Pediatric Stridor

Pediatric Stridor



Stridor is noisy breathing that is caused by blocked airflow in your child’s windpipe.

Expanded overview

Stridor is a condition that may happen when something is blocking your child’s upper airway. The high-pitched sound is usually heard when your child takes a breath in, but it may also be heard when your child breathes out.

When a child has stridor, it signals that something else is wrong, such as:


Stridor occurs due to any condition that causes severe narrowing of your child’s airway.

The most common congenital (from birth) causes of stridor include:

Other causes of stridor include:

  • Bronchitis, croup and other respiratory infections
  • Epiglottitis (bacterial infection that causes severe swelling of a flap of tissue at the base of the tongue)
  • Swallowed object that gets stuck
  • Swallowed substance that causes severe swelling inside the throat
  • Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils)
  • Trauma to the windpipe, including neck fracture


The main symptom of stridor is a high-pitched sound that occurs during inspiration (breathing in) and sometimes expiration (breathing out).

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