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Handling Bronchiolitis in Children: 5 Quick Tips for Parents

Learn 5 Quick tips to deal with bronchiolitis and cough with MEIDE Nannies

Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory illness that affects infants and young children, particularly during colder settings or seasons. It is usually caused by a viral infection, most commonly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). As a parent, it can be distressing to see your child experiencing symptoms of bronchiolitis, such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. However, with proper care and management, you can help your child recover comfortably. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips on handling bronchiolitis in children.

Firstly, Recognize the Symptoms of Bronchiolitis:

First, it is important to familiarize yourself with the common symptoms of bronchiolitis. Coughing, often accompanied by wheezing or a whistling sound during breathing, is one of the primary indications. Next, you may notice rapid and shallow breathing, nasal congestion, or a runny nose. Fever, although not present in all cases, can also be a symptom. Lastly, some children may exhibit irritability and difficulty feeding.

Although bronchiolitis per se is not an emergency condition, it can become life-threatening. Particularly, as it affects young children, parents should look out for red flags and rush to the Children Emergency if the kid(s) become (any of these):

  • Increasingly breathless OR has a bluish skin tint (cyanotic);
  • Overly lethargic;
  • Adverse to even taking in oral fluids;
  • Increasingly less able to pass urine (a sign of dehydration);
  • Over-reliant on other muscles to breathe, showing abnormal chest or nose movements (ask the medical doctor to check for retractions and nasal flaring);
  • Febrile for >3 days (T> 37.5C);
  • Uncomfortable in the chest or other body parts (risk of secondary infections and systemic involvement);

Next, Seek Medical Advice

Get help from a doctor first if you suspect bronchiolitis and do not self-diagnose your kids
Get help from a doctor first if you suspect bronchiolitis and do not self-diagnose your kids

If you suspect your child has bronchiolitis, it is crucial to consult your nearest healthcare provider first. They will often be able to confirm the diagnosis based on the symptoms and a physical examination. While bronchiolitis is usually a mild illness that resolves on its own, doctors will still assess the severity based on the red flags listed above. Remember, your doctors can provide guidance on managing the condition and offer timely advice – whether it is reassurance or the need to go to the emergency. Lastly, do use medications as directed by your healthcare professionals and not self-medicate or mix and match medicines.

At this point, please take note of our disclaimer:

This article is purely for parents and caregivers to educate and learn more about the disease, and does not constitute or substitute professional medical advice. Always seek your medical professionals’ consultation if you or your children are unwell.

Ensure Sufficient Rest and Comfort

Let your baby rest to recuperate faster from conditions like bronchiolitis
Let your baby rest to recuperate faster from conditions like bronchiolitis

Thirdly, rest is essential for your child’s recovery from bronchiolitis. Create a calm and comfortable environment for them at home. Keep the room well-ventilated but also warm, as cooler air can exacerbate symptoms. Keep the house clean in general. Furthermore, to alleviate congestion, consider using a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air. Additionally, clear your child’s nose of mucus regularly to improve their breathing and overall comfort.

Trust us, these simple but oft-forgotten tips make a world of difference in your kid’s recovery from bronchiolitis!

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Maintain Hydration and Monitor Progress

Clear and warm soups help maintain your kids hydration when they are unwell - MEIDE Babysitters
Clear and warm soups help maintain your kids hydration when they are unwell – MEIDE Babysitters

Hydration plays a crucial role in your child’s recovery. Encourage them to drink fluids regularly to prevent dehydration. Offer small, frequent feeds if they are experiencing difficulty feeding.

Additionally, breastfeeding mothers should continue nursing as usual, as breast milk provides essential antibodies to help fight off the infection.

And, for older children, there is no need to force-feed or stress over a lack of nutrition. Most vitally, give them water, clear soups, or oral rehydration solutions. These will help maintain their hydration levels to tide over the transient course of bronchiolitis.

Yes, bronchiolitis typically lasts for about 7 to 10 days, although symptoms can persist for up to 2 weeks. Overall, it is considered not a chronic or permanent disease. During the first few days, symptoms may worsen before gradually improving.

Again, if you notice any concerning changes or if your child’s condition does not improve after a week, consult your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Practice Good Hygiene and Avoid Exposure to Smoke

Smoke will irritate the airways and lungs and worsen bronchiolitis in kids
Smoke will irritate the airways and lungs and worsen bronchiolitis in kids

Finally, to prevent the spread of bronchiolitis to others in the household, it is essential to follow good hygiene practices. At frequent intervals, wash your hands with soap and water, especially before and after caring for your child. Limit contact between the affected child and other family members, particularly infants and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Additionally, avoid exposure to smoke, as it can further irritate the airways and worsen symptoms. On top of these, avoid fur and dust, such as areas with pets, carpets, curtains and rugs. In particular, families with a history of atopic conditions like eczema and asthma will need to take extra precaution.

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Conclusion About Handling Bronchiolitis in Kids

In conclusion, bronchiolitis can be a concerning illness for parents. However, with proper care and management, most cases resolve without long-term complications.

All in all, by recognizing the symptoms, seeking medical advice, ensuring rest and comfort, maintaining hydration, monitoring progress, practicing good hygiene, and avoiding exposure to smoke, you can support your child’s recovery and provide them with the care they need during this time.

And sorry to nag, but remember: Reach out to healthcare professionals if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s condition.

After all, in our modernized Singapore, help is often always just a click away!

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