What is Bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis is an infection that causes the tiniest airways in your child’s lungs to become swollen. This can make it more difficult for your child to breathe:

  • Bronchiolitis is caused by virus infections.
  • It is common in winter months and usually only causes mild cold like symptoms.
  • Most children get better on their own. Some children, especially very young ones, can have difficulty with breathing or feeding and may need to go to hospital

What are the symptoms?

  • Your child may have a runny nose and sometimes a temperature and a cough.
  • After a few days your child’s cough may become worse.
  • Your child’s breathing may be faster than normal and it may become noisy.
  • He or she may need to make more effort to breathe.
  • Sometimes, in the very young babies, bronchiolitis may cause them to have brief pauses in their breathing.
  • If you are concerned see the traffic light advice below.
  • As breathing becomes more difficult, your baby may not be able to take their usual amount of milk by breast or bottle.
  • You may notice fewer wet nappies than usual.
  • Your child may vomit after feeding and become miserable

How long does Bronchiolitis last?

  • Most children with bronchiolitis will seem to worsen during the first 1-3 days of the illness before beginning to improve over the next two weeks. The cough may go on for a few more weeks. Antibiotics are not required.
  • Your child can go back to nursery or day care as soon as he or she is well enough (that is feeding normally and with no difficulty in breathing).
  • There is usually no need to see your doctor if your child is recovering well. But if you are worried about your child’s progress discuss this with your Health Visitor, Practice Nurse or GP or contact NHS 111.

Bronchiolitis :: Healthier Together (what0-18.nhs.uk)

Published: Sep 17, 2021