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Bronchiolitis causes the small airways to become swollen and filled with fluid and mucus. This makes it hard for your child to breathe. Bronchiolitis usually goes away on its own. Most children can be treated at home.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


Your child may be in isolation if he has an infection or disease that he can spread to others. Caregivers and visitors may need to wear gloves, a face mask, and a gown. Everyone should wash their hands before and after visiting your child.


is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.

A pulse oximeter

measures how much oxygen is in your child's blood. A small clip or sticky strip will be placed on your child's finger, ear, or toe. A cord connects the oximeter to a machine. Do not remove the clip or sticky strip.


Medicine may be given to decrease your child's pain and fever. Medicine may also be given to decrease swelling in your child's airway or open his or her airway.


  • Blood tests will show infection and get information about your child's overall health.
  • Chest x-ray pictures may show fluid or swelling in your child's lung.


  • IV fluids may be given to treat or prevent dehydration.
  • Oxygen may be needed if your child's blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. Your child may get oxygen through a mask placed over his or her nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in his or her nostrils. Ask your child's healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.
  • Removal of mucus may be done by placing a small tube into your child's mouth or nose. This may help your child breathe easier. Saline drops may be put into your child's nose to help loosen the mucus. Your child may need this treatment more than once.


Bronchiolitis may make it hard for your child to breathe well on his or her own. He or she may need a ventilator to help him or her breathe. Your child may be at higher risk for asthma after he or she has bronchiolitis.


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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Bronchiolitis (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference