Most common in young children, whose naturally small airways are easily obstructed, stridor can be a symptom of a life-threatening respiratory emergency.
Causes and symptoms
During childhood, stridor is usually caused by infection of the cartilage flap (epiglottis) that covers the opening of the windpipe to prevent choking during swallowing. It can also be caused by a toy or other tiny object the child has tried to swallow.
Laryngomalacia is a common cause of a rapid, lowpitched form of stridor that may be heard when a baby inhales. This harmless condition does not require medical attention. It usually disappears by the time the child is 18 months old.