How should a child with bronchiolitis be cared for?

Child with bronchiolitis - Sri Ramakrishna Hospital

Bronchiolitis is a frequent lung infection in newborns and young children. Small airways (bronchioles) in the lungs become inflamed and blocked. Viruses are usually always the cause of bronchiolitis. The winter months are typically when bronchiolitis is at its worst.

Bronchiolitis begins with symptoms similar to a regular cold but quickly escalates to coughing, wheezing, and breathing problems. Bronchitis symptoms might persist anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

The majority of children improve when they are cared for at home. Only a small fraction of children need to be admitted to the hospital.

Signs of pediatric bronchiolitis include:

The signs and symptoms of bronchiolitis are similar to those of a cold for the first few days:

  • A stuffy nose
  • Nose congestion
  • Cough
  • A little fever is observed (not always present)
  • After that, the youngster may have trouble breathing or make a whistling noise when exhaling for a week or longer (wheezing).

The causes of pediatric bronchiolitis:

The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and influenza (flu) viruses are the most common causes of bronchiolitis. These viruses are highly contagious and spread from person to person through contact with secretions from the mouth or nose, as well as respiratory droplets in the air. When someone sneezes or coughs, the droplets enter the air.

Diagnosis of bronchiolitis:

Bronchitis is a condition that your physician is likely to be quite familiar with. They’ll inquire about how long your child has been sick, whether he or she has a temperature, and whether or not your child has been exposed to anyone else who has been sick.

X-rays of chest: A chest X-ray may be requested by our doctor to check for signs of pneumonia.

Viral Test: Your doctor may take a sample of your child’s mucus to test for the virus that causes bronchiolitis. A swab is softly put into the nose to do this.

Blood sample testing: Blood tests may be done to check your child’s white blood cell count on occasion. A rise in white blood cells is usually a sign of the body’s battle against illness.

Treatment for bronchiolitis:

Bronchiolitis lasts two to three weeks on average. With supportive treatment of bronchiolitis in pediatrics, most children with bronchiolitis can be cared for at home. Changes in breathing difficulty, such as straining for each breath, being unable to speak or scream due to trouble breathing, or producing grunting noises with each breath, should be noted.

Antibiotics, which are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, are ineffective against bronchiolitis since it is caused by viruses. Bacterial infections, such as pneumonia or ear infections, often accompany bronchiolitis, and your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat such infections.

Hospital care:

A tiny minority of children may require hospitalization to treat their illness. A child may get humidified oxygen in the hospital to maintain enough oxygen levels in the blood, as well as fluids administered through a vein (intravenously) to prevent dehydration. A tube may be placed into the trachea to assist the child’s breathing in severe circumstances.

Prevention of bronchiolitis:

Few conditions can spread bronchiolitis in infants through intimate touch, saliva, and mucous. The easiest method to avoid infection is to avoid people who are unwell and to wash your hands frequently. Keep your child home from daycare until he or she is feeling better, and be sure to wash toys after each usage. Cups, forks, and spoons should not be shared.

Bronchitis is more likely to develop in children who passively inhale smoking.

Do not smoke in the presence of your child, and do not allow others to smoke in the presence of your child. During the winter, children who are at a high risk of getting severe bronchiolitis may be eligible to receive monthly antibody injections. Reach out to the best children’s hospital in case you experience any symptoms.


Child with bronchiolitis - Sriramakrishnahospital

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