Here's an introduction to
pediatric respiratory disorders.
Why is this important?
Well, respiratory disorders
are the most common cause
of hospitalizations in the
The leading diagnoses for all
hospitalizations in pediatric patients,
excluding newborns, in the United States are
pneumonia, asthma, and acute bronchitis.
Here's an overview of the anatomy of
the pediatric respiratory system.
It all starts with the nasal cavity,
plus the paranasal sinuses.
And this is one way that
air will enter your body.
It'll go through your nostril.
Another way is through the
oral cavity or your mouth.
Then it will go down to your pharynx,
your larynx, which is your voice box,
and down through the trachea,
which is your windpipe.
This will extend to the 2 main bronchus
stems and go further down into the lungs.
Nurses always need to remember
that children are not just
smaller versions of adults.
The respiratory system is under
neural and hormonal control.
The pediatric respiratory
system varies anatomically
and physiologically from the
adult respiratory system.
The clinician needs to
understand these differences
in order to manage the
pediatric respiratory system.
So when a child is born,
most of the anatomic structures
of respiration are present,
but they're immature and underdeveloped.
When a child takes their first breath,
this is when the structures
begin to expand and mature.
So newborns and then young
children move along the continuum,
and compensate only by
increasing the respiratory rate
because they don't have a large lung volume.
The structures are also immature.
You can see as children get older,
they're able to further
increase their lung volume
to compensate for respiratory problems.