• It is extremely scary if your child has any sort of breathing difficulty. Use your instincts; if your child appears well and their breathing difficultly improves after a short period, there is normally no need to worry.
  • Wheeze is extremely common in young children and is most often triggered by a viral infection. Most pre-school children with wheeze do not have asthma.
  • Children under 2 years of age with breathing difficulty may have bronchilitis. This is an extremely common condition that usually starts as a runny nose and cough but their breathing may get worse over the next 2-3 days.
  • If your child is struggling to breath, they need to be urgently seen by a medical practitioner and are likely to need treatment. If your child has croup (hoarse voice, barking cough, noisy breathing), they will also need to be seen by a medical practitioner.
  • Most chest infections are caused by viruses and do not usually need treatment with antibiotics.

Watch a local GP and health visitor talking about what they would look out for in a child with a cough and cold:

For more detailed information, please click here to visit the official NHS page on this topic