We hear about this illness so much in winter months but actually it is something that children can have any time of the year. I have personal experience looking after the babies on the wards with bronchiolitis and although these are rare cases of the illness it’s important to be aware how some babies may need medical help. Although you may have a friend or relative who has been in hospital don’t be too alarmed if a doctor says your little one has it, there are lots of mild cases as well and most children get better on their own.
What is it?
It’s an infectious illness that causes the tiny airways (bronchioles) in your child’s lungs to become swollen, this makes it more difficult for little one to breathe, this means they work harder and may feed less. Most children with bronchiolitis will worsen in first 1-3 days before slowly improving over following 2 weeks. The cough may persist for longer. Antibiotics are not required as this is a viral infection. If your child is recovering well there is no need to see the doctor however if you are worried please discuss with your health visitor, practice nurse, GP or ring 111.
- Persistent cough – can get worse after a few days
- Runny nose and sometimes a temperature
- Breathing faster than normal and could be noisy breathing
- May breathe in deeper on chest to breathe
- Fewer nappies as feeding less because of finding it difficult to breathe
- Baby may vomit after feeding and be miserable
What can you do?
- Although it’s scary that your normal greedy guzzler may not be taking the whole 7 ounces try offering milk little and often so they don’t fill their tummies making it easier for them to breathe.
- You can give paracetamol or liquid ibuprofen to relieve symptoms, please follow instructions on the bottle or ask the pharmacist if unsure.
- Make sure your child is not exposed to any tobacco smoke as this makes breathing problems worse.
When to get immediate help
If your child has any of the following, please go to the nearest emergency department or phone 999
- Blue lips
- Unresponsive or very miserable and can’t settle
- Pauses in breathing
- Irregular breathing pattern
The materials and information in this blog are in no way intended to replace the professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor or medical professional. This website does not have answers to all problems please if you feel unwell, have medical symptoms or unsure about anything contact the relevant medical practitioner.