Throat Congestion in Babies

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Newborns and older infants may have throat congestion for a variety of reasons, including the common cold. Discover symptoms that may accompany throat congestion in babies with help from a pediatrician in this free video on babies and health care.

Part of the Video Series: Baby Ear, Nose & Throat Health
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Doctor David Hill, and today about throat congestion in babies. Now, newborns and older infants, may have some throat congestion for a variety of reasons. The most obvious would be the common cold. So, this is pretty straight forward. Is the baby's nose runny, is it stuffy? Is he or she coughing? The real question here is, how bad is the congestion. Is it making it difficult for your baby to breathe? Now, when a baby gets a cold, you may hear sort of a rattly sound in the chest. That doesn't bother me. But if you hear a high pitched sound like a wheeze, that does bother me, especially if it's every time the baby breathes out. Now, there are some signs of breathing difficulty that you can look for in a baby. One is, are they breathing faster than usual. Two, do you see the skin pulling between the ribs or underneath or over the ribcage. Three, is he or she making a little grunting noise with every breath.. a little eh.. eh.. eh. That's not normal. That's a sign of respiratory distress. If the noise is flaring with every breath, that's also a sign of respiratory distress. That baby, if those things are happening, needs to be evaluated immediately by a medical provider. Because those things may signify some really serious lung problems. Now, another reason babies may get some congestion in the throat is gastroesophageal reflux. This is very common. Especially after babies spit up, it may be very obvious. Sometimes it may not be obvious. The throat congestion may be the only sign of the reflux. It gets right to here and goes back down. You never see it, but it's still causing your baby some discomfort. So, if that seems to be a common recurring problem for your baby, talk to your doctor about what you can do to help out with that reflux. Talking about throat congestion in babies, I'm Doctor David Hill.

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