Hyperventilation is breathing that is deeper and faster than normal. It can make your child feel light-headed, with a fast heartbeat and shortness of breath. Your child may also have numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, anxiety, fainting, and sore chest muscles.
Your child may hyperventilate when under physical or emotional stress. Some causes of sudden hyperventilation include anxiety, asthma, a head injury, fever, and some medicines. You can help by teaching your child a different way to breathe.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Teach your child to always try to control his or her breathing or to belly-breathe first. If these techniques do not work and your child does not have other health problems, you might have your child try breathing in and out of a paper bag. Teach yourself first and then teach your child.
Do not try this method with your child if:
Follow these safety measures when using this method:
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter F566 in the search box to learn more about "Hyperventilation in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: March 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
©2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.