Acute Bronchitis in Children


What is acute bronchitis? Acute bronchitis is swelling and irritation in your child's air passages. This irritation may cause him to cough or have other breathing problems. Acute bronchitis often starts because of another illness, such as a cold or the flu. The illness spreads from your child's nose and throat to his windpipe and airways. Bronchitis is often called a chest cold. Acute bronchitis lasts about 2 weeks and is usually not a serious illness.

What causes or increases my child's risk for acute bronchitis?

What are the signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis?

How is acute bronchitis diagnosed? Healthcare providers will ask about your child's signs and symptoms. Tell healthcare providers about other medical conditions your child may have. He may need the following:

How is acute bronchitis treated?

How can I care for my child when he has acute bronchitis?

What are the risks of acute bronchitis? Your child's bronchitis may turn into a serious infection, such as pneumonia. The chance of his bronchitis becoming a serious illness is increased if he has other health problems. Many respiratory illnesses over a period of time may cause permanent lung problems.

When should I call my child's healthcare provider? Call your child's healthcare provider if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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