Breathing problems in children are often a sign of an underlying health problem. Keep reading to learn more. 

One of your main roles as a parent is to look out for your children at all times — especially when it comes to breathing problems. 

Around the world, lots of children have difficulty with their breathing. For instance, over 4.2 million kids have asthma or a different respiratory condition that they have to deal with on a daily basis. Of course, these are the children who have been successfully diagnosed. In reality, there are countless other young children with breathing problems who have yet to be diagnosed with anything. 

So, whether you’re a parent whose child has shown signs of breathing difficulties or you simply want to grow your knowledge on an important subject, here’s a closer look at common breathing problems to look out for in children. 

Noisy or Labored Breathing 

If your child is experiencing noisy or labored breathing, particularly when they eat, this is a problem you shouldn’t ignore.  

Noisy or labored breathing is one of the many vascular ring symptoms. Although it’s entirely possible that your child doesn’t have vascular ring, it’s still important that you get them checked out through a physical examination. This way, you can discover whether they have vascular ring or another type of congenital heart defect. 

Fast Breathing 

Next, look out for fast breathing. 

Although fast breathing can happen in one-off situations (for example, if your child has a bad cold), it’s something to be concerned about if fast breathing is a common occurrence. Often, fast breathing in children can be a sign of a lung infection, such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which is why you should take them to their healthcare practice or the nearest hospital when they are exhibiting symptoms.

Slow Breathing

Slow breathing or wheezing can be a symptom of asthma, pneumonia, or heart problems. 

If your child is breathing slowly and having to work extremely hard just to breathe, you should call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency department. Although it’s entirely possible that their breathing difficulty will pass, you should always stay on the safe side. This is because slow breathing can quickly progress into something more serious. 

Sudden Breathlessness 

When a child experiences sudden breathlessness, which usually sees them enter a panicked state, it’s normally a sign that their airway is blocked. This can be caused by food or even foreign objects (for example, coins), which is why you should seek medical attention fast. 

It’s also worth pointing out that some children experience sudden breathlessness after exercising, such as when they play football with friends. When sudden breathlessness appears after exercise or strenuous physical activity, this could be a sign that your child has asthma. In this case, take them to your doctor for an examination and (potential) diagnosis. 


From noise or labored breathing to sudden breathlessness, there are many different breathing problems that you need to look out for in children. If your child ever experiences any of the above-mentioned breathing problems, never ignore it. Instead, air on the side of caution and get medical help, as you might discover that your child has an underlying condition that has been affecting their breathing.