Child sleeping with their mouth wide open. Pediatric pulmonology concept.

6 Signs Your Child May Be Suffering from a Respiratory Disorder

As a parent, you want the best for your child, and their health is a top priority.

6 Signs Your Child May Need to See a Pediatric Pulmonologist

While respiratory disorders can be tricky to diagnose, there are signs and symptoms that parents can look out for to help identify if their child may be suffering from one. We will discuss the signs and symptoms of respiratory disorders in children and how parents can take preventive measures to ensure their child’s health.

1. Shortness of Breath and Wheezing

One of the most obvious signs of respiratory disorder in children is shortness of breath, which may be accompanied by wheezing. If your child suddenly starts to feel short of breath or struggles to take deep breaths, it could be a warning sign of a respiratory problem such as asthma, heart problems, or lung infections. Wheezing, a whistling sound made while breathing, may be present when your child breathes in or out or during physical activity.

2. Frequent Coughing

Frequent and persistent coughing is another sign that your child may have a respiratory disorder. Children with respiratory disorders cough to clear the airways of mucus and other irritants, and the coughing may increase at night or during physical activity.

3. Rapid Breathing

Rapid breathing, or breathing that is faster than usual for their age is also a sign of respiratory disorder in children. If your child’s breathing pattern changes suddenly or becomes more rapid, take note and seek medical attention if the problem persists.

4. Fatigue and Weakness

Children with respiratory problems may experience fatigue and weakness due to the extra effort required to breathe properly. This can eventually lead to a decrease in appetite and weight loss. Parents should talk to the child’s doctor if they notice these symptoms.

5. Repeated Respiratory Infections

It's no secret that children seem to catch colds and other respiratory infections more frequently than adults. However, if your child seems to be constantly battling one respiratory infection after another, it may be time to start considering that there may be something more significant at play. Frequent respiratory infections in children can serve as a red flag for a respiratory disorder. Children with respiratory problems are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia and other respiratory infections and may require medical intervention to prevent further complications.

6. Snoring or Difficulty Breathing While Sleeping

While it's not uncommon for kids to snore occasionally, persistent or loud snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous sleep disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when a person's breathing is repeatedly interrupted while sleeping. In children, this interruption is often caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a range of health issues, including behavioral problems, poor growth, and even respiratory failure.

Conditions to Watch Out For

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is an inflammation of the nasal passages caused by allergens. It's a common problem among children, and if left untreated, it can lead to more severe respiratory problems. A pediatric pulmonologist can prescribe medication or suggest therapies to alleviate the symptoms and prevent further complications.

Chronic Lung Disease

If your child has been born prematurely and has a history of chronic lung disease, it's essential to consult a pediatric pulmonologist. Chronic lung disease can lead to several respiratory issues, and a pulmonologist can help manage these problems.

Experienced and Compassionate Pediatric Pulmonology

As a parent, it's always better to be cautious and proactive when it comes to your child's health. If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it's imperative to schedule a visit with a pediatric pulmonologist. A pediatric pulmonologist can diagnose and treat respiratory problems in children and help improve their quality of life. Early intervention and treatment can even prevent more severe respiratory conditions from developing. By being mindful of your child's breathing and respiratory symptoms and seeking help from a pediatric pulmonologist, your child can enjoy a healthy and happy life.

At the Allergy Institute PC, we firmly advocate for a team-based approach to healthcare. Contact us online or call (515) 619-5179 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment with our experts.