How to tell if baby's breathing is labored?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

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Asked by: Andrew Graham Sr.
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Signs of Respiratory Distress in Children
  1. Breathing rate. An increase in the number of breaths per minute may indicate that a person is having trouble breathing or not getting enough oxygen.
  2. Increased heart rate. ...
  3. Color changes. ...
  4. Grunting. ...
  5. Nose flaring. ...
  6. Retractions. ...
  7. Sweating. ...
  8. Wheezing.

When should I worry about my baby's breathing?

See your doctor immediately if your child: is grunting or moaning at the end of each breath. has nostrils flaring, which means they're working harder to get oxygen into their lungs. has muscles pulling in on the neck, around collarbones, or ribs.

What does labored breathing look like?

Labored breathing is characterized by its physical features, such as grunting and the use of accessory muscles to breathe. Sometimes you may hear labored breathing referred to as increased work of breathing or working hard to breathe.

What does retracted breathing look like in babies?

Another sign of trouble taking in air is retracting, when the baby is pulling the chest in at the ribs, below the breastbone, or above the collarbones. Grunting. This is a sound made by a baby who is having trouble breathing. The baby grunts to try to keep air in the lungs to help build up the oxygen level.

"Recognizing Respiratory Distress" by Monica Kleinman, MD for OPENPediatrics

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