An inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs.


An inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs.


  • Your child might have a runny nose to begin with and this will develop into an irritating persistent cough, which may later produce yellow-green phlegm if there is a bacterial infection.
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fever.


  • Treat at home, but take your child to a doctor or hospital if there is no improvement after a day, if your child’s breathing becomes very fast, or the fever goes above 39ºC.


  • Give liquid paracetamol to reduce the fever.
  • Keep the air in your child's room moist (you can hang a wet towel over a chair near a heater or rent a humidifier from a pharmacy).
  • Warm drinks may relieve the coughing.

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which connect the windpipe to the lungs. If a child has bronchitis it is more difficult for air to pass in and out of the lungs, the tissues in the bronchial tubes becomes irritated and it produces more mucous which causes a cough. Symptoms may include a fever, headache and shortness of breath or wheezing.

What to do

Consult your doctor as your child may need an antibiotic. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest  and don’t send him to school. Give him plenty of fluids. Your doctor might prescribe a cough medicine. Cough medicine is good to loosen phlegm and open the clogged airways. Don’t give your child a cough suppressant – coughing up the mucous is an important part of the healing process and blocking it might cause a secondary bacterial infection. 

For more detailed info on Common Childhood Conditions, go to Health24.

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