Bronchiolitis – Treatment, Prevention and Home Remedies for Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is a very common and serious respiratory infection that occurs among babies. The smallest air passages in the lungs called the bronchioles get inflamed. This occurs in babies below nine months. And may rarely occur in children who are above twelve months. The occurrence is usually in the winter and is mainly caused by the respiratory syncytial virus. The baby may get wheezy and may have breathing difficulty.

Treatment for Bronchiolitis
In the initial stages when the infection is mild, bronchiolitis can be treated at home, but in severe conditions, hospitalization is very much necessary. The various treatment include:

Medical Treatment
In case of severe infection, the baby should be taken to the hospital. The medical treatment includes:

  • Antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor to reduce the infection.
  • Decongestants can be administered.
  • Bronchodilators are the other group of drugs that can be prescribed to help the child breathe properly.
  • Hyper-tonic solutions are also given to prevent dehydration.
  • If the baby has fever and cough, then syrups may be given to reduce fever and cough.
  • In serious cases of breathing difficulty, a doctor may administer humidified oxygen.
  • This relieves the breathing difficulty and keep monitoring the respiratory rate.
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the child’s room as this helps to loosen the mucus and clear the airway.
  • Use a bulb syringe and saline nasal drops to clear the child’s nose of mucus.
  • Anti-histamines and expectorants can be given after consulting your child’s pediatrician.

Prevention of Bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis spreads from person to person, so the best way to prevent is by proper hand washing techniques. The other effective ways that can curb the spread of this infection include:

  • Limit your child’s contact with people suffering from fever, cold and cough.
  • If your child is a premature new born, then avoid exposure to infected people for the first two months of life.
  • Clean your kitchen and bathroom counter tops in your home by using bleach and water.
  • Use tissues to wipe away the nasal secretions and discard used tissues promptly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers with alcohol.
  • Do not share drinking glasses with others.
  • When traveling keep a water less hand sanitizers ready.
  • Eat a well balanced and a healthy diet.
  • Maintain a smoke free environment as smoke can worsen the symptoms of this respiratory infection.
  • Increase the intake of fluids like water, juice and gelatin water to prevent dehydration.
  • Be sure the environment is as clean as possible.
  • Keep the humidifier clean to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.

Home Remedies for Bronchiolitis
Some of the common remedies include:

  • Try to include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits in your child’s diet.
  • Use garlic and watercress in cooking, into thick vegetable soups and other dishes.
  • Add marjoram and oregano to dishes.
  • Eucalyptus or tea tree oil can be gently rubbed on your child’s chest.
  • Use lavender and chamomile essences in a vaporizer.
  • Give freshly squeezed lemon juice diluted with hot water and sweetened with honey.
  • Give your child an upright position which makes breathing easier.
  • Another way to humidify, is to run a hot shower in the bathroom and let steam up the room.
  • Sit in the room holding your child for about 10 minutes as this eases cough.
  • Keep your child warm and give a well balanced and a nourished diet along with plenty of fluids to drink.

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