Child needs to take frequent deep breaths - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 10-05-2010, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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My 5 yr old DS is doing this thing where he is taking very deep breaths frequently. It started when we were reading stories at night. I noticed about a week ago that he would constantly be doing it. He does not have asthma. I asked him on two occasons why he was doing this and he just said that he can't get enough air.
This only is happening at sedentary activities. When he is playing
sports or very busy, he doesn't do it. I'm leaving him alone and I'm going to tell DH If he notices it Not to say anything.
I tho k it's a bit of an obsessive thing and hope it will pass.
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#2 of 13 Old 10-05-2010, 07:33 PM
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Tell him that an easy way to get more air is to exhale more than you think you can. So at the end of an exhale, keep going; actually blow like you're blowing out candles, as much as you can. Then you can breathe in a lot. I used to have this problem and a doc fixed me right up with that trick.
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#3 of 13 Old 10-05-2010, 09:19 PM
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I suggest looking up ways to help children through nervous tics if you can find some books or articles on line about it. My impulse would be to say ignore it and work on decreasing his need for it at the same time. My friends son started doing this as his first nervous tic when he was the same age (just after starting school) and his mom gave it a lot of attention and spent a lot of her energy trying to get him to stop whenever we were around each other, though she has since gone to ignoring it because it made him focus on the tic rather than other things when she brought it up. He went on to develop so many tics we can't be around him anymore because he makes my dd nervous. My mom would call us and she could tell just by my dd's tone that she had seen him that day, she still can tell and we see him maybe four times a year now. She has started him in counseling and that is helping some according to her but it has been a long process with lots of parent teacher conferences. If you can find a way to avoid that now I really suggest it. I would not want to go through something like that.
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#4 of 13 Old 10-05-2010, 11:12 PM
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I use to do this all the time as a child and still do. It's true. It's like I can't get enough air. I notice in particular the other night when I had a big bowl of cereal WITH MILK. I was taking deep breaths all night. I'm pretty sure it's a milk allergy. I also do it after I drink grenadine (cherry flavoring) and coke. Something about the flavoring makes me have to take these deep breaths like I can't get enough air. I love grenadine and coke but I avoid it because it just doesn't feel good to feel like you can't get enough air in your lungs. It can even be scarey. So definately allergies!

I don't always do it after milk though, so it seems it's like concentrated milk things to sort of put it.. like ice cream or a bowl of milk. Even after diet soda I find myself kinda wanting to do it but not as severe. but it's not gasping or choking to death it's these big deep breaths to get more air.
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#5 of 13 Old 10-05-2010, 11:14 PM
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I would suggest to previous poster the child get medical attention not psychological and I would educate your daughter that everyone is beautiful and some have different medical issues. She shouldn't be afraid of people with disabilities.
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#6 of 13 Old 10-12-2011, 07:10 PM
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My DD started to do this about 1 month ago.  I noticed that you posted this awhile ago.  What did you do and how is your DS doing with the deep breathing?  I have made an appointment with a Ped. Pulm. and hope to get some answers.  It's very unsettling and wonder what it could possibly be?

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#7 of 13 Old 10-12-2011, 07:24 PM
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My daughter did this exact same thing.  I had asked her about it (she does have allergies) and she said it was only because she couldn't get enough into her nose.  She kept wanting to breathe that way and ended up having to "catch up" every few breaths.  This worried me for a while, too.  Her allergist said that coughing is the sign to watch for asthma and she does cough when she gets very upset (so, not asthma but worth watching).


This had gone on for a while when she finally was old enough to use her words to answer my questions.  Bottom line?  Her nose is chronically stuffed up, probably due to her extensive allergies.  A kid's nasal irrigation kit could help, easier to get started on than a neti pot, but you could try that too.  Honestly, we've done nothing but explore options and she doesn't do this anymore.  I think she has learned to mouth-breathe a little when she doesn't feel like she's getting enough through her nose.  Yeah, we should do the sinus rinse, sure, but she seems to have adjusted.  She's 6.5 now.

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#8 of 13 Old 10-12-2011, 08:52 PM
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This happens to me too.  It feels like I'm not getting enough air through normal breathing and sometimes it's difficult to take a deep breath to get more air, unless I yawn.  I asked a doctor about it when I was in my teens and they did some tests and said my air intake was fine, but of course it wasn't bothering me when they were testing.  It comes and goes, having cool air or a fan blowing in my face helps me.

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#9 of 13 Old 10-13-2011, 12:16 AM
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This description is the very definition of asthma, or of another respiratory or pulmonary issue. 


Lying down is the TOUGHEST thing to do when you have asthma.  It messes up your ability to exhale and the way your bronchioles respond.


It's normal NOT to be comfortable lying down if you have asthma or something like pneumonia.


Please, hit up a doctor, a PA, a Nurse Practitioner, and  have your son tell them what's happening.  Get him tested, see if he responds to simple meds. 


I say this with lots of love and understanding...I've had asthma all my life but wasn't diagnosed until I got sick (with pneumonia, bronchitis, and laryngitis all at once) and almost died when I was 12.  :/  Not a happy experience. 


love, p

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#10 of 13 Old 10-13-2011, 05:53 AM
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It could also be wheat allergy. Gluten can be a reason for excess mucus and a stuffy nose.

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#11 of 13 Old 10-13-2011, 08:50 AM
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I have always had this problem, especially when laying down flat but sometimes when just sitting around also. It is like even if I breathe deep, I just can't get enough oxygen. It helps me to open a window or generally just having air move around me. It also helps to lower the temperature in the room somewhat...and to do a thorough cleaning session with damp rags to really catch the dust. Hoovering and dusting doesn't really catch dust the same way as a good damp rag does.


In any case, don't dismiss it since it can actually be something and in the meantime, just open a window to let in some fresh air.

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#12 of 13 Old 10-13-2011, 01:06 PM
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My dd, 8, did this for a couple of weeks. She described it the same way - couldn't get enough air. We brought her to the Dr.; nothing out if the ordinary was found. It passed & resolved itself on it's own. In her case, I now suspect it was some kind of virus. Hope your lo is doing better.
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#13 of 13 Old 10-21-2011, 09:33 AM
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I do this too, after a chest Xray (former smoker here) and pulmonary capacity test or something like that, was diagnosed with mild asthma. They gave me an inhaler I didn't use for two years and I didn't bother to refill the prescription. For me, I only notice it when I have a cold, even if the cold is too mild for coughing, runny nose, etc., this will be a symptom.


I would definitely get it checked out, you don't want to mess around with asthma.


Which reminds me maybe I should refill that prescription.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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