Little T’s Corner – Signs When Breathing Requires Urgent Attention

Jen CurrieBreathing problem, Flu, Food, Health, Healthy Immune System, Little T's Blog, toddler

Hello Little T’s followers. I hope this issue finds all of you specially the kids well.

I would like to apologise for not posting any blog in the last few weeks….my house hold had a little frightening experience a couple weeks back.

Our little toddler’s simple cough and colds has led to a serious airway condition that resulted to us rushing her to the hospital. This incident I thought needed to be shared to warn parents or carers of young children out there.

Sunday night while she was sleeping in the cot, I noticed her breathing was different from the usual – it seems that she has more effort on each breath.

My mind being a nurse started going through questions:

  • What did she had that could have triggered the problem/attack?
  • Did the breathing problem started suddenly? Or did it come gradually?
  • What other symptoms has she had in the last 2-3 days (such as a fever or a cough, change in skin colour)?
  • Our family history – asthma? Who had it & at what age?
  • Does she seem to be very sick? What was her over all condition (has she been eating, drinking and is she active or has decreased physical activity/irritable?

After answering these questions to myself, my mind somehow was a little at ease. Though she has had on and off fever and cough with runny nose she has been eating and drinking well and very active.

I then sat beside the cot and continue to watch her breath for about 10 minutes.

I can tell her breathing is not getting worst. However, I cannot get my eyes off her…I wasn’t sure what it was. Lets just call it– “mother’s instinct” or “nurse instinct” – whatever it was it just felt that something is not right.

So, I took her out of the cot and lie her beside me in the bed….the minute her head was tilted back and her neck became more visible, I noticed her throat tugging. Having 15 years of nursing experience, I immediately look at her chest and noticed intercostal in-drawing (where the muscles attached to the ribs are pulled inward)

I’ve attached a video for everyone to see. These 2 symptoms are signs that a child is in respiratory distress.

I hope through this video, I was able to show you all a clear view of these symptoms. And as what the video clip highlighted, tracheal tug and chest in-drawing are signs that the child needs to be seen and treated immediately. Because of their tiny airways, kids can deteriorate rapidly and they can stop breathing.

We then, immediately drove her to the hospital, and was treated the minute we arrived.

Just so you are aware. I’ve listed the most common causes of breathing difficulty in children:

  1. Asthma
  2. Chest infections – like croup, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
  3. Epiglottitis and choking.
  4. Allergic reaction

Another thing that I want to highlight as based on studies, children who are exposed to tobacco smoke, even before birth (prenatal), are more likely to have asthma and other respiratory problems. This is because ‘passive smoking‘ affects the lining of their airways, causing less resistance to infection.

Whether its 2nd-hand or 3rd-hand smoking, cocktails of toxins that linger in carpets, sofas, clothes, hair and other materials hours or even days after a cigarette is put-out is a health hazard for infants and children.

As you can see there are few possible reasons that can lead to an event like what we had…so be informed. And when in doubt do not hesitate to have your child checked by a medical practitioner.

Jen CurrieLittle T’s Corner – Signs When Breathing Requires Urgent Attention