Diagnose & Treat Respiratory Ailments in Children

Respiratory infections are quite common among children, especially those who are in daycare or school or have siblings. While uncomplicated respiratory ailments can last up to two weeks, there are others that might require some more time to recover from. A runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, coughing, swollen lymph nodes are some of the symptoms of uncomplicated respiratory ailments in children that can be treated at home. Those suffering from respiratory ailments might also suffer from sleep apnea at the same time. A CPAP machine might be recommended for such patients. Seeking medical advice, however, becomes necessary in case of the following symptoms-
  • Fast breathing
  • Coughing (with vomiting)
  • Retractions (deeper visible outline of ribcage which is more than normal)
  • Change in behavior or inactivity
  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing or high pitched whistling sound when breathing out.
  • Stridor or a harsh vibrating sound when breathing in
  • Fever

  Diagnosis of acute respiratory ailments In a diagnostic respiratory exam, the breathing pattern will be examined. The consulting physician will check for fluid formation or inflammation in the lungs by inspecting any abnormal sounds during the breathing process. He will also inspect the nose, ears, and throat of the child.  If the infection is believed to be in the lower respiratory tract, then an X-Ray or CT is done to check the health of the lungs. Lung function tests such as Pulse oximetry might also be carried out. The doctor will also take the sputum sample to check for a possible virus or bacteria causing the disease. 

Treating common respiratory ailments Diseases like bronchitis is more common in children than in adults.  The risk factors of bronchitis include asthma, allergies, increased exposure to viruses, enlarged tonsils, inhaled dust and debris, chronic sinusitis, etc. The recovery process usually involves an intake of clear fluids along with bed rest. For children above 6 years old, OTC medications work well, however, they need to be approved by a doctor. Children finding it difficult to consume medicines may alternatively use nebulizers to assist with medications. The latest nebulizers for kids are designed to diffuse medicines with minimal wastage – this device is also ideal for asthma, sinusitis patients. A little more serious ailment like Pneumonia would need more urgent attention. Chest congestion can lead to further complications and side effects, such as fever, sweating, chills, shortness of breath. This respiratory disease is fairly common among infants and toddlers, therefore asking for extra care from parents. Antibiotic, antifungal, or antiviral medicines are used to treat pneumonia. Getting adequate rest and fluids is also recommended.