My baby is wheezing. Could it be dangerous?
Babies’ little lungs are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses than older children. Coughs and colds may happen often to young babies, especially around polluted areas or during the monsoons. A cough can often be accompanied by a whistling sound and this can scare most new parents. Find out more about wheezing from Dr R. K. Anand.
A wheeze is a high pitched whistling sound associated with breathing due to narrowing of the air passage. This is to be differentiated from noisy breathing due to partial blockage of the nose or due to the collection of phlegm in the windpipe or its branches.
Most cases of recurrent wheezing are due to asthma. A viral infection called bronchiolitis affecting smaller infants can also be a common cause. A foreign body in the airway or a gland (due to tuberculosis or any other causes) pressing on the airway can also give rise to a wheeze.
I feel my child is wheezing. Will it pass on its own?
If you suspect that your child is wheezing for the first time in his life, let a doctor confirm it. Do not give any medicine on your own.
If the child is not crying, the doctor will be able to hear the wheeze well with his stethoscope. Hold your child up in your arms with his head on your shoulder. Do not undress him. Let the doctor listen to his back first and then notice his breathing.
If your doctor confirms that this was a wheeze, he may give the child an injection or a medicine with a nebulizer, or by mouth and wait for the response. If he finds dramatic improvement, he may suspect that the child has asthma.
If you know that your child gets recurrent wheezing, you must follow the advice given by your doctor. If he considers that tropical eosinophilia should be ruled out, he may ask for a blood test.
Over time, your baby’s immunity will greatly improve and he won’t fall prey to illnesses as often. Nutritional food, playing outdoors and basic hygiene is all you need to primarily follow to give your baby a healthy childhood. Illnesses as they say, is part of growing up.
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