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What Can Cause Problematic Breathing in Children?

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Difficulty breathing can be a life-threatening emergency and should be addressed right away. In children – and especially very young children – it can be challenging to communicate and determine what may be causing their symptoms. Not only that but there are a number of potential factors that can contribute to changes in breathing habits or problematic breathing altogether. At Health Services of North Texas, our expert team of physicians, PAs, and nurse practitioners understand the complex and serious nature of pediatric breathing problems and provide a wide range of diagnostic services and treatments, including urgent care services in Plano and Wylie, TX to protect the health and safety of your child. In this blog, you’ll learn more about some of the most common causes of trouble breathing in kids and when a visit to the doctor, urgent care, or hospital may be warranted.

Why is my child struggling to breathe?

If you have noticed the sudden or gradual onset of difficulty breathing in your child, it could be due to one of the following common causes of problematic breathing in kids:

  • Infection (bacterial or viral)
  • Asthma
  • Blocked airway
  • Environmental allergies
  • Smog/pollutant exposure
  • Cigarette smoke exposure
  • Underlying medical condition

When should I take my child to the doctor for breathing problems?

If your child is complaining of breathing trouble, or if you have noticed any of the following signs or symptoms of respiratory distress, it is critical to take your child to the nearest urgent care or emergency facility as soon as possible:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Struggling to take a breath
  • Wheezing, grunting, or high-pitched whistling noise while breathing
  • Chest looks “sucked in” around the ribs while inhaling
  • Flared nostrils
  • Skin is pale or blue
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Fever

For non-emergency situations, Health Services of North Texas offers pediatric urgent care visits at our Plano and Wylie locations during normal business hours. Existing patients can rest assured that they will receive a scheduled appointment time to avoid a lengthy waiting period and that their child will be comforted by visiting a provider with whom they are already familiar.

What other symptoms or conditions should be seen in urgent care for children?

Again, any life-threatening emergency should be seen in a hospital ER right away, and if an urgent care visit at HSNT warrants referral to the ER, we will not hesitate to make that recommendation. However, there are many conditions or situations that can be appropriately diagnosed and treated by our providers in an urgent care setting, such as:

  • Early or mild dehydration
  • Fever
  • Non-life-threatening breathing difficulties
  • Mild allergic reaction
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Trauma (cuts, scrapes, contusions, etc.)
  • Concussion
  • Broken bone
  • Epididymitis (male)
  • Stiff neck

Don’t delay care when it comes to your child’s difficulty breathing in North DFW

Trouble breathing and respiratory distress can often be indicative of a serious and even life-threatening condition. If you suspect that your child is in respiratory distress, visit your nearest hospital or emergency room right away. For less severe, non-emergency situations, our dedicated team of medical providers at Health Services of North Texas can help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms with familiar, compassionate urgent care services in Plano and Wylie, TX. To schedule an appointment with Health Services of North Texas, click here.