ZocdocAnswersDoes heart rate increase when exposed to the sun?

Question

Does heart rate increase when exposed to the sun?

Is it normal for the sun to increase your heart rate? I've noticed that my 9 year old son's heart is always racing when he comes in from outside, even if he isn't doing any strong physical exertion. He's overweight, but I'm not sure that would affect his heart rate, but I do worry about him somewhat.

Answer

Anytime you have a question about our child's heart, you should always bring the issue up with your pediatrician. If your child has a high heart rate in the office, he or she may decide to do an EKG to make sure that no abnormal rhythm exists. The answer to your question no, sunlight doesn't raise heart rates. This means that you child's heart rate is higher for another reason. Heart rate is modified by different states of the autonomic nervous system. During times of stress, heart rate goes up and during times of relaxation, it goes down. There are abnormal heart rhythms that occur and increase heart rate for no reason. These would need to be looked into. The answer to your other question is yes, being overweight can increase his heart rate. The more you weigh, the more body tissue the heart needs to pump to requiring a higher heart rate. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician. He or she can do a cardiovascular exam to insure there isn't anything concerning going on. In addition, you nee to get some guidance on how to best help you child lose weight. This may be the single most important aspect of his health that needs addressed. Good luck.

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