What Do Chest Retractions Look Like?

RSV season is here already, and like most parents and caregivers, we all enter into this time period a little wary and anxious. RSV has the potential to be really dangerous to infants and small children, which can worry any parent.

While it is important to remember that not all RSV infections become severe, it is important to know what symptoms to look for that indicate a medical emergency.

Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team explains more about RSV and the symptoms associated with it, so read on to learn more.

How Do Children Contract RSV?

RSV is really contagious, especially amongst the younger and older populations. This is because these categories of people spend much more time in close proximity to one another. A single RSV infection in a classroom, daycare, nursing home or assisted living facility can lead to an entire outbreak.

RSV travels through the air via airborne viral droplets from uncovered coughs and sneezes, but it can also be contracted through direct contact. A single kiss to your child’s face could lead to a serious infection, so be cautious about who you allow to kiss your child during this time of year.

Common Mild Symptoms of RSV

  • Fever
  • Runny nose/congestion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches

Why Does Respiratory Distress Happen With RSV?

The simple act of breathing requires all kinds of muscles and organs to work in tandem for you to take every single breath. RSV settles into your child’s upper respiratory system and can cause inflammation in his or her airways. This inflammation can make it harder for the lungs to fill properly, and the supporting muscles can’t do their job.

When your child is experiencing difficulty breathing, they could be displaying chest retractions with each breath. If you are looking at your child’s chest, his or her chest wall will sink in beneath the breastbone or under the neck with every shallow or rapid breath. This sign means that your child is not getting the proper airflow through his or her lungs and you need to seek medical attention right away.

Red Flag Symptoms to Watch For

  • Shallow breathing or chest contractions
  • A high fever that won’t go away
  • Blue skin or fingernails
  • Loss of consciousness

If you aren’t feeling well, we can help. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte.