Children’s interstitial lung disease (chILD)

Treatments for chILD

The best treatment for your child can depend on what condition they have.

The chILD Lung Foundation website has more info on treatment for specific conditions.

Common treatments

Oxygen therapy

If the level of oxygen in your child’s blood is too low, your child may be given oxygen therapy. This means your child breathes air that is richer in oxygen. Depending on your child’s age and size, it’s delivered in different ways - through an incubator, a face mask or a tube up your child’s nose (called a nasal cannula).

If your child needs oxygen regularly, you may be offered oxygen at home. You can read more about oxygen therapy here.

Medication

Your child may be given medication to help reduce inflammation in their lungs.  This may be an anti-inflammatory drug such as steroids or an antibiotic.

Your child may be given medication all the time or in short bursts to try to avoid side effects.

Treatment for reflux

If your child experiences reflux (where the contents of the stomach are bought up into the mouth and may be breathed in), this should be treated as part of treatment for chILD.


Rare treatments

Lung transplant

In rare, extreme cases where other forms of treatment haven’t worked, your child may be offered a lung transplant. Although lung transplants have been shown to be an option for some children, a high proportion of children who have lung transplants develop serious complications, such as bronchiolitis obliterans.


What else can I do to help?

  • Do not smoke, or let others smoke, around your child and try to avoid exposing your child to a lot of air pollution. Have a look at our informtion on risks to children’s lung health for more information.
     
  • Make sure your child’s vaccinations are up to date and ask your doctor about the flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine.
     
  • Make sure they have a healthy diet and drink enough water. Fighting infection and coughing can use up your child’s energy so they may need more food than usual. Their immune system will need plenty of protein and vitamins to fight infection. The NHS Choices website has useful info about feeding your child.
     
  • Avoid infection where possible. Teach your children to use a disposable tissue and wash their hands after coughing and sneezing and make sure that you do too. We’ve got more information about what you can do to avoid infection.

More research is needed to find treatments for different chILD conditions.

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.