If your child develops complicationsfrom bronchiolitis, it's likely that they'll need hospital treatment.
Potential complications of bronchiolitis include:
In rare cases, bronchiolitis can be accompanied by a bacterial lung infection called pneumonia . Pneumonia will need to be treated separately.
Contact your GP immediately if any of these complications occur.
In some cases for example, if your child is having severe breathing difficulties you will need to dial 999 and ask for an ambulance, so that your child can be taken to hospital. Read moreabout when to seek medical advice and when to call 999 .
Although serious complications are rare, around 40,000 children with bronchiolitis are admitted to hospital in England each year for further monitoring or treatment.
If your child was born with a health problem, such as a heart or lungcondition, there's an increased risk of complications from bronchiolitis. Their symptoms may be more severe and come on very rapidly. The infection may also make any symptoms of your child's underlying health problem worse.
Bronchiolitis doesn't usually cause long-term breathing problems. However, it can damage the cells in your child's airways. This damage can last for three to fourmonths in some children, causing persistent wheezing and coughing.
There may be a link between bronchiolitis and developing respiratory conditions such as asthma in later life. However, the link isn't fully understood.
It's not clear whether having bronchiolitis as an infant increases your risk of developing asthma later in life, or whether there are environmental or genetic (inherited) factors that cause both bronchiolitis and asthma.
If your child has repeated bouts of bronchiolitis, their risk of developing asthma later in life may be increased.
Bronchiolitis is a common lower respiratory tract infection that affects babies and young children under two years old.
Most children with bronchiolitis have mild symptoms and recover within two to three weeks, but it's important to look out for signs of more serious problems, such as breathing difficulties.
Bronchiolitis is almost always caused by a viral infection. In most cases, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible.
Contact your GP if your child has symptoms of bronchiolitis. A diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms and an examination of your child's breathing.
In most cases, bronchiolitis is mild and gets better without needing treatment within two to three weeks.
If your child develops complications from bronchiolitis, it's likely that they'll need hospital treatment.
The virus that causes bronchiolitis is very common and easily spread, so it's impossible to completely prevent it.