Skip to main content
Home > Health Conditions and Treatments > Health library > Patient education manuals > Care of Children > Infections > RSV respiratory syncytial virus or bronchiolitis

RSV respiratory syncytial virus or bronchiolitis

  • The respiratory syncytial virus affects your child's nose,sinuses, throat and lungs. RSV is the most commoncause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants andchildren younger than one year old.

    Your child can get RSV more than once. Because RSV iscaused by a virus, antibiotics won't help. The virus mustrun its course.

    Symptoms of RSV are:

    • congestion and nasal drainage
    • loss of appetite
    • cough that won't go away
    • wheezing (whistling sound) when breathing
    • fever (sometimes)

    How to make your child feel more comfortable

    • For an infant, use a rubber syringe bulb to remove any mucus in her nose. This will be helpful before each feeding and before sleep.
    • Give your child lots of clear liquids. For infants, give Pedialyte®. You may need to give small amounts of liquids more often. Watch how often your child urinates to see if she needs more to drink.
    • Do not stop breastfeeding or formula feeding.
    • Keep your child away from secondhand smoke.

    When to call your health care provider

    Important

    Call 911 or take your child to an Emergency Department if your child's lips turn blue.

    Call your health care provider if your:

    • child starts to breathe very fast (60 breaths or more in one minute)
    • child's nostrils open wide (flare) when breathing
    • child's ribs show with each breath
    • child's cough is making it hard to eat
    • child's cough is hard enough to cause her to vomit
    • child has a fever of at least 101 F for more than two days
    • child has trouble sleeping
    • child has new symptoms that concern you
    • child has not passed urine in the last six to eight hours
  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
    First published: 02/01/2010
    Last reviewed: 01/01/2014


  • If you see this message, you must refresh before proceeding with editing!


Copyright Information

This site is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Allina Health®, Allina®, the Allina Health logo, and Medformation® are registered trademarks of Allina Health System. Presentation and Design ©2015 Allina Health. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED