A serious illness that affects a third of babies before they turn 1 is going unrecognised by parents. Bronchiolitis is a lung infection that causes breathing difficulties, and is often mistaken for bronchitis. It’s most common in the winter, between October and March and a campaign has been launched by health care company Abbott, to make parents aware of the symptoms. Though the condition is usually easy to treat, at risk babies can have serious complications.
An accompanying study of over 1,000 parents, found that over 90% of them did not know the risk factors of viruses that cause bronchiolitis, such as washing toys and keeping their children away from others with the illness.
“With thousands of babies being admitted to hospital with bronchiolitis every year, the British Lung Foundation (BLF) supports this campaign to radically reduce the spread of infection,” said Dame Helena Shovelton from the BLF. “We believe work is needed to help parents understand more about bronchiolitis as evidence shows many know very little about the condition.”
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Fast, shallow breathing, without taking in much air
- Loss of appetite and inability to feed
- A distinctive rasping cough
- High temperature and cold-like symptoms
If you’re worried, take your child to your GP or A&E.