the doctors to run additional tests or procedures to learn more about your child’s cardiac function.
Your child may be a little tired or even sore for a few hours after the test, especially if they don’t exercise often. Generally though, your child should bounce back within a few hours, if not sooner.
If your child needs treadmill stress testing, trust the experts at Children’s Cardiology Group. Call today for an appointment or book online.