Pneumonia in Kids
The term pneumonia refers to a lung infection. While pneumonia was extremely dangerous in previous generations, most kids today can recover if they receive proper medical care.
Bacterial infections can also cause pneumonia. Furthermore, a viral infection has sufficiently irritated the airway or weakened a kid’s immune system and may begin to grow in the lung, resulting in a second infection in addition to the first.
Kids may be attacked with pneumonia if their immune systems are weak or due to other lung illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or cancer. Children who have abnormal airways or lungs may be at a higher risk.
Most types of pneumonia are due to viral or bacterial infections that spread from person to person. It is more common in the fall, winter, and early spring when children spend more time indoors and in close contact with others. The possibility of kids developing pneumonia is not affected by how they dress or the air temperature on cold days.
What exactly is pneumonia in kids?
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection. It can be minor or severe. Pneumonia is one of the top common newborn problems in kids and is more common under the age of five.
Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia in Kids
Like many other infections, pneumonia causes a fever that can lead to sweating, chills, flushed skin, and general discomfort. The kid may also lose her appetite and appear less energetic than usual. Babies and toddlers may appear pale and limp and cry more frequently than usual.
What are the complications of pneumonia in kids?
Pneumonia is a possibly deadly illness. It can have the following complications: Bacteria entering the blood and severe breathing.
Important points to remember
- If you feel pneumonia in kids, you should take them to the doctor.
- To avoid dehydration, your kid will need to rest and drink small amounts of fluid frequently if they have pneumonia.
- Your kid must complete the entire course of antibiotics.
- Kids with pneumonia do not benefit from cough medications.
Is Pneumonia Preventable?
Vaccines can help prevent some types of pneumonia. Beginning at two months of age, kids typically receive routine vaccines against Haemophilus influenza, pneumococcus, and whooping cough.
How to prevent pneumonia in kids?
The flu vaccine is for all kids aged six months to 19 years. All children aged five and up must receive the COVID-19 vaccine. These vaccines are essential for children with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, lung disease, or asthma.
Keep the kids away from anyone who has symptoms of infection (stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough) whenever possible. Masks have been extremely useful in preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia during the pandemic.
Treatment for Pneumonia in Kids
When a virus causes pneumonia, there is usually no specific treatment other than rest and standard fever-control measures. Cough suppressants containing codeine or dextromethorphan cannot use because coughing helps clear the infection. Although, the cough may last for several weeks because viral pneumonia usually improves within a few days. If it is unclear that pneumonia is due to a virus or bacteria doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. All antibiotics can use for the entire sequence and at the proper dose. You may stop taking them too soon, but you should not because some bacteria may remain, and the infection will return.
How is pneumonia diagnosed in kids?
Your child’s doctor can often diagnose pneumonia with a complete medical history and physical examination. They may include the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:
Chest x-ray: This test takes pictures of internal tissues, bones, and organs.
Blood test: Look for signs of infection with a blood count. Arterial blood gas tests measure the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.
Sputum culture: This test is on mucus (phlegm) exhaled from the lungs into the mouth. You can find out if your child is infected. It is not on daily bases because it is not easy to collect sputum from children.
Pulse Oximeter: It is a device to measure oxygen in your blood. To get these readings, stick small sensors on your fingers or toes. When the machine turns on, you will see a small red light on the sensor. The sensor is painless, and the red light does not get hot.
Chest CT scan: This test takes pictures of the structure of your breasts. It is rare.
Bronchoscopy: This procedure is to look inside the airways of the lungs. It is rare.
Culture of pleural effusion: A fluid can take from the space between the lungs and the chest wall (the pleural space) for this test. Pneumonia can cause fluid to accumulate in this area. This fluid can infect the same bacteria as your lungs.
How can you treat pneumonia in kids?
Treatment may include antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia. There is no effective treatment for most viral pneumonia. They often get better on their own. Influenza pneumonia can treat with antiviral drugs. Other treatments can relieve symptoms. It includes:
- Firstly, require much rest
- Secondly, Use more fluid
- Cool humidifier for kid’s room
- Thirdly, use paracetamol for fever and discomfort
- Cough medicine
- Fourthly, some children may be treated in a hospital if they have breathing problems. Inpatient treatment may include IV (intravenous) or oral (oral) antibiotics for bacterial infections.
- Fifthly, Intravenous drip if your child is not drinking well.
- Oxygen therapy
- Sixthly, Suction your kid’s nose and mouth frequently to remove mucus.
- Lastly, Your kid’s healthcare provider directs respiratory care.