01 In Brief

Bronchiolitis is a common viral chest infection that occurs in infants under the age of 12 months. It caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and occurs predominantly during the winter months. It runs a typical clinical course where the infant initially becomes progressively worse over 3 to 4 days, with a runny nose and fever followed by the development of a cough and rapid wheezy breathing. There is no specific treatment and the infection needs to run its course. Babies often become tired and feeds need to be given more frequently. Some babies require admission to hospital if they are having problems breathing or feeding, where they can be given oxygen and extra fluids. It is not uncommon for the wheeze and cough to persist for two to four weeks after the initial infection.

02 What Others Say

  • Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne fact sheet kids health info to parents

RCH  Bronchiolitis

  • The Children's Hospital at Westmead fact sheet

 Westmead  Bronchiolitis

03 I Want To Know More

  • Up-to-date parent information

 Bronchiolitis and the RSV in infants and children

  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital medical centre

 Chest /lungs Bronchiolitis

  • Infants with bronchiolitis often have obstructed nasal passages and suctioning could often assist with feeding. Cincinnati Children's Hospital has a fact sheet. You can either make your own  saline or salt water drops will purchase commercially prepared ones from the local pharmacy.

Link to  Suctioning the nose with a bulb syringe

04 Clinicians Tools and Resources

  • Cochrane Review: Plain  Language Summary

Antibiotics for bronchiolitis in Children

  • Starship Children's Hospital Clinical Guideline


  • US site National guideline clearinghouse:Discusses prevention and transmission, physical examination, diagnostic testing, pharmacological treatment, nonpharmacological therapy, and discharge criteria.

 Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of paediatric bronchiolitis

The information published here has been reviewed by Flourish Paediatrics and represents the available published literature at the time of review.
The information is not intended to take the place of medical advice.
Please seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.
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Last updated: 18/02/2011