Bronchiectasis in children

Causes of bronchiectasis in children

Bronchiectasis is caused by damage to your child’s lungs.

Some known causes include:

  • severe infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis or whooping cough -this is the most common known cause
  • a problem with your child’s immune system - immune deficiency - which causes lots of bacterial infections
  • a problem with the way your child’s lungs grew in the first place
  • a blockage caused by something your child inhaled, such as a small nut
  • an underlying inherited disease such as cystic fibrosis or primary ciliary dyskinesia
  • accidentally breathing in stomach acid that has come up your child's food tube

It’s important to try and find out how their airways were damaged. This can help with treatment and preventing more damage. But for about 40% of children and adults, there is no clear cause for their bronchiectasis.

Is there any way to prevent it?

It’s not always possible to prevent the lung damage that causes bronchiectasis. But you can do lots of things to reduce the risks to your child’s lungs.  Take a look at our information about risks.

If you have concerns or need advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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Last medically reviewed: September 2016. Due for review: September 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.