It appears with flu-like symptoms such as nasal congestion, cough and sneezing, if not intervened in time, it can progress rapidly and cause serious pictures.
The name of this disease, which is usually seen in children under 2 years of age; bronchiolitis! Bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory tract disease that develops as a result of narrowing of the small airways called bronchioles in the lungs and manifests itself with respiratory distress, knocks on our door more frequently in winter months when viral infections are common.
Acıbadem Altunizade Hospital Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Sebnem Kuter, Although the risk of Covid-19 causing severe disease is lower than in adults, Stating that protecting children from bronchiolitis has become more important than ever, especially in the pandemic, “Covid-19 infection comes with the involvement of lung tissue. It prevents the lungs from cleaning the blood, as a result, the oxygen level in the blood drops, carbon dioxide accumulates and respiratory distress increases. The addition of Covid-19 infection to the picture of bronchiolitis, which causes similar findings due to narrowing of the small airways, may lead to a more severe course of the disease. Therefore, it is of great importance that children who have had bronchiolitis should be protected more carefully. Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Sebnem Kuterexplained their suggestions that protect children from bronchiolitis in the pandemic under 8 headings; made important warnings!
Starts with cold-flu symptoms
Bronchiolitis; It starts with cold or flu symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, cough and sneezing. Fever is generally seen as normal or slightly elevated. The disease progresses rapidly in some children, especially those with risk factors. Cough is added with wheezing, rapid breathing. Explaining that as a result of the increase in respiratory load, auxiliary respiratory muscles are activated. Şebnem Kuter explains the importance of early diagnosis in bronchiolitis as follows: “In the examination of this picture; We observe that the nasal wings accompany breathing, the abdomen goes up and down, and the muscles between the ribs form deep pits. After a while, urine output may decrease due to the deterioration of fluid intake and nutrition. When the disease gets more severe, problems such as bruising on the tongue and lips and pale skin color may develop. It is very important to consult a doctor in time to prevent this picture, which can lead to respiratory and cardiac arrest. "
The most common cause is the RSV virus!
Small airways in babies and children are less in number and narrower than in adults. Stating that the cartilage tissue surrounding these airways is also softer, Dr. Şebnem Kuter said, “As a result, the airways are easily blocked, leading to the development of bronchiolitis. For all these reasons, bronchiolitis picture occurs more frequently in children under 2 years old. " says.
Viruses are one of the most common causes of bronchiolitis. Among the viruses, the virus known as RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is responsible for bronchiolitis in one out of every 2 children. Dr. Şebnem Kuter says that children of families who are born prematurely, who are not breastfed, have chronic heart and lung disease or weak immune problems, live in crowded families, start nursery early, and most importantly smoke, are more prone to bronchiolitis.
Don't be late for treatment
In the treatment of bronchiolitis, children can usually be followed up at home with supportive treatments. Emphasizing that children with difficult and fast breathing, palpitations, and low oxygen levels in the blood are hospitalized and treated, Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Şebnem Kuter explains this process as follows: “In the treatment, moist oxygen support, medications that help to expand the airways and applied in the form of steam, and cortisone drugs that help reduce edema can be used. The frequency of applying all these drugs varies according to the severity of the disease. In order to prevent fluid losses caused by frequent breathing, fluid support is provided through the vascular access. Antibiotic treatment can be applied to children with elevated infection values or signs of pneumonia on chest x-ray. "
8 effective tips against bronchiolitis
Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Şebnem Kuter lists his suggestions for parents in 8 items as follows:
- To protect our children, we must start as parents by protecting ourselves. Remember that we are the ones who will carry viral infections to our children during this period. For this reason, be careful not to enter crowded environments.
- Do not host guests in your home as they can be silent carriers, even if you are sure they are not sick.
- You should pay close attention to your hand hygiene; You should wash your hands frequently during the day with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use alcohol-based disinfectants if you are outside.. Teach your child hand hygiene too, remind them to wash their hands frequently.
- Be sure to wear a mask and change your mask frequently. If he is over 2 years old, make a habit of wearing a mask, change his mask regularly. If he is under 2 years old, you can protect his stroller from droplets by surrounding it with stroller covers.
- Ensure a balanced and rich diet from all food groups. Your child should definitely consume fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and drink plenty of fluids.
- If you have breast milk, continue to breastfeed until the age of 2.
- Do not neglect routine doctor check-ups and vaccinations during the pandemic period.
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.