Breathing problems in children stem from a number of causes, such as accidental upper airway obstruction or certain diseases. If a child is having difficulting breathing you should visit a pediatrician immediately, so they can assess the symptoms and carry out a physical exam. Furthermore, the pediatrician will measure oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter, among other things, in order to find out what illness is causing the breathing difficulties.
In order to travel with children with these kinds of difficulties by car we need to firstly follow our pediatrician's guidelines; if the child needs extra oxygen we must be sure to correctly prepare the breathing device and all the equipment that might be needed so that the child can breathe comfortably during the trip.
It is important to follow these guidelines to ensure the best position possible when traveling by car, taking into account what kind of child seat is most appropriate, the ideal posture for the child, the journey time between rest stops and other precautions.
We do not, on the whole, recommend going for more than an hour and a half or two hours without a rest stop. These stops will enable the child to stretch themselves, change position and get a bit of fresh air before continuing. We can even make the most of this time to feed them, change their clothes or diaper, and spend a little bit of leasure time with them. This is particularly important to do if we are using a Maxi-Cosi seat.
It is best to use a Group 0/0+ seat (R44/4 standard), or an ‘i-Size’ seat (R129 standard) specifically designed for babies, rather than a bassinet, given that these seats will allow the child to have a more healthy position in terms of being able to breathe more easily.
How we position the seat is of fundamental importance. We not only refer to the angle of the seat, but to the adjustment of the belts and harnesses, which should be adapted to the baby's body to ensure that their shoulders lie flat against the backrest and that their head cannot fall forward and obstruct their airways. The baby's head should be in line with its body in order to have minimum respiratory problems or hopefully none at all. In this case it is also important to adjust the angle of the CRS to have the best position possible, knowing that the baby may fall asleep.
We must ensure that the baby is in a straight position in the child car seat and that they are not twisting themselves in the seat. For this same reason we should not feed the child while they are in the seat since it is not the best position for the child and they could choke or get into difficulties. If we find that it is difficut to ensure they stay in the right position because the child is very young, we can use reducers to help guarantee a more snug and secure position for the baby.