Bronchiolitis is a common childhood infection affecting many children below the age of 2. Although, its onset is often confused with common cold, this viral infection is extremely troublesome for the little one. Due to this medical condition, the respiratory tract is badly affected and the tiny airways leading to the lungs, which are referred to as bronchioles, are choked with mucus. Swelling of the airways result in congestion of the passage and the trapped mucus hinders breathing.
1. Common Signs Of Bronchiolitis
It is very important to understand the first signs of bronchiolitis. At its onset, a child may suffer from slightly high fever, continuous coughing and wheezing. Due to a blocked nose, there is difficulty in feeding and sleeping. A poor appetite also sets in very soon. Fatigue and irritability is noticed in children suffering from bronchiolitis. At times coughing bouts may be followed by vomiting. If the symptoms persist for very long and especially, if the child is having breathing problems, a doctor must be contacted immediately.
2. Avoiding Dehydration
It is absolutely important to keep the child hydrated even when he or she is unwell. Breastfeeding babies must be fed at regular intervals, even if they show a complete loss of appetite. For slightly older children, fluids must be offered frequently. Apart from this, make sure that the child rests properly.
3. Keep The Nasal Passage Clear
Since bronchiolitis leads to stuffy nose, special care must be taken to relieve children from this problem. To clear the nasal passage, parents can either use a saline water nasal spray or any other medicated drop prescribed by a doctor. A bulb syringe can be used to remove the mucus stuck in the nose. Try to keep the child’s head elevated at all times. Raise the bed or put an extra cushion under the pillow when the child is sleeping.
4. Offering Medicines For Fever
Bronchiolitis is often accompanied with mild to high fever. In cases of high fever, metered doses of paracetamol can be given to the child. Ibuprofen can be administered after consulting a doctor. In order to stop the onset of this illness, there are certain steps that can be taken by parents. Caregivers must always wash their hands, keep all surfaces clean and stop newborns from going near people suffering from cold and flu.