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What are the symptoms of bronchitis in a two-year-old?

My daughter has had a cold for about ten days. She has run a low-grade fever about half the time, which is easily controlled with ibuprofen. She recently started coughing, and I can't tell if it's coming from her lungs or her head. The doctor seems to think it's just a cold, but I'd like to know what to look for in case it starts to get worse and maybe turn into bronchitis.
From your description, it sounds like your daughter could have either a cold or bronchitis. Since her symptoms of coughing are starting later in the course of her disease, bronchitis is a bit more likely. Another possibility that is common in young children is bronchiolitis (spelled a bit differently). This is a type of bronchial infection caused by the RSV virus. Like bronchitis, this disease can cause cough, wheezing, fever, runny nose, and headache. In the end, there are 3 key factors to consider. 1. If this is bronchitis, bronchitis, or a cold, no antibiotic will hasten the course. 2. If your daughter is wheezing a lot and having trouble breathing, she should receive nebulizer treatments to expand her airways, 3. Sometimes, bacterial infections of the sinuses and ears occur because of the viral infection, and should be treated with antibiotics. Otherwise the distinction between a common cold and uncomplicated bronchitis is purely academic, because both will pass on their own (bronchitis will just take longer). I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your daughter's pediatrician. He or she can re-examine your daughter and make sure that this has not progressed into a bacterial infection. If bronchitis is suspected, then your daughter may benefit from an inhaler which will make breathing a bit easier.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

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