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What are respiratory conditions?

Respiratory conditions affect the respiratory system (the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs). Respiratory conditions that affect babies may be chronic, congenital problems that require lifelong treatment such as asthma or cystic fibrosisor result from infection by some virus or bacteria such as bronchiolitis. Babies are more susceptible to contracting respiratory infections as their lungs and airways are smaller and more vulnerable however advances in treatment mean they are normally treatable and usually not life threatening.

Active cycle of breathing and chest clearence exercises supervised by a paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Active cycle of breathing and chest clearence exercises supervised by a paediatric physiotherapist

Types of respiratory conditions

Respiratory conditions in babies may include:
  • Croup (inflammation of the vocal cords)
  • Whooping cough
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Cystic fibrosis

What are the symptoms of respiratory conditions?

Symptoms and severity may vary according to the condition affecting the child but may include:
  • Coughing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Altered breathing pattern
  • Wheezing
  • Stridor (high pitched squeaking noise made when the baby breaths)

Physiotherapy for respiratory conditions

Physiotherapy treatment at will depend on the precise respiratory condition affecting your baby.

Babies with simple infections usually do not require physiotherapy, however in more complex or chronic conditions your baby may benefit from physiotherapy to assist in clearing secretions and maintaining a clear airway.

Our specialist paediatric physiotherapists at understand that respiratory conditions in babies can be distressing for parents, especially when these conditions are chronic.

Your physiotherapist at will provide individualised treatment and guidance throughout your child's rehabilitation to ensure they reach their maximum physical potential.

Physiotherapy treatment at may include:
  • Positioning advice to aid drainage of secretions and maximise lung function
  • Lung clearance techniques such percussion or vibrations
  • Breathing exercises to reduce shortness of breath and aid removal of secretions
  • Advice regarding inhaler techniques
  • Exercises to improve overall fitness which are enjoyable and effective
  • Advice to children and parents regarding long term management of chronic conditions
  • Liaison with parents and carers on overall management e.g. carrying out chest physiotherapy at home, how to recognise signs of respiratory distress etc.
Our paediatric physiotherapists at can provide treatment at our clinic, at your child's nursery/school or at your home for your convenience.

For more information about physiotherapy for respiratory conditions or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800, or book online today

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