Bronchiolitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation and congestion in the small airways of the lung. It is more common in winter.

Bronchiolitis affects babies under 12 months of age and usually begins as a cold.

Early bronchiolitis symptoms may include a runny or blocked nose, mild cough and slight fever.

Coughing, wheezing and sometimes difficulty breathing can appear as the illness develops. Symptoms of bronchiolitis can last for several days to weeks.

Bronchiolitis flow chart

Most children get better with care at home. Some children become acutely ill with bronchiolitis and require hospitalisation and equipment to support their breathing for a short while.

If you are worried please see your GP. If our child is having difficulty breathing, call 000 or go to the nearest Emergency Department

Watch our video series

We sit down with Dr Matthew O’Meara, NSW’s Chief Paediatrician and Emergency Staff Specialist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick to answer some of your question.