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The 411 on Abnormal Breathing

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children

When to take your child to the ER for changes in breathing

Abnormal breathing can be troubling for any parent to witness in his or her child. While some changes in breathing are temporary and relatively harmless, other abnormal breathing episodes may indicate a larger problem.
 
Irregular Breathing in Newborns

Newborns will often begin breathing faster for a few seconds and then slow down their breathing, especially when sleeping. This type of irregular breathing is normal and does not require treatment. If irregular breathing persists past the age of 6 months, call your pediatrician to ensure your child’s breathing is healthy. If your infant displays any of the symptoms listed below, immediately seek emergency care.
 
If Your Child Stops Breathing

If your child has stopped breathing and is not responsive, immediately begin CPR and call 911.
 
If your child ceases breathing for 15 seconds or more, and then resumes breathing, visit the pediatric ER. Even if your child seems fine, it is important to make sure the underlying reason for the episode has been resolved. 
 
Many children between the age of 6 months and 6 years experience breath-holding spells, or involuntary breath holding that usually occurs when the child is crying or upset. Children who experience these spells do not need to seek emergency care unless the incident results in unconsciousness or a seizure. In these cases, it is best to visit the pediatric ER to make sure there are no other reasons for the seizure or unconsciousness.
 
Changes in Breathing

If your child seems to be having a hard time breathing, or you notice abnormal behaviors or actions, it may be time to seek emergency care. Visit the pediatric ER if you notice these symptoms:

  • Breathing that is faster than normal
  • Breathing harder than usual without exertion
  • Chest and abdomen look like a see-saw (one goes up while the other goes down)
  • Bluish hue to the lips or skin
  • Persistent barking cough or wheezing
  • High-pitched squeaky sound in the upper airway
  • Placing weight on the hands in a tripod position while hyperextending the neck

If your child is recovering from a choking episode in which he or she turned blue but returned to normal, it is still a good idea to visit the pediatric ER to ensure there are no longer-term consequences.

HealthONE has five pediatric emergency departments in the Denver metro area, so you are certain to find an ER that is close to home and able to quickly care for your child. Our hospitals strive to beat the national average wait time, so you can get quick access to high-quality emergency medical care.

November 5, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.