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Helping Parents Breathe Easier


By Mary Daily

Published Dec 15, 2011 4:50 PM

New book by head of UCLA's pediatric ear, nose and throat medicine, answers common questions about respiratory issues in children, newborn to five years.


iStock photograph

First-time parents of a newborn sometimes obsess over the baby's breathing. They watch the tiny chest move rhythmically up and down for hours, fearful of a change or pause in the pattern. What if the baby seems to gasp, or snorts? Does that mean anything?

A new book, to be published in January 2012, provides answers to these and many other questions from the director of pediatric ear, nose and throat department at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. In "Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Child," Dr. Nina L. Shapiro explains what happens when a child breathes and guides readers through the respiratory system, from the nose to the lungs.

"We all take for granted the silent 'in and out' breathing until a problem arises," says Dr. Shapiro, who is also an associate professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She hopes the book, based on her experience in treating tens of thousands of children with breathing issues, will "enlighten and empower" parents on some of the most common concerns and questions.

Covering three age-based periods—newborn to three months, three months to one year, and one to five years—the book explains potential problems for each stage, with a "to-do" list of preventions and treatments that parents can easily do at home.

Also included is information on the latest research in pediatric breathing issues, sleep issues, airway safety and the truth behind "clean, green" home environments.

For more information, visit .



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