A viral video illustrates a baby girl named Luna's labored breathing, which was the result of a lung infection that can be caused by the flu. O'Brien is encouraging parents to be aware of this important sign that it may be time to get your L.O. to the hospital.


A mom and blogger named Charlie O’Brien is making headlines for the eye-opening video she recently shared on her Facebook page, as it could serve as an important warning for parents ahead of flu season. In the clip, which O'Brien says was taken last year and shared on Thursday, September 20, O'Brien's daughter Luna can be seen breathing in a labored way.

The U.K.-based mom explained, "I stumbled across this on my phone and thought it may be useful to share. When Luna was 4 weeks old, she had a really quiet day of sleeping and barely any crying (unusual for Luna!). I was watching her sleep next to me and realised it didn’t look right. I unbuttoned her babygrow and this is what I saw."

She pointed out that, "sucking in at ribs is a sign to get your baby or child to hospital." As it turned out, Luna "had bronchiolitis and her oxygen levels were very low. Luckily, after a night on oxygen she made a very good recovery," O'Brien explained.

Given that we're on the cusp of "the dreaded season of non-stop colds coughs and viruses," O'Brien wrote that she thought the video and her heads-up for other parents was "worth the mention." 

According to the Mayo Clinic, bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in young children and infants, which causes inflammation and congestion in the small airways (bronchioles) of the lung. It's almost always caused by a virus, and it starts out with symptoms similar to those of a common cold but then progresses to coughing, wheezing, and sometimes difficulty breathing. The percentage of kids who require hospitalization is very small, but it bears noting that breathing like Luna's is a sign that your L.O. may require emergency care.

The Mayo Clinic also notes that trouble eating or drinking should serve as warning signs, and if they're having difficulty breathing and is younger than 12 weeks old or has other risk factors for bronchiolitis — including premature birth or a heart or lung condition—see a health care provider immediately.

The following signs and symptoms are reasons to seek prompt medical attention:

  • Vomiting
  • Audible wheezing sounds
  • Breathing very fast — more than 60 breaths a minute (tachypnea)  — and shallowly
  • Labored breathing — the  ribs seem to suck inward when infant inhales
  • Sluggish or lethargic appearance
  • Refusal to drink enough, or breathing too fast to eat or drink
  • Skin turning blue, especially the lips and fingernails (cyanosis)

No doubt O'Brien's video will serve as an important, potentially life-saving reminder for many parents as flu season approaches.