Respiratory Care: Tips and Tricks for the Babies

Atrayee De
March 02, 2017
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Respiratory Care: Tips and Tricks for the Babies

Children are the fulcrum of the society. Children are also the ones who are easy targets of the various respiratory problems and often face these problems, such as the problem relating to breathing, asthma etc, and therefore proper respiratory care should be taken to avoid these problems from stemming in the very first place. Many factors including the genetics, the various pollutants and irritants-can affect the health of your children's lungs and your children's overall respiration. There are several varieties of the respiratory problems however, herein under the more common ones are discussed under the two distinct categories these are:

  • The upper respiratory system problems
  • The lower respiratory system problems

The upper respiratory system problems

The upper respiratory system includes the nose, the mouth, sinuses, and the throat. A child with an upper respiratory infection may feel quite uncomfortable and sound very much congested.

Other symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include the following:

  • A runny or stuffy nose. This may lead to the blockage of the nasal passages, causing the child to breathe through his or her mouth respectively.
  • Irritability,
  • Chances of restlessness,
  • Poor appetite,
  • Decrease in the activity level.
  • Coughing, especially when he or she is lying down.
  • Fever that occurs suddenly and may even reach 41degree celsius (105 degree fahrenheit).

The lower respiratory system

The lower respiratory system includes the problems such as bronchial tubes and the lungs. Respiratory problems are quite less common in the lower respiratory system than in the cases of the upper respiratory system.

Symptoms of a lower respiratory (that is bronchial tubes and lungs) problem usually are even more severe than symptoms of an upper respiratory (that is the mouth, nose, sinuses, and throat) problem. A child with a sort of a lower respiratory problem is more likely to require a visit to a doctor than in cases of a child with an upper respiratory problem.

Symptoms of lower respiratory system infections commonly include:

  • Shallow coughing, which continues sometimes even throughout the day and night.
  • Fever, which may be quite high with some lower respiratory system infections, such as the pneumonia.
  • Irritability,
  • Sometimes restlessness,
  • Poor appetite,
  • Decrease results in overall activity level.
  • Difficulty in breathing.

You may also notice:

  • Rapid breathing.

    Grunting, which is heard during the breathing out that is when exhaling phase of the breathing takes place. Most babies also grunt occasionally when they sleep. But grunting that occurs with the rapid, shallow breathing may mean the lower respiratory system infection.

  • Wheezing (which is quite a different sound than croup).

    Flaring the nostrils and using the neck, the chest, and the abdominal muscles to breathe, causing a sort of a "sucking in" between or under the ribs (retractions) as the case maybe.

    Respiratory problems may have many causes. Such as:

  • Fever

    Children with a fever often have an infection caused by in most cases a virus, such as a cold or the flu. Infections caused by the bacteria, such as the bacterial pneumonia, also can cause a fever. Babies who are younger than 6 months should be seen by a doctor at any time when they have a fever because they can get extremely sick quite quickly. The temperature varies depending on how you actually take it. The most common methods to measure it are:

  • Under the tongue.
  • In the armpit area.
  • In the rectum area.
  • In the ear cavity.

To convert a particular temperature from one method to another, use the Interactive Tool

  • Viral infections

    The viral infections cause most of the upper respiratory infections. The sore throats, the colds, croup, and the influenza (flu) are common viral illnesses in the babies and the older children. These infections are usually mild and can go away in 4 to 10 days, but they can sometimes be even quite severe. Home treatments can help relieve the child's symptoms. The infection usually improves on its own within a week or so and is gone within 14 days.

    Antibiotics are not to be used to treat viral illnesses and do not alter the course of the viral infections. Unnecessary use of an antibiotic exposes your child to the risks of an allergic reaction and the antibiotic side effects, such as:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • rashes, and
  • Yeast infections.

    Antibiotics also may kill the beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of the dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    The viral lower respiratory system infections may be quite mild, similar to the upper respiratory system infections. An example of a possibly serious viral infection is the bronchiolitis. Up to 10% of the babies and the children with viral infections of the lower respiratory system, such as those caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), may develop the severe blockage of the air passages and may also require the hospitalization for treatment.

  • Bacterial infections

    The most common sites for the bacterial infections in the upper respiratory system are the sinuses and the throat. A sinus infection is an example of an upper respiratory bacterial infection. The bacterial pneumonia may follow a viral illness as a secondary infection or appear as the first sign of a lower respiratory infection. In the babies and the small children, the first sign of infection often includes the following:

  • rapid breathing,
  • irritability,
  • decreased activity, and
  • Poor feeding.

    Antibiotics are quite effective against bacterial infections. Tuberculosis is a quite less common bacterial infection of the lower respiratory system.

