Respiratory Distress In Children - 5 Causes, 8 Symptoms & 5 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of

Respiratory Distress

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Does your child find it difficult to breathe sometimes? Does he grunt when he exhales? Has the area around his mouth turned blue? If you nodded along in agreement, read our post. Your little darling might be suffering respiratory distress. What is respiratory distress, what are its causes, how do you spot it? Get the answers to your questions here.

What Is Respiratory Distress?

Respiratory distress is a health condition that occurs when your child’s respiratory system doesn’t receive enough oxygen. It is quite common among young children. Disorders of the bronchioles, bronchi, muscles, lungs, nerves, and brain are some reasons for the onset of respiratory distress.

Sometimes children can contract acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In ARDS, typically the lungs fill with fluid and inflammatory cells. If your child suffers from ARDS, it is imperative that you take him to a doctor immediately. Any delay could be fatal.

[ Read: Heart Murmurs In Children ]

Causes Of Respiratory Distress In Children:

Let’s look at some causes of acute respiratory distress syndrome in children.

  1. Ingesting foreign bodies.
  1. Laryngomalacia.
  1. Laryngeal edema such as anaphylaxis and inhalation injury.
  1. Infections like croup, epiglottal inflammations, and retropharyngeal abscess.
  1. Bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and bronchiole inflammation.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Croup In Kids ]

Signs And Symptoms Of Respiratory Distress In Children:

Respiratory distress is a serious condition that requires urgent attention. It is important you have the right knowledge about its symptoms. Here we list some common signs of respiratory distress in children.

  1. Increased breathing rate.
  1. Increased heart rate.
  1. Bluish color around the mouth, at the fingernails, and on the inner side of the lips.
  1. The skin of the child too may appear gray or pale.
  1. You can hear a grunting sound when your child exhales.
  1. Your child’s nose flares open when he breathes.
  1. Your child’s chest appears to sink under your breastbone with each breath.
  1. Wheezing while breathing (1).

[ Read: Breathing Problems In Children ]

Treating Respiratory Distress In Children:

There are numerous treatment options for treating respiratory distress in children. Here we list some common treatments to alleviate the condition.

1. Surfactant Replacement Therapy:

Surfactant is a fluid that coats the inner side of the lungs and keeps them open so that your child can breathe easily. Doctors continue to administer surfactant to children until their lungs produce fluid on their own.

2. Breathing Support:

If your child suffers from respiratory distress, he will need breathing support until his lungs start producing enough surfactant. The breathing tube connects to the surfactant producing tube. Breathing support therapy is an effective way to cure respiratory distress and doctors usually combine it with surfactant replacement therapy.

3. Medication Therapy:

Medication therapy includes nasal sprays, acetaminophen, cold and cough medicines, penicillin, zinc, decongestants, corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor blockers, antihistamines, and ophthalmic medications.

4. Oxygen Therapy:

Oxygen therapy concentrates on providing enough oxygen to your little one’s lungs.

5. Allergen Avoidance:

If your child is suffering from respiratory distress, avoid bringing him into contact with pets, house dust mites, outdoor pollens and molds, and other pollutants.

[ Read: Lung Cancer In Children ]

Preventing Respiratory Distress In Children:

You can take many steps to prevent respiratory distress in kids. You need to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. Here are some prevention tips.

  • Visit the doctor regularly during your pregnancy.
  • Avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Ensure that your child follows a proper diet.
  • Keep your child away from dust mites, pollens, pollutants, molds, and other allergens.

We hope you found our post useful. Does your child suffer from a similar condition? What did you do about it? Tell us below. Share your valuable experience with fellow moms here.

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