Majority of toddlers sometime or the other are known to suffer from mild to moderate breathing problems. This difficulty in breathing is mostly due to viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The condition is short lived and home remedies usually relieve the symptoms.
However, sometime troubled breathing can last for several days along with other symptoms such as fever, wheezing, gasping for breath, cyanosis, lassitude, loss of appetite. This may indicate more serious conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchiolitis.
Such conditions may need more rigorous treatment measures which include conventional medicines along with home remedies for the child to live active and productive life.
What Causes Breathing Problems In Toddlers?
Breathing problems in toddlers can occur due to many reasons. Children between the ages of 2 to 4 years are more vulnerable to be affected with various respiratory tract diseases since their immune system is still in the developing stage. Most toddlers suffer from cold and running nose during this age. They catch viral infection easily. Besides common cold and viral bronchitis, there are many other serious respiratory illnesses in which the child breathes uncomfortably.
Certain breathing problems are acute and last for few days while some chronic respiratory conditions are episodic and last for weeks and months.For example sinusitis, asthma, chronic allergic bronchitis may frequently affect the child’s breathing. Pneumonia is a serious respiratory ailment in which the child may have labored breathing besides various other symptoms. Whooping cough is a contagious disease that can cause breathing problem in children.
Signs And Symptoms Of Breathing Problems In Toddlers
Difficulty in breathing, breathlessness, rapid breathing, and labored breathing are all signs of an underlying condition. Along with this the child may manifest many other symptoms depending on the illness he is suffering from. Some common symptoms that may be associated with breathing problem are:
- Running nose
- Watering from eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Breathing through mouth because of blockage in nose from common cold.
- Severe coughing which may be triggered by eating food with pain in chest.
- The child has to flare his nostril or has to strain the chest muscles to breathe in.
- Lethargic and appear extremely sick.
- Blue discolorations of lips, tongue, and nails.
- The child may not be able to talk or cry due to breathing difficulty.
- Rapid and shallow breathing.
- Badly pitched and harsh voice.
Home Remedies For Breathing Problems In Toddlers
There are several home remedies that are useful to alleviate breathing problems in children and toddlers. However, if you find the child extremely sick or having high fever, labored breathing, wheezing and whistling sound while breathing, immediately contact your doctor.
- Give the child extra amount of fluids and soups or fresh juices. It helps to prevent dehydration and also make the mucus thinner so that it is easily expelled out from the nostril.
- Give the child more time to eat as he may find it difficult to eat and swallow the food due to breathing problem and congestion in nose and throat.
- Use a humidifier in his bedroom. This will help the air to become moist so that the child finds it easy to breathe. Humidifier is of great value even if the child is suffering from seasonal allergy.
- Take one teaspoon of honey and add a pinch of turmeric powder. Mix it well and give this to the toddler once in a day.
- If the toddler is suffering from nasal congestion, instill one or two drops of saline nasal drops to clear the nasal passage. It allows the child to breathe easily.
For more serious conditions such as bacterial pneumonia, the child may need antibiotics and bronchodilators to treat the infection and subsequent breathing problem.