Skip to content

Childhood respiratory infections rise ahead of winter

Data published recently by Public Health England shows that cases of child respiratory viruses are starting to rise in parts of the country.

We’re not talking about coronavirus, but respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which can cause a cough or cold, that are very common in young children and are seen every year.

But last winter, when we’d usually see them, the restrictions in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus kept these other viruses at bay. There were far fewer infections in younger people, meaning many will not have developed immunity, so now there’s a possibility that there will be more cases this year than in a typical season.

For most children, these illnesses are not serious and they’ll soon recover following rest and plenty of fluids. For others though, under two years old and those born prematurely or with a heart condition, it can be more serious.

There’s more information about the sign of respiratory illness, including what to look out for and when to seek medical advice, on the government’s website.

Webinar for professionals

Additionally, professionals are encouraged to attend the free Paediatric Respiratory Illness Virtual Event taking place on Wednesday 4 August.

The event is a chance to explore this challenge and hear from a panel of frontline practitioners as they delve deeper into the problem through case-based discussions. This is your opportunity to put your questions to the panel so that you can feel more confident in your approach to the assessment and management of children with breathing difficulties as we look ahead to the winter surge.

The session is taking place from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Register for the event on the NHS website.