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Symptoms

Most children with bronchiolitis have mild symptoms and recover within 2 to 3 weeks, but it's important to look out for signs of more serious problems, such as breathing difficulties.

Early symptoms of bronchiolitis tend to appear within a few days of becoming infected.

They're usually similar to those of a common cold, such as a blocked or runny nose, a cough, and a slightly high temperature (fever).

The symptoms usually get worse during the next few days before gradually improving.

During this time, your child may develop some of the following symptoms:

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious, but the symptoms can be very worrying.

Symptoms are usually at their worst between day 3 and day 5. The cough usually gets better within 3 weeks.

When to get medical advice

Medical advice is not needed if your child has mild cold-like symptoms and is recovering well. You can usually care for your child at home.

But see your GP or contact NHS 111 if you're worried about your child or they:

It's particularly important to get medical advice if your baby is less than 12 weeks old or they have an underlying health condition, such as a congenital (present from birth) heart or lung condition.

When to call 999

While it's unusual for children to need hospital treatment for bronchiolitis, the symptoms can get worse very quickly.

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance if: