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Your child has been diagnosed with bronchiolitis, which is viral lung infection. It is most common in children under 2 years of age. It usually starts as a cold and then gets worse. Some children with bronchiolitis are hospitalized because they need oxygen to help them breathe or because they are dehydrated and need more fluids. Here are some instructions to help you care for your child.
Give your child lots of fluid to prevent dehydration. Ask your child’s doctor how much to give.
Ask your doctor whether a cool-mist vaporizer will help your child breathe easier. If you use one, be sure to clean the vaporizer daily.
Use a rubber suction bulb to remove mucus from your child’s nose. Ask your child’s doctor or nurse to show you how to suction the nose if you are not sure how to do it.
Don’t smoke or allow anyone else to smoke around your child.
Keep in mind that wheezing and coughing from bronchiolitis can last for weeks after your child is sent home from the hospital. Listen to your child’s breathing for signs that it is getting better or worse.
Give all medications to your child exactly as directed.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
Call 911 right away if your child has:
Loss of consciousness.
Trouble breathing or has stopped breathing.
Otherwise, call your child’s doctor immediately if your child has:
Wheezing that becomes worse.
Breathing faster than 60 breaths a minute.
Irregular breathing as seen in the use of abdominal muscles or chest wall muscles to breathe.
IMPORTANT: If your child has trouble breathing, call 911 (emergency) right away.