Bronchiolitis is a common lower respiratory tract infection generally affecting babies and young children.
Around 1 in 3 children in the UK will develop bronchiolitis during their first year of life, with babies between 3 and 6 months of age most commonly affected.
Symptoms of bronchiolitis
While bronchiolitis symptoms are usually mild and only last for a few days, babies who were born with a heart condition are at higher risk of developing severe bronchiolitis.
Symptoms of bronchiolitis can include:
- A rasping, persistent dry cough
- Wheezing, noisy or rapid breathing
- A blocked or runny nose
- A slightly high temperature
- Brief pauses in breathing
- Feeding less
- Fewer wet nappies
- Vomiting after feeding
Reducing the risk of bronchiolitis
The virus that causes bronchiolitis spreads easily and so it is impossible to prevent it completely. However, taking measures such as washing hands regularly, catching sneezes in a tissue and disposing of the tissue in a bin can help prevent the virus being spread.
Heart babies are more at risk of developing severe bronchiolitis, so please do speak to your cardiac liaison nurse or another health professionals about preventing and managing bronchiolitis.
Find out more about bronchiolitis on the NHS website here.
Babies born with heart conditions are more at risk of developing bronchiolitis. Below, some of our supporters share their stories.