Resources for the management of children with respiratory tract infections

Introductory section

Most upper respiratory tract infections are viral. In some cases antibiotics may be given just in case, where a prescriber is worried the child may deteriorate and become acutely unwell and require hospital admission. Parents are seeking assurance that their child is not seriously unwell and are looking for advice on what to expect and how to best look after their child while they are sick.

This is a resource for prescribers of children with respiratory tract infections. It brings together information and tools to allow prescribers to make informed choices about when antibiotics would be recommended and when they are unlikely to benefit the patient. 

Resources for prescribers

Bronchiolitis assessment pathways

Paediatric sepsis podcasts

Use of delayed prescriptions of antibiotics for infants and children - statement

Using STARWAVe in practice to predict hospitalisation

Viral respiratory diseases (including infuenza and COVID-19) surveillance in Scotland

Webinar Six - Antibiotics For Children

Resources for parents

The following resources can support prescribers to have conversations with parents:

Caring for children with coughs

Healthier Together - Cough and cold

“I think I need an antibiotic?”

NHS inform - Cough

Safety netting and parent information sheets

When should I worry?

SAPG Paediatric Stewardship Steering Group | December 2023 for review December 2026

Content updated January 2024




Antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections in Scotland

The graph shows an increase use of antibiotics prescribed for respiratory tract infections. This increased coincides with an increase in RSV infections