How to know if your child is suffering from breathing difficulties?
Created by Dr Himani Narula Khanna Updated on Apr 19, 2022
If your child is not breathing properly, it could be due to a blocked nose – and this means your child is getting less oxygen, which in turn can lead to a host of other health problems. After all, the body needs the right amount of oxygen to replenish the brain and other organs with vital nutrients. You may wonder why your child is catching frequent infections or constantly suffering from poor health – and the answer may well be because s/he is not breathing right!
Now you may ask, ‘how do I know whether my child is breathing right or not?’ Let’s start with this – put a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each of the questions below:
- Is your child drawing in breath from the mouth?
- Is your child coughing intermittently?
- Is your child’s nose flaring up (widening of the nostrils) as s/he breathes?
- Is your child heaving (chest going up /down) harder with every inhale/exhale?
- Is your child suffering from disturbed sleep and stays drowsy through the day?
- Is your child’s breathing accompanied by a wheezing or a whistling sound?
- Is your child’s nose watering?
- Is your child complaining of an itch in the nose?
If you’ve put a ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, your child could be suffering from breathing difficulties. Here are 5 home remedies that could ease the situation:
- Use a nasal aspirator to remove excess mucus from your child’s nasal passages.
- Steam inhalation works wonders. You may run a hot shower in a closed bathroom and sit with your child in this steamed-up space for 10-20 minutes.
- Keep your child well hydrated with plenty of oral fluids.
- Use a cold mist humidifier in your child’s room during night time.
- You may use a nasal spray to relieve the nose block (especially at night) to help your child sleep comfortably.
Try the above remedies for a week – if you feel there is some relief, continue till the problem has disappeared completely. If there is no relief, it is time to take an appointment with a doctor. Do not wait or try any remedies of your own, if you notice these danger signs:
- If nasal congestion has been present for longer than 2 weeks
- If your child is running fever
- If your child has a persistent cough
- If your child is breathing heavy or breathing fast
- If your child is suffering from discomfort or pain in the ear
Rush your child to the emergency if s/he seems out of breath or is having difficulty while talking or eating or if you notice a change in the colour of skin (skin takes on a blue hue due to lack of oxygen).
Did you find the information given by Dr Himani Khanna useful? Have you noticed your child suffering from any of the above-mentioned signs that indicate breathing difficulty? What do you do in such a situation? Do write in (in the comments section below) – and support fellow parents dealing with similar situations.
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