What you need to know if your child has bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is a disease that affects younger children, especially those of a few months, usually caused by some very common and not very dangerous viruses for adults. Often parents or siblings have only a cold. The symptoms of bronchiolitis are: cough, fever and difficulty breathing.

  1. How is it treated?

There are no specific cures for bronchiolitis! To help your baby breathe better, we recommend:

– wash the nose with hypertonic solution;

– perform aerosols with hypertonic solution;

– offer smaller than usual but more frequent meals.

  1. When should the child be hospitalized?

When you have difficulty breathing and when you are unable to eat enough. Hospitalization can be used to administer oxygen and / or liquids with an IV or tube. These therapies are called “supportive” because there are no specific treatments for bronchiolitis!

  1. What do you need to check at home?

The most important thing is to check how the child breathes: see if he breathes very quickly and if there are “indentations” under the chest. During the visit, the pediatrician will explain how to do it. Also observe your child’s behavior: it is normal for him to be less lively than usual, but if in doubt, contact the pediatrician. Try to understand how much your baby eats. If the baby is breastfed it can be helpful to check your weight in the morning to make sure it doesn’t drop. Sometimes it can be useful to pull the mother’s milk and propose it with the bottle to less tire the child during the meal.

  1. How is the bronchiolitis virus contracted?


The virus that causes bronchiolitis most frequently is called respiratory syncytial virus. This virus spreads easily from person to person. When a person with the virus coughs or sneezes, it releases tiny particles that contain the virus into the air. If these particles are breathed or deposited on the mouth or eyes, they can be infected. The same thing happens if you touch objects on which these particles have settled and then you touch your mouth or nose or eyes.


  1. How can you prevent your child from taking bronchiolitis?


– Wash your hands before touching or picking up the baby and ask others to do the same.

– Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose while caring for the baby.

– Ask those who sneeze or cough not to get close to the baby, to put their hands in front of the mouth and to wash their hands frequently.

– Clean potentially contaminated surfaces (high chair, toys, door handles).

– Do not expose your child to secondhand smoke.


Taken from Pediatric Area volume 18 n. 4 October-December 2017

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