Most episodes of bronchitis do not require antibiotics because they are caused by viral infections. Parents become understandably concerned if their children are coughing and often notice a chesty “rattle” when their kids cough. Although this may be due to mucus that is produced in the bronchial tubes, i.e., bronchitis, in many cases this sound is generated because young children are inefficient at clearing mucus from their throats when they have a cold. (You feel the “rattle” when they breathe through mucus in the back of the throat.) So the next time your doctor diagnoses bronchitis, ask whether you can take care of the infection without antibiotics.