Bronchiolitis in children: diagnosis and management

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Bronchiolitis is the most common disease of the lower respiratory tract during the first year of life. In primary care, the condition may often be confused with a common cold, though the presence of lower respiratory tract signs (wheeze and/or crackles on auscultation) in an infant in mid‑winter would be consistent with this clinical diagnosis. The management of bronchiolitis depends on the severity of the illness. In most children bronchiolitis can be managed at home by parents or carers. This summary covers assessment, when to refer, and key safety information for looking after a child at home.

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