A. Grunting is usually considered a sign that a child is having trouble breathing.
By grunting, they are able to raise the pressure in their lungs more than they can from a normal breath, and get more air into their lungs. Other kids do a similar thing by sighing.
Other signs or symptoms that a child may be having trouble breathing (respiratory distress) include:
- a fast breathing rate (tachypnea)
- cyanosis, with a bluish discoloration of a child's skin
- nasal flaring
- retractions, with a child's chest sinking in just below her neck and/or beneath her ribs
- wheezing, a tight musical or whistling sound that may be heard when a child breaths in or out
- stridor, a harsh, high pitched sound that is heard when a child, usually with croup, breaths in
- a non-stop cough
Has she ever had problems with asthma?
Does asthma or allergies run in the family?
Did she recently choke on something, which may have gotten stuck in her lungs, like a piece of popcorn or a peanut?
Even without other symptoms, you likely should see your Pediatrician again for a recheck. A chest xray might also be a good idea.
If your Pediatrician is unclear what might be causing the grunting and it persists, an evaluation by a Pediatric Pulmonologist (child lung specialist) might also be helpful.
And try our Asthma Screening Quiz to see if your child has any other symptoms of asthma.