Bronchitis in Kids

Kids dealing with a nasty case of bronchitis? KidsStreet can help! Here, we’ll explain the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods for bronchitis in kids. 

What is Bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis is caused by inflammation in the bronchioles and airways, and the swelling of the bronchioles causes excess mucus and results in a deep, chesty cough. 

What Causes Bronchitis in Kids? 

There are three main causes of acute bronchitis: viral, bacterial, and chronic. 

Viral bronchitis is usually a side effect of another upper respiratory illness such as the common cold, the flu, RSV, or COVID-19. This is the most common cause of the illness.

Bacterial bronchitis is a result of bacteria growing in the bronchioles, and is much less common than viral bronchitis. 

Chronic bronchitis is a case that lasts longer than a month and is normally attributed to smoking, so children generally do not deal with this kind.

Symptoms of Bronchitis in Kids

Bronchitis is characterized by a deep cough. Other symptoms of acute bronchitis include: 

  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Sore throat from coughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Congestion
  • Discolored mucus
  • Low fever
  • Chills
  • Stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue

Acute bronchitis symptoms come on suddenly and may last up to three weeks.

How is Bronchitis Diagnosed? 

Although there is no test that can diagnose this illness, a pediatric provider can look at the symptoms and duration of the child’s illness and make a diagnosis. 

Providers will also listen to your child’s breathing, examine their ears, nose, and throat, and ask about your child’s breathing history to help them provide a diagnosis. In some cases, if the provider is unsure of what illness a child is facing, they may take chest x-rays. 

Worried your child is facing acute bronchitis? KidsStreet can help! We offer diagnosis and treatment of bronchitis in kids with our pediatric urgent care services.

What are the Treatment Options? 

While there is no full treatment plan to completely rid your child of the illness, these treatment methods may help the healing process: 

  • Using humidifiers to help break up mucus in their chest
  • Taking cough drops and cough suppressants 
  • Taking over the counter medications for pain and fever for additional symptoms
  • Getting plenty of rest 
  • Breathing treatments and inhalers if prescribed by a pediatric provider

Providers do not prescribe antibiotics for acute bronchitis unless it is ruled to be bacterial bronchitis.

Preventing Acute Bronchitis

Although completely avoiding bronchitis is not always possible, there are ways you can reduce your child’s risk for developing the illness. 

Since viral bronchitis is the most common form, the best way to avoid it is practicing winter hygiene to avoid conditions that may cause bronchitis. Best practices for hygiene include: 

  • Wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water for at least twenty seconds.
  • Avoid touching common surfaces like stair rails. 
  • Avoid touching the nose and mouth while out in public. 
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Keep your child home when they are sick.
Why Choose KidsStreet urgent Care?

Turn to KidsStreet Urgent Care 

Is bronchitis causing chaos in your home? KidsStreet is here for you and your kids! 

To visit our kid-focused clinic, register online. You will be able to wait from home or from your vehicle until we are ready to see your child. 

KidsStreet loves walk-ins! However, please be aware that walk-ins may face longer in-clinic wait times. Walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online.