  • Allergies

    The allergies are a common cause of the respiratory problems. Allergy symptoms in children include:

  • Clear, runny drainage from the nose or a rather stuffy nose. Children often rub their noses by pushing the tip upward with the palm of the hand ("allergic salute").
  • Sneezing and the watery eyes. Often there are dark circles under the eyes ("allergic shiners").
  • Irritability and loss of appetite.
  • Asthma

    Babies and the small children usually do not have the asthma. But the number of new cases of asthma increases with the age. In babies and small children, a hacking cough may be the only symptom of the mild asthma. If asthma worsens, the symptoms may include wheezing and shortness of breath after the exercise or at nighttime. In severe asthma, there is difficulty in breathing (using the neck, the chest, and abdominal muscles to breathe) and a high-pitched sound when the breathing (wheezing) are the most common symptoms.

    Allergies and the asthma often occur together.

  • Other causes

    Besides the asthma, allergies, and the infection, other possible causes of respiratory problems in children include:

    • Exposure to a cigarette smoke. Tobacco smoke impairs the lung growth and development. Children who are exposed to the tobacco smoke, even before birth (prenatal), are more likely to have an asthma and the other respiratory problems.
    • Blockage of the airway by an inhaled object, such as the food, a piece of a balloon, or a small toy.
    • Problems that have been present from the birth (genetic causes), such as the cystic fibrosis.
    • Babies and the children younger than age 3 may have more symptoms with respiratory problems than the older children, and they may become more ill. For this reason, younger children need to be watched more closely than the older ones. The type and severity of the symptoms helps to determine whether your child needs to see a doctor or not.

Natural Remedies for better Respiratory Care for your Baby or Child

  • Keep the room temperature which is comfortable for you and your child. A hot, dry environment will increase the nasal congestion.
  • Raise the head of your baby's bed to about 1 in. (2.5 cm) to 2 in. (5 cm) by placing the blocks under the crib.
  • Do not raise just the mattress because it may leave a gap for your baby to roll into.
  • Do not raise the head of the bed if your baby is younger than 6 months.
  • Prevent dehydration of your baby.
  • Let your baby breastfeed more often or try to give your baby extra bottles. Liquids may help in thinning the mucus and also reduce fever (if present).
  • Do not awaken your child during the naps or at the night to take fluids.
  • Do not force your child to take the fluids, which may cause your child to even vomit.
  • Give your child the extra cuddling and some distraction.
  • Let your child get the extra rest to fight the infection.
  • Do not give your child the leftover antibiotics or the antibiotics or other medicines prescribed for someone else.
  • Put a vaporizer or humidifier in your child's room if he or she is breathing through the mouth.
  • Lukewarm the mist may help your child feel more comfortable by soothing the swollen air passages. It may also help with your child's hoarseness. But do not let your child's room get quite uncomfortably cold or very damp.
  • Use a shallow pan of the water to provide the moisture in the air through evaporation if you don't have a humidifier. Place the pan where no one will actually trip on it or fall into it.

If your child has a rather stuffy nose:

  • Use saline nose drops to help with nasal congestion.
  • Use a rubber bulb to suction the nose sparingly. It will help reduce the nasal drainage if your baby is having any difficulty in breastfeeding or bottle-feeding or seems to be short of breath. Babies often do not like having their noses suctioned with a rubber bulb.
  • Do not give your child the oral antihistamines or the decongestants unless directed to do so by your child's doctor.
  • Antihistamines and decongestants can cause your child to behave quite differently, making it harder to tell how sick he or she really is. Studies show that the over-the-counter cough medicines do not work very well. And some of these medicines can also cause problems if you use too much of them.
  • It is important to use medicines correctly and to keep them out of the reach of children to prevent the accidental use.

If your child has a cough:

  • Honey or lemon juice in hot water or the tea may help a dry cough. Do not give the honey to a child younger than 1 year old. It may have the bacteria that are harmful to babies.
  • Be careful with the cough and the cold medicines, including any products with the menthol. They may not be safe for the young children, so check the label first. If you do give these medicines to a child, always follow the proper directions about how much to give based on the child's age and also the weight.
  • If your child has a barking cough during the night, you can try to help him or her breathe better by following the home treatment for a barking cough and not by any formal medication, if such condition is not too severe.
  • An inhaler is a medical device which is used for delivering the medication into the body via the lungs and the vaporizers are used to direct the steam on the face. There are an extensive range of inhalers and vaporizers that are available in the market for instance, the Halakha Steam Inhaler & Vaporizer which works both as an inhaler and vaporizer. Also, the Console Steam Inhaler & Vaporizer that helps to get the relief from the common cold, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. You could use them as an extra support for effective breathing for your child, but remember that in severe cases do consult a doctor and then use it as per his or her directions.

These remedies are provided so that if your baby or child is having a particular respiratory problem, you are cautious and take measures which are healthy so that chances of your child or baby developing these diseases are less, and if your child or baby has already developed them you can lower their pace or fight them out in a more effective manner. However in severe cases u must show a doctor before the problem aggravates into causing a much greater harm to your child or babies health and wellbeing.

Atrayee De

Atrayee De

Hello everyone, I am a law student, I love reading, researching and singing. Apart from these I also love to dress up, and stay updated with the on going fashion and beauty trends of the glamour industry!

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