It is most common in children under 2 years.
The infection causes the airways to swell and fill with mucus.
Many viruses can cause Bronchiolitis, but the most common is Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.
RSV is most common in the winter months.
Common symptoms include:
Coughing / wheezing
Dehydration / no wet diapers
Symptoms are worse in the first 5 days and can last up to 10 days.
In some children, coughing may continue for a few weeks.
At first he just had a typical cold, with a runny nose. But he was still pretty energetic.
The next day he had a cough and then he started wheezing.
She was eating a lot less and would wake up just to cough.
Her nose needed to be cleaned out a lot!
You could see how hard it was for them to breathe.
Their tummy was going in and out so fast.
I always knew our kids would get sick, but I thought it would be a one or two day thing.
This lasted the whole week.
Some factors can make it more likely that your child will get sick, and can increase the severity of disease.
Call your health care provider if your child is showing signs of bronchiolitis and has any of the following risk factors:
• Was born prematurely
• Is under 3 months of age
• Has a history of heart problems
• Has a history of lung problems
Sitting upright may help your child breathe easier
Cool mist humidifiers may help lessen congestion
Avoid over-the-counter cough medications. They can have harmful side effects in children and are NOT recommended in children under 6 years of age.
Clean your child’s nose with a nasal aspirator (e.g., Hydrasense™, Nosefrieda™) or bulb syringe and an over the counter salt water water nose spray. Follow the directions provided, and clean their nose as often as needed throughout the day. (especially before meals and sleep times.)
Your child may not want to eat much when they are sick, and that is ok.
Your child may not want to drink as much as they usually do, but continue to offer small amounts of clear fluids throughout the day so they stay hydrated (e.g., water, milk, juice, clear soup, etc.).
Babies should continue to breast or bottle feed as usual.
You may give Acetaminophen (Tylenol® or Tempra®) or Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) to keep your child comfortable. Use as directed on the packaging or instructed by a health care provider.
Keep you child away from others while they are coughing, if possible. Teach your child to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Wash hands often, especially before and after eating, coughing, or sneezing.
Avoid exposing children to cigarette smoke. Smoking has been linked to higher risk of infection.
Because bronchiolitis is a viral infection, antibiotics will not help. In most cases, children will recover on their own if they have no other infections and are kept hydrated.
Some children with severe bronchiolitis may need to stay in the hospital for a few days to get oxygen and extra fluids.
This site was built by the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services to give Albertans one place to go for health information they can trust.
This site is a resource aimed at providing families across Alberta easily accessible, reliable information about common minor illness and injuries in children.