From asthma and seasonal allergies to the flu and coronavirus, it’s never been more important to know how to evaluate respiratory symptoms in your child, and know when to take them to the doctor, especially if your child has underlying health issues.
At Midwest Regional Health Services, our primary care doctors and specialists offer diagnostic and treatment options for a range of health problems for adult and pediatric patients at our office in Omaha, Nebraska.
When to see a doctor for your child’s respiratory symptoms
Babies and young children are especially vulnerable to colds and upper respiratory infections, especially when they start spending more time around other children in daycare and at school. While regular colds and seasonal allergies are normal and usually no cause for alarm, some respiratory issues and symptoms may require medical attention, especially in the age of COVID-19.
Although children tend to experience severe symptoms of COVID-19 at lower rates than adults, it’s still important to monitor your child’s symptoms and take precautions to lower their risk of contracting potentially serious respiratory illnesses.
If your child suffers from asthma, or is prone to common respiratory problems like bronchitis or allergies, contact us to discuss the best treatment and prevention plan to help them stay healthy and enjoy an active life.
Even if your child is healthy, babies and young children are also vulnerable to choking hazards with everything from food to toys to common household objects. Make sure your kids take their time chewing and swallowing their food, and monitor their toys and access to objects around the house to lower their risk of choking.
When to call the doctor
While every respiratory symptom won’t necessarily require a trip to the doctor, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’re not sure or are worried about your child’s symptoms or behavior.
In general, some of the most common symptoms of respiratory distress in children that require immediate medical attention include:
- Starts to turn blue
- Increased respiratory rate (this may be a sign they’re not getting enough oxygen)
- Rattled breathing
- Cold sweats (they’re visibly sweating but the skin feels clammy to the touch)
- Sunken/collapsed chest
- Your child suddenly becomes lethargic or exhibits muscle weakness/fatigue
- Gasping for air
- Flaring nostrils
You should also seek medical attention right away if your child exhibits respiratory issues along with other symptoms like fever, vomiting, or nausea. If your child suffers from serious allergies or severe asthma and has difficulty breathing due to an asthma attack or acute allergic reaction, it’s a medical emergency, so seek treatment right away.
And even if your child has minor respiratory symptoms due to a cold or seasonal flu, it’s always a good idea to keep them home from school and their extracurricular activities for a few days so they can rest and fully recover.
For more information about respiratory illnesses and the symptoms to look out for, contact Midwest Regional Health Services today to schedule an appointment with one of our primary care specialists.