Bronchitis is a respiratory disease that is characterized by inflammation of the bronchi or tracheal branches due to a virus or bacteria. Inflammation partially or completely blocks the airways, which causes wheezing. The disease occurs in both children and adults.
Of course, many parents are interested in the question of whether bronchitis is contagious in children. To understand this issue, first you need to identify the cause and symptoms of the disease.
What causes bronchitis in a child?
In most cases, bronchitis is caused by a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is common and infects almost every child under the age of 2 years. Seasonal outbreaks of RSV infection occur every winter. Bronchitis can also be caused by a number of other viruses, including those that cause the flu or the common cold.
Also, the cause may be the influence of chemical factors that irritate the bronchi of the child. For example, tobacco smoke, gasoline vapors or other inhaled chemicals.
With various congenital defects of the respiratory organs, as well as with allergic reactions, there is a risk of irritation of the bronchial mucosa, which can later lead to bronchitis.
Depending on the cause of the bronchitis, it can be determined if it is infectious.
Main signs and symptoms of bronchitis in children
A child with bronchitis may have the usual signs of a cold:
- Runny nose;
- Sore throat;
- Increased temperature;
But the main distinguishing feature is coughing and wheezing. When the first symptoms develop, the child’s cough is dry, but after a few days, sputum is released.
The disease can last from 5 to 10 days. But if children do not receive proper treatment, there is a risk of chronic bronchitis.
What factors can determine if children have bronchitis?
It is very important to find out the cause of bronchitis in a baby in order to determine whether it is dangerous or not. Bronchitis that occurs in a child due to a viral or bacterial infection is infectious. If the disease is caused by other factors, for example, tobacco smoke or chemical vapors, then it will not be dangerous to others.
A child can become infected with bronchitis by airborne droplets, when with him the patient, who already has this disease, coughs or sneezes. You can also get sick by touching on common items such as dishes, towels or toys.
Prevention measures for the prevention of bronchitis
Preschool and primary school children often develop bronchitis. This is due to the fact that they have weak immunity, and it is very difficult to protect them from contact with the patient. Therefore, it is important to apply preventive measures, such as:
- Wash hands thoroughly after the street.
- Air the room.
- Timely treatment of all diseases.
- Ensure that the child is not in the room in which they smoke.
- Keep baby from hypothermia.
If the baby has the first symptoms of bronchitis, it is necessary to consult a doctor in time to start treatment and not lead to complications. As a rule, in such cases, the doctor prescribes antibiotics and heavy drinking.