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Pediatric Stridor

Key points about stridor in children

  • Stridor is a noisy or high-pitched sound with breathing.
  • It is usually caused by a blockage or narrowing in your child’s upper airway.
  • Some common causes of stridor in children are infections and defects in the child’s nose, throat, larynx or trachea that the child was born with.
  • The sound of stridor depends on where the blockage is in the upper respiratory tract.
  • Stridor is usually diagnosed based on health history and a physical exam.
  • The child may need a hospital stay and emergency surgery, depending on how severe the stridor is.
  • If left untreated, stridor can block the child’s airway. This can be life-threatening or even cause death.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Molly's Story

Molly Cochlear

Meet the Providers Who Treat Stridor

Departments that Treat Stridor

A boy getting his ear checked.

Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology)

Our pediatric otolaryngology experts diagnose and treat a wide range of pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders.

Young girl getting her lymph nodes checked

Airway Program

The Airway Program is a specialized program in the Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat), one the largest and most prestigious pediatric otolaryngology programs in the country.

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Pulmonary Medicine

Children's National is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's best pediatric hospitals for pulmonology and lung surgery because of our expertise in the field, and the quality of care provided to patients and their families.