- shows signs of dehydration - goes 6 hours without having a wet diaper, dry mouth and lips
- fever above 100.4
- is sleepy and lethargic
- is struggling to breathe
If your baby's symptoms escalate to any of the below difficulties, he or she needs to be taken to the emergency room:
- flared nostrils
- the skin between the ribs, above the collarbone, or below the rib cage appears to suck in with each breath
- the baby grunts or tightens tummy muscles when breathing
- respirations are faster than 60 breaths per minute
- the baby stops breathing for a few seconds at a time.
Risk Factors for Bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis is more common in male babies, babies who were not breastfed, and babies who live in crowded conditions (where there is more chance of spread of viruses). Attending day care and exposure to cigarette smoke can also increase the chances of a baby developing bronchiolitis. Conditions such as prematurity, prior chronic heart or lung disease, and weakened immune systems may also mean a baby will develop bronchiolitis.
Kidshealth.org says: "Kids who have had bronchiolitis may be more likely to develop asthma later in life, but it's unclear whether the illness causes or triggers asthma, or whether children who eventually develop asthma were simply more prone to developing bronchiolitis as infants."
Treatment of Bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis is one of those things you just have to wait for it to run its course, so treatments in most cases are focused on managing the symptoms. Since decongestants are not recommended for children under the age of 6 and particularly for infants, here are a few simple tips from www.babycentre.co.uk:
1) Encourage your baby to take extra breast or bottle feeds. If your baby is formula-fed or on solids he can have water too. He may not want to feed for long if his breathing is labored, so offer short, frequent feeds. This will prevent him from becoming dehydrated and bring down his fever if he has one [pedialyte is a great alternative as it also provides vitamins and energizing electrolytes].