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  • Foundation for Airway Health

Pediatric Airway Health: Signs and Solutions for Concerned Parents

Updated: Jan 26

A child's airway health is vitally important. A healthy airway allows for vital oxygen

exchange, which is essential for various bodily functions and overall growth. Ensuring

the health of your child’s airway is paramount for adequate breathing, which impacts

everything from brain function to energy levels.

Common Pediatric Airway Issues

Some of the most common airway health issues that affect children include:

● Asthma: Asthma causes swelling and narrowing of the airways, making

breathing difficult. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of


● Allergies: Allergies can trigger asthma symptoms and inflame the airways.

Common allergy triggers include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold.

● Respiratory infections: Colds, flu, bronchiolitis, and other infections can cause

congestion, inflammation, and mucus production, obstructing airways.

● Sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse during

sleep, leading to snoring and breathing interruptions.

● Airway malformations: Congenital disabilities like a cleft palate, laryngomalacia,

or tracheomalacia can affect airway anatomy and function.

Recognizing the Signs of Pediatric Airway Problems

Watch for these common signs of potential airway health issues in children:

● Persistent cough, especially at night

● Wheezing or whistle-like breathing sounds

● Frequent colds that settle in the chest

● Shortness of breath during play or exercise

● Blueness around the lips or fingernails

● Snoring or noisy breathing during sleep

● Difficulty breathing when eating or drinking

● Poor weight gain or failure to thrive

Take note if symptoms worsen with exercise, allergens, respiratory infections, or other

triggers at night. Seek medical advice promptly if you have concerns about changes in

your child's breathing.

Solutions for Improving Pediatric Airway Health

If your child is experiencing any airway health issues, these solutions can help:

● Medications: Bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, and antihistamines are

commonly prescribed to open airways, reduce inflammation, and prevent allergy


● Nebulizer treatments: Delivering medication via nebulizer opens airways,

allowing deep penetration into the lungs.

● Allergen avoidance: Limiting exposure to known allergy triggers can prevent

inflammatory reactions.

● CPAP or BiPAP: Machines like CPAP or BiPAP keep airways open during sleep

for children with sleep apnea.

● Pulmonary rehabilitation: Therapies can teach breathing exercises and airway

clearance techniques.

Help Us Promote the Benefits of Airway Health

Join the Foundation for Airway Health’s mission to ensure everyone understands how

breathing impacts health and development. Your donation allows us to spread the word

about the importance of breathing for overall health, conduct valuable research, and

ensure access to care.

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