Children have developing bodies that are prone to illness in some cases. When the respiratory system is affected by health problems, then you may find periods where your kid experiences breathing difficulties. Not only can this affect their physical well-being, but difficulty breathing can also potentially cause the kid to start panicking, which ultimately impacts their mental health too. Medical treatments help, but parents must understand that some additional strategies can be used at home to improve breathing and calm their kids down.
This is where breathing techniques in pediatrics come into play. These techniques focus on helping your kid; take a deep breath, calm down, and ensure a sufficient amount of oxygen is pushed into their body. But, first, we take a closer look at some helpful breathing techniques and exercises that can be used for kids.
Advantages And Benefits Of Breathing Techniques In Pediatrics
Breathing is something that happens naturally. Since this process occurs automatically, we rarely stop to think about the function of breathing. Yet, once you sit down and take a deep breath, you feel better as your body starts to relax. The same applies to kids, yet they often do not realize that breathing can be a helpful tool when things around them feel a bit overwhelming.
One study explains that chronic stress is becoming an increasing concern today, even among kids. Both children and teenagers are being affected by stress, which can affect their ability to focus on schoolwork and impact their learning capabilities.
Breathing techniques have been shown to have a positive effect on stress. These exercises can be helpful for both the physical and mental issues that develop when a kid feels stressed or overwhelmed. There are several benefits that kids are provided with when their parents teach them about breathing techniques they can use in these situations.
One study looked at how deep breathing techniques affect perceived stress among a group of study participants. Thirty-six individuals participated in this study. The study participants were divided into two groups, a control group, and an experimental group. Perceived stress levels were significantly lower in the group who performed deep breathing exercises after the study period than those who did not perform these breathing techniques.
It was also found that these deep breathing techniques may physically impact the body. Saliva samples were collected among the individuals, and heart rate monitors were also used in the study. Cortisol levels detected in the saliva samples submitted by the individuals declined with deep breathing exercises. There were improvements observed in the study participants’ heart rate as well.
When kids understand how breathing exercises can help and how they should use them, they may experience these benefits:
● A fast and effective way of relaxing their entire body, which can be helpful if the child feels tense
● A reduction in feelings of both stress and anxiousness
● Improved focus as the mind generally refocuses during deep breathing exercises
● Heart rate will also start to decline
Deep breathing will also cause more oxygen to flow into the body. This further facilitates the calming properties that come with these particular techniques.
Breathing Exercises For Pediatrics
It can be tricky to teach your child breathing techniques. This especially comes into play when you are teaching them about belly breathing. This is why it is generally advised to start teaching your kid about these techniques from a young age. The earlier you start, the easier the process may be. This also gives you more time to prepare them with breathing exercises before they go to school – which is a period in their life where they may most need access to these techniques.
When teaching your kid belly breathing techniques, make sure they are calm. This will ensure your kid can focus on what you are saying and make the session more productive. Start by getting your kid to breathe like they usually do. The parent needs to get an idea of how their kid breathes normally before teaching them about these techniques.
It is also good to get the kid to lie down on a flat surface. Many people find it easier to learn the belly breathing technique in this particular position. The kid should place one of their hands on their chest. Position the hand at the upper region of the chest. The other hand should go on their abdomen – just above their belly button.
The kid should breathe in by using their nose and not their mouth. Advise the kid to breathe so that the air fills the lungs downwards to the abdomen area. If the kid can do this correctly, the hand placed on the abdomen should rise when they breathe, not the hand on the chest.
Advise the kid to hold this breathing position for a few moments, then slowly breathe out through their mouth. Again, it is important to encourage a slow release of air from the lungs at this point.
There are a couple of strategies and tools that you can use to make this entire process more manageable. For example, get your kid a bubble-blowing kit. Start by blowing bubbles so that they can see how you do it, then allow them to give it a try. Make sure you tell your kid to blow slowly to make the bubble as big as possible. This way, they will learn more about how to control their breathing while also performing a deep breath while having fun.
There are also breathing shapes that can assist with the learning process. This includes the use of triangles and squares. Some kids tend to respond well to these particular techniques.
As your kid improve their deep breathing skills, you can start having sessions with them to encourage these techniques. First, make sure the kid understands precisely why they are being taught about deep breathing. This way, you can ensure your kid knows when and where they should utilize the technique. For example, you may tell your kid that they can use deep breathing when they feel a bit overwhelmed or anxious in a new classroom. Likewise, they can use the technique to calm down when they disagree with a friend, as this can effectively help prevent further conflict from developing. These are, of course, only examples of potential scenarios.
Stress, anxiety, and similar mental problems can affect kids. Children may start to feel overwhelmed when entering school for the first time, or perhaps they are struggling to fall asleep. Equipping kids with strategies that they can use to remain calm in these situations is essential, which is why parents should consider teaching their children breathing exercises. These exercises are not only great for calming down but can also be a helpful tool for kids who experience breathing difficulties due to respiratory conditions.