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Wheezing & breathing difficulties

Look at the signs

Any kind of breathing difficulty your infant or child experiences can be scary for parents. It is often nothing to worry about and illnesses like bronchiolitis, mild croup and a cough can often be treated at home.

Use your instincts with newborns and babies. It could be:

In older babies and toddlers you may notice:

GP’s tips

Get help and contact your GP now if your child:

Get help and call 999 or take them to A&E now if:


Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory tract infection that affects babies and young children under a year old. The early symptoms are similar to those of a common cold and include a runny nose and cough.

As it develops, the symptoms of bronchiolitis can include: A slight fever, a persistent cough and difficulty feeding.

Symptoms usually improve after three days and in most cases the illness isn’t serious. However, contact your GP or Health Visitor if your child is only able to feed half the normal amount or is struggling to breathe, or if you are generally worried about them.



My child with croup has a distinctive barking cough and makes a harsh sound, when they breathe in.


Comforting your child is important as symptoms may worsen if they are agitated or crying. Mild cases of croup can be managed at home. If your child has a fever, children's paracetamol will help lower their temperature.


Try to remain calm and enable your child to rest. Position your child comfortably in an upright position to help with their breathing.

Source: NHS Choices - Symptoms of bronchiolitis