Baby and Toddler Sickness: Bronchiolitis

What bronchiolitis is, how it occurs, what the symptoms are, and treatment options.

Bronchiolitis is an illness of the lungs caused by a viral respiratory infection. It is very easily spread between people and most commonly affects babies under one year old.

Bronchiolitis can often lead to breathing problems. The condition usually begins as a mild illness, similar to a cold, and can develop into a fever, cough, fast breathing, laboured breathing, and wheezing. Most babies with bronchiolitis get better at home on their own but those with a more serious illness may need treatment in hospital.

Seek help for bronchiolitis from your GP or a doctor at an after-hours medical clinic urgently if your baby or child:

If you are unsure what to do, call Healthline for free advice 24/7 on 0800 611 116.

For more advice on keeping kids healthy, visit kidshealth.org.nz.

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