Wheezing And Its Management In Little Ones

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Wheezing is one of the common childhood illnesses.  In fact, about 25 to 30 percent of children would have encountered wheezing problem at least once when they are six years of age. It may not be really very serious but the whistling sound that you hear when your child breathes can be devastating. It can cause great distress to your baby. Do you want to know more about wheezing and its management in kids? Go ahead.

What is wheezing?

It is whistling sound produced when air tries to move through the breathing tubes or airways when they become narrow and compressed.

What are the causes of wheezing?

  • It can be caused due to viral infection. A baby’s airways are too small. When they get a lower respiratory infection the airways get blocked with mucus. This causes wheezing. Viral infections include lower respiratory infections like bronchiolitis and pneumonia and upper respiratory infections like common cold.
  • It can be caused if the child is exposed to cigarette smoke or other smoke.
  • It can be caused when babies are exposed to very cold air.
  • It may be triggered by allergens like pollens and pets etc.
  • GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease is one of the causes of wheezing. GERD is a condition in which stomach acid leaks back into food pipe which may get breathed into lungs. This causes irritation and swelling of the airways. If your child starts to wheeze immediately after feeding it can be due to GERD.
  • Choking can also cause wheezing.
  • Asthma is one of the very important causes of wheezing.

What are the home remedies for wheezing?

Viral infections cannot be cured with antibiotics. Virus will go on its own. Avoid giving over the counter antibiotics. Over the counter cough syrups are not advised for infants and toddlers. Avoid them. Mild wheezing can be relieved at home. How can you help your child at home?

  1. Suction – You should keep the airways clear. This is very important if you want to help your child breathe freely. How to get rid of congestion in nose and lungs? An older child will blow their noses to clear the nasal passage but how to clear the airways for an infant or toddler? The best solution is suction. A nasal aspirator is very helpful in getting rid of congestion. Bulb aspirators like Nasobuddy are of great help to make your baby breathe easier.
  2. Other remedies
  • Use saline drops to clear the nasal passages.
  • Use humidifiers to keep the air moist.
  • Keep your child hydrated with warm fluids.
  • Avoid smoking at home.
  • Avoid carpets that trap dust.
  • Keep pets away.
  • Vacuum all surfaces of your home to remove dust.
  • Use cold balms to get rid of the congestion in lungs. Make sure you go for natural rubs that don’t contain any harmful chemicals and petroleum byproducts.

You should call a doctor when

  • Wheezing persists for more than three days
  • Your baby develops cyanosis where the lips and skin turn bluish in color.
  • When wheeze becomes very severe