HYPERVENTILATION IN CHILDREN: SYMPTOMS, HOME CARE, PRECAUTION AND TREATMENT

Signs and symptoms
Close observation will determine if your child is having trouble breathing or if the child is actually getting many full breaths of air in and out. Hyperventilation syndrome is never accompanied by cough or fever. There is no abnormal sound during breathing. Children who tend to hyperventilate may have repeated attacks.

Home care
It is important to remain calm and to reassure the child. Have your child breathe into a large paper bag held loosely over the mouth and nose. This will allow the child to re-breathe the exhaled carbon dioxide. Look for such causes as intolerable pressures or anxieties in the child's surroundings - at home, at school, or in relationships with friends.

Precaution
• Hyperventilation syndrome can develop as a result of rapid, prolonged, forced deep breathing, which has become a party stunt in some circles. Encourage other kinds of games.

Medical treatment
A doctor will treat an acute attack the same as you would at home. Treatment of the underlying causes of hyperventilation depends upon investigating and analyzing possible sources of stress and emotional upset in your child. Psychiatric counseling may be advised for severe cases.

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