I’m a GP and here’s how to tell if your baby’s breathing is an emergency | The Sun

BEING a parent can be daunting, especially when you're caring for a newborn baby.

It might feel as though when it comes to bedtime, you're constantly watching your little one breathing.


Watching their little chest raise up and down is a comforting sight.

But this might become laboured if they are feeling unwell especially with so many seasonal bugs currently doing the rounds.

Now one GP has revealed how to assess your child's breathing when they're ill.

Posting to Instagram, Dr Sara Kayat said: "With so many coughs and colds going around right now, it can be difficult to know when your child’s breathing is something you should see the Dr about."

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The expert said there are four steps you should take.

The first is to look at your child and assess if their complexion is paler than usual.

Dr Sara said you should also look to see if their nostrils are flaring or if they are experiencing tracheal tug.

If they are, this will look like they are sucking in at the front of their neck when taking a breath in.

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The GP said you should also be on the lookout for intercostal recession.

She explained that this is the indrawing of the muscles between the ribs on taking a breath in.

Secondly, Dr Sara said you should listen out for a coarse whistling sound, also referred to as wheezing.

The expert added that you might also hear a 'strido' which is a high pitched sound.

She advised googling these sounds so you can become familiar with them.

The third step you need to take, Dr Sara said, is counting.

For this, she said you should check the respiratory rate chart which details how many breaths a minute your child should be taking for their age.

For example, the lower limit is 25 breaths for a 0-3 month-old, with the normal range being between 34-57.

The chart is below and counts up to the age of 18.

Finally, she said you should always trust your instincts as a parent.

"If you are worried, contact your child’s doctor. Your instincts are enough of a reason," she said.

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If you are worried about any of your child's symptoms you should always see your GP.

In the event of an emergency, call 999.


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