Dr. Thamer Al Ohali, Family Medicine Consultant at King Fahad Medical City, warned the parents of neglecting the protection of their children from the cold weather witnessed in the shifting period from summer to winter which may lead to many winter diseases, especially acute bronchitis in children. He said: "Acute bronchitis is a viral infection that usually affects children who are younger than two years old and it is more likely to occur in winter season or at the beginning of it. Acute bronchitis occurs when developing respiratory syncytial virus that causes bronchitis and pneumonia where the lungs are swollen and filled with mucus and secretions, which may lead to difficulty in breathing. The most common symptoms of the disease are runny nose, nasal congestion, dry cough, breathing difficulty, a slight rise in temperature up to 38 to 38.5, loss of appetite, and lack of activity ".
Dr. Al Ohali added "parent should take his/her child to the doctor, if he/she notices that the child drinks milk less than half of the normal amount within 24 hours or he/she suffers from the signs of dehydration, such as not wetting the diaper for more than six hours, dry mouth and lips and pallor. These are the dehydration indicators if the child suffers from severe inactivity."
In regards of how to treat this disease, Dr. Al Ohali said: "It is very important not to give the child cough medicines since recent studies indicate that they shouldn't be given to children under 4 years old because of their side effects and ineffectiveness. Any viral infection takes its usual cycle from 5 days to one week and it automatically ends. However, there are some measurements that may reduce the symptoms including increasing feedings and water intake and antipyretics such as paracetamol if the child suffers from high temperature, in addition to nasal spray or water saline that can helps the child to breathe, as well as using the steam inhaler to refresh the atmosphere and relieve the cough."
Dr. Al Ohali demanded parents to protect and prevent their children from acute bronchitis. He said: "Acute bronchitis is usually transmitted by touching especially in nurseries because it is transmitted in narrowed and crowded places, and through breathing. People must take care of hygiene and washing their hands frequently with warm water and soap in addition to keeping children away from crowded places or anyone infected with cold. Moreover, giving the child who is above six months seasonal flu vaccine available in all health centers is considered to be an important measurement, which will protect them from colds or relieve its symptoms once it occurred".