Why do children have shortness of breath?

During this winter, the weather becomes dry and dusty. Children suffer from various symptoms of respiratory tract infection, such as cough, cold, fever, and shortness of breath. Among these, breathing difficulties are very important, which should bring the child under medical treatment quickly.

Common diseases that can cause shortness of breath in children

Pneumonia: It can occur at any age. But it is more risky for children under five years old. This disease can cause severe fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These are symptoms of severe pneumonia. It also carries the risk of death.

Bronchiolitis: This is a common problem in children under two years of age. In this disease, the child has a runny nose, a cough, and a mild fever. In some cases, if the disease progresses, the child may start having difficulty breathing.

Asthma: Asthma in children is a chronic or long-term disease. Children with this disease do not have a fever. But the cough starts at night or early in the morning, which develops into acute respiratory distress without proper treatment within a day or two.

Apart from this, if children accidentally swallow toys, coins, etc., if it goes into the trachea, if there is an upper respiratory tract infection, or due to heart failure, it can cause sudden respiratory distress.

How to understand shortness of breath

1. The respiratory rate is rapid when children have shortness of breath. Rapid breathing means 60 or more breaths per minute for babies under two months, 50 or more for babies 2 months to 1 year old, and 40 or more for babies after 1 year old.

2. The rib cage and rib cage are inserted.

3. Nasal folds in young children are swollen.

4. Frequent head shaking in many cases.

What should we do?

Shortness of breath is an emergency. As soon as you realize that the child has started breathing, he should be brought to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. If not well treated in the hospital’s emergency department, it may be necessary to keep the patient admitted until complete recovery and give oxygen and nebulizer.

Dr. Lazina Sharmin, Associate Professor, Dr. MR Khan Children’s Hospital and Children’s Health Foundation, Mirpur-2, Dhaka


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