(KUTV) Winter means most of us are spending more of our time inside. This gives viruses additional time to spread and travel. However, getting sick with a virus can mean a trip to the doctor’s office and, for your little one, may mean a prescription to the suction clinic.
“They’re able to bring them here and get a good thorough assessment of the respiratory system any time their baby is kind of ill,” says Pam Barney, a Respiratory Therapist at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital.
During a visit, your child’s heart rate and oxygen levels will be checked. They’ll be listened to and a respiratory therapist will talk to parents about a variety of topics, including hydration.
“We talk about feedings. We talk about breastfeeding, if they’re bottle feeding, and maybe some options to make eating easier as their dealing with the secretions that they’re often not able to get out by themselves,” says Barney.
If the respiratory therapist determines your child could use some assistance, they have several options available.
“We have the BBG suction which just kind of goes right here at the surface and we’re able to get out everything kind of by the curve, and then we have the actual deep suction which goes down just right above the vocal cords,” explains Barney.
They’ll also teach parents how they themselves can help take care of their child at home whether it be saline, a syringe, or something else. Since babies aren’t able to clear their nose and throat by themselves you have to step in and become their decongestant.
“You want to get the secretions out there, keep them thin, and keep the baby hydrated. Those are the main things,” says Barney.
A prescription to the suction clinic is for children under the age of two and last for about seven days. If at that point your child still has symptoms, it’s time to head back into the doctor’s office.