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Respiratory Problems In Children

 

Respiratory problems are common from the stages of immediately after birth right through to childhood years. Breathing difficulties which occur immediately after birth are often due to a new born transitioning from a fluid environment to one which we are required to breathe air. If a newborn experiences deprivation of oxygen brain damage can result due to insufficient oxygen being delivered to the brain. Additionally, colds, flus, croup, bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma are all common respiratory problems which can occur throughout infancy and childhood. Asthma is particularly common during childhood and it is estimated that one in ten children in Australia are diagnosed with Asthma.

 

 

Symptoms
Symptoms of respiratory problems in newborns include:

  • Fast and shallow breaths,
  • A drop in heart rate,
  • Loss of muscle tone,
  • Deep gasps for air.

 

Immediate treatment is required when a newborn is suffering from breathing problems. This generally includes resuscitation administered by a doctor, nurse or midwife. Further treatment may include reducing heat loss, ventilation, suction of the mouth and nose, and/or chest compressions.

 

Symptoms of respiratory problems during childhood include:

  • Fever,
  • Runny nose,
  • Slow, laboured breathing,
  • Wheezing,
  • Noisy breathing,
  • A sore throat,
  • Body aches,
  • Coughing,
  • Tightness in the chest,
  • Red eyes,
  • Difficulty sleeping, and/or
  • A loss of appetite.

 

 

Treatment
Treatment of respiratory problems in childhood depends on the diagnosis. For example, a common cold or flu may be treated with bed rest and the use of a vaporiser to assist in clearing the child’s airway and providing some relief. If a child is suffering from bronchitis or pneumonia, antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor to clear the infection. Furthermore, if a child suffers from asthma, medication may need to be prescribed by your doctor to assist in the prevention of asthma attacks.

 

 

Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/en/resourcecentres/pregnancybabies/newbornbabies/caringfortheveryillnewbornbaby/pages/breathing-problems.aspx

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Asthma_and_young_children

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/en/resourcecentres/pregnancybabies/babies/healthissuesinyourbaby/pages/respiratory-problems.aspx