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Treating Cystic Fibrosis in Children in Southern California


Fetal cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited fetal condition that causes problems in a baby’s lungs and digestive system. It results in the buildup of abnormally thick mucus which clogs the lungs and makes breathing very difficult. Cystic fibrosis in children also blocks necessary digestive enzymes and increases the risk of infection. 

To learn more about symptoms and treatment for babies born with cystic fibrosis in Southern California, Find a Doctor today.

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis in Children

It’s now standard medical practice in the US to screen all newborn babies for cystic fibrosis. This allows treatment to begin even before symptoms appear. 

Common cystic fibrosis symptoms in children include:

  • Frequent coughing 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing and spitting up mucus
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Constipation — a newborn with CF may not pass a bowel movement after birth
  • Sweat that is more salty than normal
  • Poor growth

Causes of Cystic Fibrosis in Children

Cystic fibrosis is passed down from both parents to a child. This genetic disorder is caused by an abnormal gene present in both parents. Many types of gene mutations can cause cystic fibrosis. 

Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis in Children at Dignity Health Southern California Hospitals

Treatment for children with cystic fibrosis starts with education and guidance for future parents. This includes a review of medical and family history and genetic counseling to help parents understand their child’s risk of developing CF. 

If you and your spouse both have the genetic mutation associated with CF, your child has a one in four chance of being born with it.

Cystic fibrosis treatments include:

  • Nutritional supplements to encourage growth support good health.
  • Chest physical therapy to loosen thick mucus, improve breathing, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Medication to prevent and treat lung infections, thin mucous, improve breathing, and aid digestion.
  • Targeted therapy to improve the function of the abnormal gene protein in specific CF gene mutations.

With early diagnosis and treatment, many children with CF can live longer, healthier lives. Visit a Dignity Health location near you for expert care:

Dignity Health Southern California performs all recommended screenings, including those to detect cystic fibrosis in children in Southern California.