Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...


Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...


The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways or bronchial tubes leading to the lungs which causes the lining of these breathing tubes to swell and narrow and promotes the secretion of inflammatory fluid (MedicineNet, 1996-2010).



Bronchitis is often a complication of a viral infection, such as the common cold or influenza, but it is also sometimes the result of a bacterial infection. Chemical irritants (tobacco smoke) are key risk factors in developing bronchitis and allergies, such as asthma, may predispose your child to bronchial infections (MedicineNet, 1996-2010).



·                Nasal congestion and sore throat

·                A persistent cough that is often dry at first, but may later produce green or yellow phlegm, especially if a bacterial infection is present

·                Wheezing

·                Shortness of breath

·                Fever, chills, aches and a general sense of malaise

·                Soreness of the chest and abdominal muscles due to continuous, forceful coughing (Leary, 1990; MedicineNet, 1996-2010; eMedicineHealth, 2010).



A diagnosis of bronchitis is made on the basis of symptomology and a physical examination. A chest X-ray may be considered if your doctor suspects that your child has pneumonia. A sputum culture may be taken to detect bacterial pathogens. By placing a sensor on your child’s finger, your doctor is able to measure his oxygen saturation or establish how well oxygen is reaching blood cells (eMedicineHealth, 2010).



Decreasing inflammation is the main aim of treating acute bronchitis.

·                Your child may be prescribed a bronchiodilator drug, either in the form of a hand-held  inhaler or a nebuliser, to help dilate the bronchial tubes.

·                Short-term steroid therapy may be required to decrease inflammation of the airways.

·                Fever may be treated with appropriate doses of Ponstan or Panado.

·                Fluids not only prevent dehydration but keep secretions in the bronchial tubes liquid, making them easier to expel. Warm drinks in particular are soothing and help relieve the cough.

·                Occasionally antibiotics are prescribed if a bacterial infection is present or if your child suffers from a chronic lung problem, such as asthma.

·                Steam inhalation or use of a humidifier helps to decongest the airways (Collins, 2003; MedicineNet, 1996-2010).


Consult your doctor immediately if:

·         Symptoms worsen, do not improve, or new symptoms develop.

·         Severe coughing disturbs your child’s sleep.

·                Your child has a fever that lasts for more than 4-5 days. This is a possible indication that she has developed pneumonia and requires a medical examination.

·                Your child is coughing up blood or there is an increased amount of green phlegm.

·                Your child is experiencing difficulties breathing with or without wheezing.

·                Your child is extremely drowsy, refuses to drink or has a blue tongue or lips.

·                If your child is under 1 year and is coughing, wheezing or having breathing difficulties, call an ambulance. Infants are prone to a viral infection known as bronchiolitis, which is an inflammation of the smaller airways or bronchioles (Collins, 2003; eMedicineHealth, 2010).