Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School


When to Call A Doctor

If your child appears to have severe breathing problems, either call for emergency help immediately, or take your child to an emergency room.

Some danger signs to watch for include:

  • Labored breathing with flaring nostrils or retractions

  • Blueness of the lips or fingernails

  • Restlessness or confusion

  • Sleepiness or lethargy

  • Severe bouts of coughing that last for more than one minute and interfere with breathing

  • Excessive drooling

  • High fevers

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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