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How to Help a Wheezing Toddler

author image Jon Mohrman
Jon Mohrman has been a writer and editor for more than seven years. He specializes in food, travel and health topics. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for English literature and San Francisco State University for creative writing.
How to Help a Wheezing Toddler
Toddler can wheeze just like adults. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Treatment of toddler wheezing depends largely on the underlying cause. Wheezing is a symptom, not a disease. Viral respiratory infections are the most common cause, followed by childhood asthma, notes the parenting site BabyCenter. Colds, allergies and other illnesses also trigger wheezing. If your child is asthmatic, help comes primarily from a treatment plan designed by your pediatrician. Some causes of wheezing require antibiotics or other medication, while others are waited out. Home measures can help reduce your toddler's wheezing and provide some relief. Smaller measure can remedy bouts of wheezing, but you should take more significant, long-term measures if your toddler is highly allergic or asthmatic.

Step 1

Follow your doctor's treatment instructions for asthmatic toddlers. Give them their oral and inhaled medications as prescribed.

Step 2

Give a non-asthmatic toddler an over-the-counter expectorant for children his age, if his pediatrician advises it. Follow package instructions and warnings.

Step 3

Run the air conditioning if it's warm or humid out to cool the house, lower its humidity and help clear the air of allergens and asthma triggers.

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Step 4

Turn the shower on hot and have your toddler sit in the steamy bathroom with the door and windows closed for 20 minutes, if he has not been diagnosed with asthma.

Step 5

Dust all the surfaces in the house and vacuum all the floors frequently to reduce irritants.

Step 6

Stop smoking in the house if anyone does so, no matter where inside it is. Smoke, an irritant, travels through the air and ducts.

Step 7

Put allergen-proof casings on your toddler's pillow, mattress and box spring to keep his bedding clear of allergens, irritants and asthma triggers.

Step 8

Wash your toddler's linens and stuffed animals weekly in water that reaches at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 9

Clean the heating and air conditioning units' filters. Install small-particle filters in the ventilation system.

Step 10

Convert your toddler's floor from carpeting to hard wood, as carpets readily accumulate allergens and irritants.

Step 11

Avoid pets with fur or feathers. If you have them, keep them outside as much as possible and away from your toddler and his room. Bathe them every few days.

Step 12

Seek medical treatment for your toddler if his breathing remains labored or if undiagnosed wheezing continues for more than three days.

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