Peer Reviewed
Feature Article Paediatrics

Management of wheezy infants and preschool children

Anne Morris, Craig Mellis
This second article in a two-part series on wheeze in children focuses on the management of the more common causes in infants (aged under 1 year) and preschool children (aged 1 to 4 years) using the best available published evidence.
Key Points
  • Most wheezy infants have acute bronchiolitis or transient early wheezing, neither of which generally warrants any specific therapy.
  • Age has a significant bearing on the patient’s response to inhaled bronchodilators.
  • Bronchodilators should not be used routinely for first-time wheezy infants with presumed acute viral bronchiolitis.
  • Toddlers with wheezing associated respiratory infection (WARI) should be given a trial of inhaled bronchodilator as required.
  • Infants and preschool children with persistent or frequently recurrent wheezing deserve a trial of long term preventive therapy with inhaled corticosteroids or a nonsteroidal preventer.
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