Bronchiolitis: Easy home cures to helpbronchilitus-280

Symptoms can be similiar to that of a cold or cough, but can be quite unpleasant. Helen Foster finds out what you can do to help

This is a common infection of the lower respiratory tract and has similar symptoms to a cough or cold. But very young children can't  cough up mucus, so the main remedies focus on helping to free up their chest for them.

Forget the pharmacy

'A hospital wouldn't give cough mixtures for this condition and it's not worth you doing so either,' says Dr Hesseling.

Try steaming

Sitting in a bathroom with a very hot shower running makes the air more humid. 'That can help loosen the mucus on the chest,' Dr Roked says. A hot water bottle in a towel placed on the chest can also help move things.

Chest massage

'Put a little olive oil and some sliced garlic in a bowl. Warm this in the microwave for a few seconds and use as a Chunky Knits hot water bottle, £8, massage oil,' suggests Dr Ali. 'Massage it onto their chest and back with firm, upwards strokes that create friction, then rub their palms and soles.'

Ban smokers from the house

As with ear infections, cigarette smoke can make this problem worse. Even if no one smokes in the house, 'The fumes carried in on clothing can aggravate things,' warns Dr Roked.

When to see a doctor

If they are struggling to breathe, breathing rapidly or wheezing, or if a baby and only taking half their usual amount of food and producing fewer wet nappies. If they have a fever (38°C or above) or seem very tired or unhappy and irritated. If they are not showing any signs of recovering after being ill for three days.

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