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Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs. When these tubes are inflamed, they swell and produce mucus. The swollen tubes and increased mucus make your child cough and may make it harder for him or her to breathe.
Bronchitis is usually caused by viruses and often follows a cold or flu. Antibiotics usually do not help and they may be harmful. Bronchitis lasts about 2 to 3 weeks in otherwise healthy children.
Children who live with parents who smoke around them may get repeated bouts of bronchitis.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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