Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the
lung's air passages. It often follows a cold, comes on suddenly and
usually does not last very long. The cause is usually a virus in
children. There are no medicines that kill viruses. It generally
will go away on its own in about a week. Bacteria, another kind of
germ, can also cause bronchitis.
SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:
• Cough - Dry at first then productive (coughing up mucous)
• Difficult or uncomfortable breathing
• Gagging or vomiting because of the mucous
• Pressure or burning feeling in the chest
WHAT YOUR DOCTOR CAN DO:
• Diagnose acute bronchitis by asking about symptoms, doing a
physical exam, and possibly ordering laboratory tests and x-rays.
• Prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection, if the
bronchitis is caused by bacteria.
• Prescribe any of several medications to relieve symptoms.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• See your doctor if you think your child has a bacterial infection.
• Give all of the antibiotics, even after your child begins to feel
• Offer plenty of liquids, especially water and other clear liquids.
• Be sure your child gets plenty of rest.
• Keep cigarette smoke and other irritants away.
• Give an expectorant to help your child cough up the mucous.
• Give a cough suppressant only to help your child sleep.
• Use a humidifier to increase moisture in the air, especially in
• Send your child back to school only after resting well and the
fever is gone.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
CALL 1061 OR SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL
ASSISTANCE If mucous becomes very thick or discolored, if
your child has difficulty breathing, or if your child is not better
in one week.