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Bronchitis in children and infants - symptoms and treatment

Bronchitis in children and infants - symptoms and treatment

Małgorzata Kruk (MPharm)

 Small children very frequently catch bronchitis while in a period of reduced body immunity. This is often a viral infection (less frequently a bacterial one) of the lower respiratory tract. Bronchitis may also occur as a result of an improperly treated common cold. It is worth knowing the typical symptoms of bronchitis in children and infants in order to protect your children against the development of the disease and the risk of complications. In the case of infants and children, bronchitis is characterised by similar symptoms as in adults in the form of:
weakness,
fever,
a persistent cough – at the beginning the cough is dry and persistent and as the disease develops - it is associated with producing a thick secretion (white, yellow or green); the persistent cough may even change into hemoptysis,
a feeling of shortness of breath,
wheeziness when breathing,
rhinitis and sore throat.

Treating bronchitis in infants and small children consists, above all, of using the antibiotic prescribed by a pediatrician (in the case of a bacterial infection) and treating the symptoms:
reducing fever – using suppositories or syrup with a painkilling and anti fever properties (paracetamol or ibuprofen).
alleviating the persistent cough – you may give the child a syrup with bromhexine for wet cough when the child is older than 6 months. For a child older than 2 years – give syrup with dextromethorphan for a dry cough. Only a physician can decide about pharmacological treatment of a cough in infants and smaller children. On your own you can make sure that the air at home is humidified as it makes breathing easier for a child.
Fighting rhinitis – the safest method for a small child is to rinse the nose with a solution of sea salt or a saline solution (available in pharmacies over the counter) and remove the secretion using an aspirator.
If you notice your baby has initial symptoms of bronchitis – it is highly recommended that you consult a physician. Early treatment is necessary for the quick recovery of a younger patient.
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This information is provided for your reference only and it is not to be relied upon on its own as instructions for use of this medication. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Other than liability for death or personal injury arising out of our negligence, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise.

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