Spotting Respiratory Infections Early

Treating a respiratory infection early in children with CF will help reduce the chance of it becoming more serious. When signs of a respiratory infection develop, call the CF Center or your pediatrician for guidance.

What Are Symptoms of a Respiratory Infection?

  • Cold symptoms: Runny nose, congested eyes or sneezing. Babies might refuse to take a bottle or nurse.
  • Decreased activity: Babies may appear more tired, sleep more and may be irritable.
  • Decreased appetite
  • New or increased cough: A new cough is noticed, or a baseline cough worsens (becomes more frequent, may increase at night, or sounds deeper). There may or may not be more phlegm or mucus.
  • Loose stools with mucus: Mucus that is swallowed may pass in the stool.
  • Vomiting after feedings or meals: In a baby, this is more than just “spitting up” or “wet burps.”
  • Fever: Take temperature rectally or under the arm on infants and small children. Ear thermometers are acceptable.
  • Rapid breathing rate: Note if breathing is faster than normal for your baby. Try counting the breaths for 30 seconds and multiply by two.
  • New or increased wheezing (a whistling-type noise when breathing)
  • Retractions: When your child is sick, the area between the ribs and below the ribs may be sucked in with each breath.
  • Nasal flaring: The sides of the nose may move in and out with each breath.
  • Skin color: A bluish color may appear around the lips, fingernail beds and/or under the eyes.