When a child has difficulty breathing as a result of illness or allergic reaction, it’s common that a physician will prescribe a breathing treatment for them. Helping to reduce swelling or inflammation in the lungs, breathing treatments are normally given as a nebulizer, meaning it sends the medication in vaporized form so the child can breathe it into his or her lungs.

So how do you know when your child will need breathing treatments?


When an environmental stimulus forces the bronchioles of the lungs to tighten, asthma occurs, causing your child to have trouble moving air in and out of the lungs. This often results in wheezing and an increased breathing rate.


Typically the result of a virus, croup is a condition that forces the airways to narrow. Studies show that croup can often result from illnesses like parainfluenza or influenza. During croup, the small airways of the lungs swell causing noisy breathing called stridor.

Allergic reactions

If your child has a life-threatening allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, his or her breathing passage will swell to the point where breathing is a challenge.

Lung infections

Viral infections, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia are all lung infections that may require breathing treatments, depending on the severity of the infection.

Breathing treatments usually result in fast improvement of difficulty breathing. If you believe your child is in need of a breathing treatment, consider talking with a medical professional at Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. One of our doctors will help you learn all of your treatment options and find what’s best for your child. Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care is a kid-focused facility designed exclusively to care for children.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.