The season to be jolly?
Christmas may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season for bronchiolitis in babies. The epidemic affects approximately one in every three babies, and runs from November to March every year. The spread of the virus peaks around Christmas and New Year – when family and friends celebrate together.
While health professionals are all too aware of the high incidence and risks of bronchiolitis, more needs to be done to support families and fund vital research to reduce the risks.
What are the symptoms?
- Fast breathing: shallow, quick breaths, not taking in much air
- Appetite: inability to feed
- Cough: distinctive rasping cough
- Temperature: high temperature will usually accompany cold-like symptoms
like a runny nose.
While some babies are able to fight off bronchiolitis at home in a matter of days, others need intensive care, and some do not survive. There has been little research in this area, but there is some evidence to suggest it is due to differences in immune systems, strongly influenced by genetics.
The future of infant bronchiolitis treatment
Currently, we are unable to predict which babies will develop bronchiolitis or how to treat them effectively. If scientific researchers knew more about why some babies are more susceptible, then the hope is that doctors could do more to prevent bronchiolitis developing in the first place.
The development of effective treatments for infant bronchiolitis is long overdue – there are no specific therapies, and treatments have remained the same for over four decades.
Your support has never been needed more
The success of Baby’s First Christmas Appeal is vital for the future of services like the BLF Helpline, and will determine whether or not research into infant bronchiolitis can go ahead. Thank you for whatever you can spare. Your gift could help protect more babies from this potentially life-threatening disease, and make sure it’s a happy Christmas for all.
The British Lung Foundation is keen to fund much needed research which could protect babies from developing severe bronchiolitis.
Please donate what you can to help.
BLF Helpline is a lifeline
Having a child with a lung condition can be extremely stressful for parents – especially when the child is just a few weeks or months old.
The BLF Helpline a unique support service to parents. Not only do specialists like the Child Respiratory Nurse provide medical advice, they also give parents the time and emotional support they need to be able to cope more effectively with their child’s condition.
For further information, you can also view Abbott’s More Than A Cold campaign.