Any kind of breathing difficulty your infant or child experiences can be scary for both parent and child. It is often nothing to worry about and illnesses like bronchiolitis, mild croup and a cough can often be treated at home.
Use your instincts with newborns and babies. It could be:
- Rapid breathing or panting, which is common. There is no other sign of illness, it comes and goes and your baby is breathing comfortably most of the time, there’s normally no need to worry.
- Breathing may sound a bit rattly. Try holding your baby upright.
- Occasional coughing or choking which may occur when a baby takes in milk too quickly with feeds. Try to slow things down a bit. Check feeding position.
- A cold or mild cough. Keep an eye on them at this stage and use your instincts. If you are worried talk to your health visitor.
In older babies and toddlers you may notice:
- Coughing, runny nose, mild temperature.
- Croup (hoarse voice, barking cough) needs to be assessed by your GP and may need treating with steroids.
- Child appears pale.
- Wheezing is fairly common in the under 5s associated with colds. It is not usually suggestive of asthma unless symptoms occur between viral infections.