With cases of respiratory disease on the increase amongst local children, clinicians are asking parents and guardians to find out more about the condition along with the support available.

If your child experiences cold like symptoms and mild breathing difficulty this could be a sign of a common childhood illness called Bronchiolitis.

Bronchiolitis is a viral infection that tends to affect young children (under 2 years of age) and is usually caused by catching Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Most children will get better on their own and may continue to cough for a few weeks afterwards; however, some children – especially those under 6 weeks of age – may develop difficulties and need help supporting their breathing and feeding.

For more information on RSV along with advice on treatment visit Wessex Healthier Together.

Dr Mark Tighe, clinical director for children’s health at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD), said “With winter arriving we’re seeing an increase in younger patients with RSV admitted to hospital and whilst most cases will clear up on their own, it is important that parents and carers know the signs so they can spot it early and take action to prevent the condition worsening.”

If you have concerns about your child, please contact your GP in the first instance.

Alternatively visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111.

In an emergency don’t hesitate, please call 999 and ask for an ambulance.