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Bronchiolitis kits offer at-home peace of mind for parents after an Emergency Department visit

Bronchiolitis kits offer at-home peace of mind for parents after an Emergency Department visit

A baby with a respiratory virus can be scary for a parent and prompt a lot of questions.

Is it just a cold? Is the baby sick enough for a trip to the emergency doctor? How do we maintain care after that?

Abby Seaman, BSN, knows firsthand the parental stress that occurs when a child has RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Her own baby had it at 6 weeks of age.

As a patient care manager in Pediatrics at Carle Foundation Hospital, she sees the concern parents bring with them when seeking care for their children firsthand. “It’s very scary for a parent when a child cannot express what is wrong,” she said. “Young babies can take a bad turn very quickly.”

Since 2022, when cases of RSV in children ticked upward to be concerning but not so severe as needing a hospital stay, parents can go home from the Carle Foundation Hospital Emergency Department with a bronchiolitis kit thanks to Carle Health Center for Philanthropy.

“We felt we wanted to educate families and provide resources for parents whose child may have RSV orBronchiolitis Kit materials another viral condition,” Allison Thompson, BSN, patient care manager in Women’s Health Services, said.

Inside the kit is a thermometer, a suction bulb to remove mucous from the nostrils and an education sheet describing what retractions are when a baby is sick as well as home care and when to call a doctor. There are also links to a video that explain bronchiolitis and details about the condition. The idea of the transitional bronchiolitis kits stems from COVID-19 home kits successfully used during the pandemic.

Though the focus is empowering families to support their loved ones from home, there is still a priority of offering compassionate care from the health system.

The morning after patients return home a nurse will call the family to check in and depending on how the child is doing, monitoring may continue with virtual or in-office visit. In some cases, the child may need to return to the hospital for continued care.

“We want to provide comfort and reassurance to families as well as provide guidance for how to care for their child so they do not feel a need to return to the Emergency Department unless symptoms become emergent,” Mindy Watson MSN, the pediatric coordinator in the Emergency Department at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Anyone interested in providing a donation to support the kits, can visit


Categories: Community

Tags: baby, Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign-Urbana, emergency, Emergency Department, Giving, Philanthropy