The following are the most common symptoms of pericarditis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include chest pain that:
- Can be felt especially behind the breastbone, and sometimes beneath the clavicle (collarbone), neck, and left shoulder
- Is a sharp, piercing pain over the center or left side of the chest that increases as the child takes a deep breath
- A low-grade fever
- Loss of appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
Children may not be able to describe that they have "chest pain" or be able to explain how they feel. Sometimes, non-specific symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, or fatigue will be all that the child is able to express.
The symptoms of pericarditis may resemble other medical conditions or heart problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.