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Watch out for these symptoms if your child has bronchiolitis

  • Posted on- Jul 23, 2015
  • 1437 Views

The symptoms of Bronchiolitis can be very similar to the common cold, which makes diagnosing the condition tricky however babies with bronchiolitis typically shows four main symptoms, the most significant of which is the cough.

  • Fast Breathing: Sufferers begin taking shallow, quick breaths that don't inhale much air.
  • Loss of Appetite: Babies with Bronchiolitis usually lose interest in food and stop feeding.
  • Rasping Cough: Bronchiolitis produces a distinctive sounding rasping cough that sounds different than that kind of cough you get with the common cold.
  • Rising Temperature: A high temperature and fever typically accompanies cold-like symptoms and a runny nose.

If your baby has any of these four symptoms, fast breathing, loss of appetite, a distinctive rasping cough and a higher than normal temperature, then they may have Bronchiolitis and you should seek medical attention immediately.

About the symptoms of bronchiolitis

The early symptoms of Bronchiolitis develop in a very similar manner to the common cold. The first symptom is commonly a blocked or runny nose, which is sometimes accompanied by a cough or slightly elevated temperature. Normal temperature ranges are around 36-36.8°C or 96.8-98.2°F.

These warning signs tend to get slightly worse during the first three days, and then gradually start to improve. Most cases of Bronchiolitis are not serious, but these relatively mild earlier symptoms can become more intense, so it is critical to regularly monitor your child and look out for any significant changes to their symptoms.

Is there difference between bronchitis and bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis should not be confused with the similar sounding lung condition Bronchitis.

Bronchitis is a condition that affects both adults and children and it occurs when an infection causes the bronchi (the larger of the air passages in the lungs) to become irritated and inflamed. This causes more mucus production than usual, which your body then gets rid of through coughing.

Bronchiolitis is a potentially more dangerous inflammation of the bronchioles (the smaller air passages in the lungs), which leads to breathing difficulties and typically affects babies and young children.

When to visit a paediatrician?

Should the symptoms develop into a more serious case of bronchiolitis babies usually exhibit four specific symptoms, the most significant of which is the distinctive rasping cough.

In a very small number of severe cases, your baby's tongue and lips may turn 'blue' in colour. If this starts to occur, rush to your nearby paediatrician immediately.

Thankfully in the majority of cases, the symptoms of Bronchiolitis are not severe. However in some cases vulnerable babies, who were born prematurely or suffer from underlying heart or lung conditions, can be more likely to develop severe Bronchiolitis.

The more severe symptoms last for two to three days, then gradually ease up and are gone within one to two weeks. In many cases the condition can be treated without having to go to hospital, but severe cases can require hospitalisation.

If your baby exhibits all of these symptoms, then seek medical attention from a qualified paediatrician immediately.