GP and childA new campaign called ‘More than a Cold’ has been launched to help parents and health professionals to understand the symptoms of bronchiolitis.

The campaign follows the publication of updated NICE guidelines earlier this year that encouraged parents to become familiar with the symptoms, and that as bronchiolitis is caused by a viral infection, antibiotics should not be used as treatment.

The ‘More Than a Cold’ campaign provides healthcare professionals and parents with free information and guidance on how to manage bronchiolitis and simple steps to help prevent it. Materials include a video, leaflet, poster and infographic available from www.morethanacold.co.uk

The More Than a Cold campaign provides practical advice and materials for parents and healthcare professionals about managing bronchiolitis and how to reduce the risks. The campaign was developed and funded by the biopharmaceutical company AbbVie, and is supported by 7 charities; Bliss, the British Lung Foundation, the National Childbirth Trust and the Twins and Multiple Births Association, Tiny Tickers, Tiny Lives and WellChild. Materials include an infographic, leaflet and a poster, which have been developed to raise awareness of the condition, encouraging parents to take action to prevent the spread of the virus and recognise bronchiolitis symptoms. 

Consultant paediatrician Dr Su Laurent from the Royal Free Hospital, NHS Trust, said: “In the winter months, GP surgeries and hospital departments see a large increase in babies and young children with bronchiolitis. As symptoms of bronchiolitis can be distressing and alarming, many parents take their children to hospital in panic, when most babies with milder symptoms could be managed at home.  ‘More Than a Cold’ is an important resource that will support both parents and healthcare professionals to help prevent the spread of bronchiolitis and how to recognise symptoms of severe bronchiolitis and when to seek medical advice.”

Bronchiolitis is a viral lung infection affecting babies and young children, and is more common during the winter months. The lower airways in the lungs become infected and inflamed so the amount of air entering the lungs is reduced, making it more difficult to breathe. Symptoms, although they can be distressing for parents to witness, are usually mild and may only last for a few days. Helping parents and carers understand this can increase their confidence in caring for their child at home.  However, in some cases the disease can cause severe illness: bronchiolitis is the most common cause of hospital admissions in babies with up to 3% of infants admitted to hospital with the condition.

Babies are at greater risk of developing severe bronchiolitis if they were born prematurely (born at less than 37 weeks), are under 12 weeks old, were born with a heart or lung condition, or have another immunodeficiency condition. In some cases, babies with a high risk of developing severe bronchiolitis may be offered an immunisation by a paediatrician or neonatologist.

Click on the image below to view the 'More Than a Cold' infographic

More than a cold - infographic