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Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory illness in babies and very young children. It happens when the bronchiole tubes that carry air to the lungs get inflamed. This can make your child cough or wheeze.
It can start like a cold with a runny nose, congestion, and a cough. In many cases, there is a fever for a few days. The congestion can last a few weeks. The cough can last even longer. Most children feel better in one to two weeks.
Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus. This means that antibiotics won't help bronchiolitis get better.
Most of the time, you can take care of your child at home. But if your child is not getting better or has a hard time breathing, he or she may need to be in the hospital.
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: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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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