Breathing Problems In Children: What To Do If Baby Is Choking?

Infections, inhaling of a foreign body, asthma, bronchiolitis and croup can cause breathlessness. Cold and cough can cause noisy breathing.

When the child has developed cold or cough he may become more breathless than usual. Babies and children are unable to blow their nose or clear their throats like elders. So mucus remains in the nose or at the back of the throat and causes breathlessness accompanied by noise. Breathlessness accompanied by noisy breathing calls for concern and should be shown to doctor immediately.

If the child’s lips have turned blue accompanied by sudden breathlessness, do not ignore the situation.


Contact the doctor immediately if breathing is rapid and/or shallow; and the breathlessness is occurring at rest.

What Is Bronchiolitis And How Does It Affect Children?

Bronchiolitis is a viral infection which affects babies and young children. It cannot be treated with antibiotics unless secondary infection is suspected. In bronchiolitis breathing is fast, shallow accompanied by high temperature. It can even cause wheezing.

Seek doctor’s advice if the baby or young child has resorted to rapid, shallow breathing. The child may have to be taken to the hospital in extreme situations.

How Does Croup Affect Children And How To Treat It?

Croup is also a viral illness wherein the child faces difficulty in breathing.

It usually affects children below five years. It has a characteristic noise like a sea lion barking accompanied by breathlessness. Older children may have a sore throat, hoarse voice and even lose their voices temporarily.

Paracetamol should be given in case of fever. Steam also helps with breathing, sometimes. Be careful or the child may get scalded. Use a tumbler dryer, vaporizer, boil a kettle or even switch on a shower and inhale the steam. This will ease breathlessness. Call the doctor if there is no improvement even after twenty minutes.

Affects And Treatment Of Asthma In Children

For children with Asthma, narrowing of the air passages in the lungs causes breathlessness and is accompanied by wheezing.

Air relaxer drugs are given by inhaler. Prevention drugs can also be taken regularly through inhaler. In severe attacks steroids maybe prescribed even for very young children. Oral medication can be given in tablet and capsule form.

What To Do When If The Baby Is Choking?

If a child has accidentally swallowed some object it may obstruct the air passages and cause breathlessness. Coughing usually helps dislodge the object and clear air passage facilitating breathing. But if the object has entered the windpipe then different measures have to be taken

Cure for choking in babies under one year:

  • Make the baby lie on your forearm or thigh with head facing downwards. Support the baby by holding at the jaw. Then give five firm slaps to the baby between the shoulder blades.
  • If this does not work, then place the baby on the thigh. Use two fingers to press below the nipples, in the middle of the chest and press down about two centimeters.
  • Keep repeating back slaps and then chest thrusts.

Choking cure for children over one year:

  • If you fail to remove the obstruction and the child starts gasping for breath, then place him over the knee with head facing downwards. Give five firm slaps between the shoulder blades.
  • If unsuccessful then use the heel of the hand (at two fingers width from the base of the breast bone) and press five times.

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