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Infant Bronchitis – Everything Parents Need To Know
Parents can sacrifice their whole lives for their children. When their child is sick, how can they have healthy sleep?
When a child coughs persistently and breathes with difficulty, you may think that it is not an ordinary cough or cold. Consult your pediatrician as your child may be suffering from bronchitis.
Bronchitis commonly occurs in adults. In this disorder, the large airways in our body become inflamed. Bronchitis refers to infants with inflammation of the airways between the chest and lungs. The term is coined from the word bronchioles, which is the part of an infant’s bronchi that is naturally smaller than an adult’s. Therefore, infections in this case are easily blocked and viruses penetrate very easily.
When is your child at risk?
1. At the age of 6 months, the child becomes susceptible to the development of bronchitis. Until the child reaches the age of 2, this tendency is too great.
2. Infants are more susceptible to this disease during winter and early spring.
3. Children exposed to cigarettes and belching smoke also carry a high risk of catching the aforementioned disease.
4. In infants, even a crowded environment causes bronchitis symptoms.
5. Male infants are at a higher risk of bronchitis than females.
6. During the first 6 months, male infants who are formula fed are more likely to develop this disease compared to those who are breastfed.
What are the causes of bronchitis?
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a key cause of bronchitis in infants. Scientists have shown that RSV causes serious illness in young children, mostly infants.
Other viruses that lead to bronchitis include:
1. Parainfluenza virus
This type of virus most often causes childhood respiratory infections in infants.
This type of virus is the key cause of pneumonia and several other disorders associated with the respiratory system.
This virus commonly causes diseases such as conjunctivitis and several others related to the respiratory system.
4. Influenza virus
This type of virus enters the respiratory tract of the human body and causes individuals to suffer from colds, coughs and to some extent bronchitis.
What are the symptoms?
1. The child starts to have a cold and stuffy nose along with a mild cough. This is a key symptom of bronchitis in infants.
2. Furthermore, the child would suffer from various breathing difficulties, both in the inhalation and exhalation parts.
3. In just a day or 2, the child would have increased breathing difficulties along with rapid wheezing and coughing. By this time you must realize that the heartbeat would become very abnormally fast.
4. While all of the above symptoms are a must, they are often accompanied by others such as fever and/or lower body temperature and decreased appetite.
How can doctors diagnose bronchitis?
If you observe the above symptoms in your infant, you must consult a pediatrician as soon as possible. The pediatrician first reviews the child’s medical history and then assesses the child with a physical examination. Furthermore, the doctor would order other tests which should be taken very seriously. These tests are as follows:
1. Pulse oximeter
2. Chest X-ray
What are the recommended treatments?
1. The child can be temporarily relieved with first aid.
2. You must also give your child plenty of decaffeinated liquids. This would check dehydration in the baby.
3. You may choose to use humidifiers and/or saline nasal drops. These would help lighten the mucus very quickly.
4. Medical experts sometimes recommend that parents and/or caregivers bring their child to the hospital to receive well-supervised care, such as administering fluids and oxygen as needed and providing a proper humidified atmosphere. One very important thing in this case would be for the child to receive proper medical care.
Can bronchitis be prevented?
Once your child is saved from a bout of bronchitis, you must not risk another episode of the disease. So you must take the following precautions:
1. Even though there are cold seasons for babies like winter and early spring, make sure that your baby is not in contact with people suffering from cough, cold and flu.
2. Make sure you, as a parent and/or caregiver, wash your hands before handling your baby.
3. In case you cough or sneeze, you must cover your mouth well enough with a handkerchief or handkerchief.
In case you are likely to get sick, ask someone to take over your responsibility for a few days.
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