By Bailey Squires

Have you ever walked through a hospital ward and heard a hollow, percussive noise echoing down the corridors? If you have, you will know that the physios have descended!

Chest physio is often requested by your pediatrician to assist your little one with clearing excess mucus in their airways. The referral for chest physio mostly follows a diagnosis of a chest infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia or in recent times Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract.

Your physio will come through and do a combination of manual techniques, and sometimes may even need to suction. Suctioning is often essential to assist with the removal of secretion build up, especially when your child is unable to cough on demand. This is done using a tiny catheter that is inserted though the nasal passage, suction is turned on and the mucus is removed from the back of their throat. It is not always a fun experience, but trust me, your baby will feel so much better afterwards.

Pulmonary rehabilitation (a series of breathing exercises) is also done. We always try and make our sessions as fun as possible and do multiple activities such as blowing and catching the bubbles, having races up and down the corridors, blowing up balloons, blowing windmills etc.

Chest physio is usually done twice a day to ensure your little one is breathing comfortably. Chest physio sounds scarier than it is, and will definitely provide huge relief for your child.
If you do find yourself in the pediatric unit, you can be sure that between your fantastic pediatrician and us, you will be taken great care of.