Moderate to Severe Difficulty Breathing in Children
Difficulty breathing can occur when a child's lungs or heart are not working well.
Symptoms of moderate difficulty breathing
- Breathes fast.
- Tires during feeding and may stop often to catch his or her breath. This may cause the child to lose interest in food and eat less.
- Needs to use his or her abdominal muscles to breathe.
- Has pale, slightly gray, or blotchy skin, particularly the face, hands, and feet. The tongue, gums, and lips still look pink.
Symptoms of severe difficulty breathing
- Breathes very fast or grunts with each breath.
- Looks anxious or exhausted during feeding or is unable to nurse or take a bottle.
- Uses his or her neck, chest, and abdominal muscles to breathe, causing a "sucking in" between or under the ribs (retractions).
- May flare his or her nostrils when breathing in.
- May need to sit up and lean forward or tilt the nose up as if sniffing the air.
- May fight any attempt to change his or her position.
- Has pale, gray, or bluish skin (especially the tongue, lips, earlobes, and nail beds), or the skin is mottled (patchy pale and blue pattern).
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||David Messenger, MD|
|Last Revised||July 11, 2011|