Toddler Breathing Heavily in Fever

Submitted by Nic on January 18, 2012

It is only natural for just about any parent to get very worried on seeing their child breathing at a pace that is too fast or rapid, especially when the child is not feeling well and has fever. This is probably because most people associate toddler fever and rapid breathing with conditions such as asthma, pneumonia or other similarly respiratory illnesses. However, it is important for parents to realize that in some instances rapid breathing is not a major cause for concern. For example, when a person suffers from fever, it is normal for them to breathe faster and therefore, toddler fever and rapid breathing is not necessarily an unusual occurrence.


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All health experts accept that on average, a toddler’s breathing rate is much higher as compared to adults. Therefore, to an untrained eye, it may seem like the toddler’s breathing may be rapid which may not really be the case. Moreover, most children also suffer from a cold and cough, when they have fever.

Symptoms like stuffy nose, runny nose and cough are some of the main factors that could lead to heavy breathing, when the child is not feeling well. In order to deal with toddler fever and shallow breathing, people should take a two fold approach and first treat the root cause of the fever. They can also help to maintain normal breathing patterns in the toddler by ensuring that the child receives adequate rest and is in a comfortable position with his/her head slightly inclined to facilitate breathing. As the toddler fever reduces, the breathing pace should also get better.

While toddler fever and rapid breathing are not really a cause for concern, it is also important for parents and care givers to see how fast the child is breathing. Even with a fever, the child breathing rate should not exceed 30 to 35 breaths per minute. Any instances of toddler fever and fast breathing, where the child seems to be drawing in more than 35 breaths per minute should be checked by a doctor immediately. Hence, parents should seek emergency medical attention if they notice severe cases of toddler fever and heavy breathing. Moreover, if instances of toddler fever and rapid breathing are accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as changes in the color of the skin, and wheezing it is important to rush the child to the closest medical facility, without any delay. All instances of toddler fever and labored breathing should be checked and investigated by a medical health care provider.

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