In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild, lasting only a few days and most children with bronchiolitis can be managed at home.
The standard says that parents and carers should be advised that bronchiolitis usually settles without the need for treatment. Normal medicines that would be given for a cold can be used to help ease symptoms.
Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “Bronchiolitis can be a very nasty illness for babies and young children - and very distressing and alarming for their parents.
“But most babies and young children with bronchiolitis do not require antibiotics and this guidance will help reassure parents that in the majority of cases the condition can be effectively managed at home.
“It will also support GPs and their teams who are working hard to reduce antibiotic prescribing so that they are only given to our younger patients when they really need them.”