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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Monitoring Your Child for Signs of Distress

Many children who are on oxygen experience times when they require extra oxygen. During feedings, after periods of activity, or when they have a cold, are usually the times when they will experience respiratory difficulty. You should look for the following symptoms:

  • Breathing faster than usual
  • Nasal flaring
  • Making a grunting noise
  • Retractions (chest pulling in)
  • Poor appetite
  • Duskiness, grayish color, or bluish color around the lips, gums, and eyes
  • Irritability/inability to sleep
  • Frightened appearance
  • Feeling short of breath or tight
  • Sleepiness or limpness

Ask your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider exactly what to do in the event that these symptoms occur. You should not feed your child during an episode of distress unless specifically instructed by your child's doctor.