During their childhood most children suffer from upper respiratory tract infection and breathing problems. Especially infants and toddlers are more susceptible for variety of reasons. Their immune system is still in its developing stage. Viral cough and cold is the probable cause in majority of children. This difficulty is often short lived and child feels better after few days.
However, in some cases the condition may not be temporary. It persists for more than one week. If is it so, breathing difficulty may be an indication of more serious condition such as asthma, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia etc. Breathing problems in toddlers is usually resolved with home remedies. But sometimes more vigorous treatment measures may be needed if the condition takes a serious turn.
Causes Of Breathing Problems In Toddlers
Difficult breathing in toddlers can develop due to various reasons. But the most common cause is blockage in their nose caused due to cold and viral upper respiratory tract infection. Toddlers are more vulnerable than elderly children. One of the reasons is their immunity is still in its developing stage.
Aside from the cold and viral infection, some toddlers may have breathlessness associated with other serious causes such as asthma, allergies, sinusitis, bronchitis and serious lung infection such as pneumonia. In these ailments the child may present with labored breathing. Toddlers who suffer from whooping cough also experience difficulty in breathing.
Signs Of Breathing Problems In Toddlers
Breathing difficulty or breathlessness is itself a symptom of an underlying ailment. Many other symptoms are usually associated with breathing problems. They include:
- Stuffy nose
- Running and watery nose.
- Thick yellow discharge from nasal cavity.
- Breathing through mouth as the nose is blocked with mucus secretion.
- Pain in chest aggravated with severe coughing.
- Nasal flares or straining chest muscles to breathe.
- The toddler appears lethargic and dull.
- Has to bend forwards or backwards for breathing.
- Because of breathing difficulty and associated restlessness the child is not able to cry or talk loudly.
- Watering from eyes
- Harsh voice
Home Treatments For Breathing Problems In Toddlers
There are several home remedies that will help to resolve breathing problems in toddlers. But if the child appears sick with high fever and labored breathing or wheezing in the chest, it’s time to consult a pediatrician. Meanwhile, you can try following home remedies:
- Give the child extra amount of fluid in the form of soups and juices, besides water. Increased fluid intake helps to liquefy the thick mucus in the nose. Thus thin mucus easily gets expelled out from the nose and facilitates the child to breathe easily.
- Congestion in nose and breathing problem may interact with eating. Give the child sufficient time to eat food due to this difficulty.
- Use humidifier in the toddler’s bedroom. It makes the air moist which in turn helps the child to breathe easily. Humidifier is also beneficial in children suffering from seasonal allergies.
- Tap the chest from back as it loosens the congestion in chest. The thick mucus in chest and lungs is dislodged and makes its ways out of the body through the mouth with cough.
- Mix a pinch of turmeric powder with one teaspoon of honey. It strengthens the immune system and enhances the healing process.
- Instill few drops of saline water in the nostril if the child has difficulty to breathe due to congestion in the nose.