Pediatric Services Raleigh NC
Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory illness.
It affects the smallest airways (called bronchioles) throughout the lungs.
It is usually a mild illness but some babies are sicker and need to be admitted to the hospital.
What Causes It?
Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a viral infection. Many viruses can cause the illness. The most common are RSV, rhinovirus, influenza, coronavirus, human metapneumovirus.
Is It Contagious?
Bronchiolitis is very contagious which means it can spread easily between children or from adults to children.
It is most common in winter and spring.
What Puts My Child At Risk of Getting it?
Bronchiolitis usually occurs in babies in their first year of life.
Babies who where born prematurely are at risk for severe bronchiolitis.
Exposure to cigarette smoke and child care attendance can increase the child’s risk for bronchiolitis.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Bronchiolitis can start as a cold with a runny nose. Your baby may have a fever for 2 to 3 days and then begin to cough, breathe fast and have noisy breathing/wheezing.
When Should I Seek Help?
You should see your pediatrician urgently if your baby:
- Is under 3 months old
- Is breathing fast, has noisy breathing or is having to use extra effort to breathe
- Looks pale and unwell
- Is taking less than half of their normal feeds
- Is vomiting
- Has not had a wet diaper for six hours
You should also see a doctor if you are worried about your baby.
Even if you have already seen your doctor, if your baby’s breathing difficulties get worse take your baby back to be rechecked.
What Will My Doctor Do?
- Listen to your baby’s breathing
- Check that your baby is drinking enough
- May ask you to bring your baby back again in 24 hours as the symptoms may get worse over the first few days
- May refer you to a hospital if you baby needs to be given oxygen or fluids
In very young babies, less than 2 months old it can be hard to tell the difference between bronchiolitis and pneumonia so your doctor may refer your baby to a hospital.
How is it Diagnosed?
Bronchiolitis is usually diagnosed from the description of symptoms and an examination.
What is the Treatment?
Most babies with bronchiolitis get better by themselves without any special medical treatment.
Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus so antibiotics do not help or cure it.
Asthma medications or inhalers are usually not effective in bronchiolitis.
Babies with moderate to severe illness may have low oxygen levels and require supportive treatment in a hospital. If your baby is not drinking enough, they may need to be given IV fluids.
Babies who are breast fed and those who live in smoke free environments are less likely to get bronchiolitis. It may help to keep infants away from others who have colds or coughs. Make sure everyone in your family washes their hands regularly and thoroughly.
A professional should always be consulted when you believe your child has a case of Strep Throat. At Durant Road Pediatrics’ convenient office located at 10880 Durant Road, Suite 215, Raleigh NC we take the extra time and effort to ensure the safety and comfort of your child. Contact us today to have Dr. Arora diagnose, treat and explain your Child’s illness and how to prevent future occurrences.