Q: “My baby is 3 months old and she has halak...what should I do?”
A: Halak or “gurgly” chest is due to the pooling of secretions either in the upper or lower airways of your child. Check if your baby has colds. If she has, then you can give her more fluids (i.e. breastfeed more often) and you can use saline solution to help clear her nasal secretions. Check if she often regurgitates (naglulungad). To address this, keep her upright after feeding. Try to avoid potential allergens/ irritants for the baby like cigarette smoke, house dust mites, etc. It would be best to bring your baby to the pediatrician so she can examine the baby to determine the cause of the “gurgly” chest and to determine if there are other associated symptoms. Common causes for this age group are nasopharygitis, pneumonia, hyperreactive airways, or gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Once the cause of the “gurgly” chest is known then appropriate treatment will be given.
About the Author: Minette Reyes-Bautista, M.D. is a pediatrician, St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City. She is also Immunization Officer at St. Luke's Extension Clinic, a Diplomate of the Philippine Pediatric Society, a member of St. Luke's Pediatric Alumni Association, and a member of Doctors in Touch. She is a wife, a mother to an adorable four year old and an advocate for the environment.