The results of the new survey, conducted on behalf of AbbVie Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company, are released with the launch of the More Than a Cold bronchiolitis awareness campaign this month.
Bronchiolitis is a viral lung infection of the lower airways affecting babies and young children and is more common during the winter months. The airways in the lungs become infected and inflamed so the amount of air entering the lungs is reduced, making it more difficult to breathe.
Consultant paediatrician Dr Su Laurent from the Royal Free Hospital, NHS Trust, comments "Despite the high number of babies affected there seems to be a real lack of awareness of bronchiolitis among parents. For many children, bronchiolitis is no more severe than a cold, but for others they may struggle to breathe and feed and need hospital care to help them recover. It is therefore, important that parents know what bronchiolitis is, what to look out for and how they can reduce the risks for their children, particularly if their baby is premature or has other health complications, such as lung or heart conditions, which could mean they are at higher risk of severe bronchiolitis."
The More Than a Cold campaign developed and funded by AbbVie, provides practical advice and materials for parents and healthcare professionals about bronchiolitis and how to reduce the risks. A campaign video has been developed to raise awareness of the condition and uses real life stories to demonstrate the emotional impact bronchiolitis can have as well as expert advice to encourage parents to take action to reduce the risks.
The campaign is being supported by seven parent charities; Bliss, the British Lung Foundation, NCT, Tamba, Tiny Tickers, Tiny Lives and WellChild.
What to look out for:
Most children with bronchiolitis have mild symptoms which include:
- A slight high temperature (fever)
- A dry and persistent raspy cough
- Difficulty feeding
- Rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing)
For the more severe case of bronchiolitis, when medical help may be required, children may show the following symptoms:
- Struggling to breathe
- Poor feeding (your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds)
- They've had no wet nappy for 12 hours or more
- A breathing rate of 50-60 breaths per minute
- A high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
- They seem very tired or irritable
What can parents do?
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water - especially before you touch the baby. Make sure siblings and visitors wash their hands too
- Cover your child's nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze
- Try to keep away from other children and adults who show signs of a cough or cold
- Wash or wipe toys regularly to prevent the spread of germs
- Ensure your baby is kept away from tobacco smoke. Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby
Visit www.morethanacold.co.uk for more information.