Colds and pneumonia in children are very much common because of their low immunity And most importantly, they can be infected when they come in contact with other infected children at school while they are at school.
Colds and coughs are often caused by a virus that can be cured in three to four days. But sometimes when the baby starts to get fever, you should consult your pediatrician without much delay as sometimes it turns into cold or pneumonia in children.
So let’s understand the complete information about pneumonia in children
What is pneumonia in children ?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are normally exchanged from the air we breathe in our lungs.
But infection in the lungs causes a sticky substance to form in it and this sticky substance stays in the respiratory tract. Therefore, that part of the lungs cannot exchange oxygen. This makes it difficult for the baby to breathe and makes the baby cough more.
Pneumonia is more common in under five years of age children.
What causes pneumonia in children ?
Pneumonia in children is caused by a virus or bacteria. An infected person has infected mucus in their nostrils. When the person sneezes or coughs. At that time, the germicidal mucus droplets spreads into the air and enters through the nostrils of your child or the person in front of you And he gets infected with that germ.
Some common viruses and bacteria that can cause pneumonia are Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Influenza virus, Para-influenza virus, Respiratory syncytial virus.
Pneumonia can be caused by any one of these viruses or bacteria. Sometimes pneumonia can also be caused by a fungus.
Why is pneumonia more common in children?
The incidence of pneumonia in children is higher in winter and rainy season. If for some reason the child’s immunity gets weakened or due to changes in the environment, the incidence of pneumonia is higher in young children. Pneumonia is more common in children with certain disorders. Those disorders are as follows.
- A child having chronic heart or lung disease.
- Preterm baby
- Children having asthma
- Children’s immunity may be weakened by a major illness.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia in children?
The symptoms of pneumonia in children vary from child to child. some common symptoms of pneumonia in children are as follows
- Coughing – In pneumonia, the baby often coughs and sounds like a mucus stuck in the baby’s throat.
- Fever – In pneumonia, the baby may have a high grade fever.
- Breathing loudly – The baby breathes hard because baby is having difficulty in breathing.
- Wheezing while breathing and at the same time the chest muscles being pulled into the ribs which is known as chest indrawing
- Chest pain.
- The baby is lethargic.
- The baby is not eating well.
- Baby’s lips turn black and blue.
Bacterial pneumonia causes the baby to get sick immediately and the baby starts to have high fever and difficulty in breathing. In pneumonia caused by the virus, these symptoms appear mildly.
How Pneumonia in children is diagnosed?
The doctor can diagnose pneumonia based on your child’s examination and the symptoms you have described, and may also ask for some tests.
- Chest X-ray – A chest X-ray shows where and how much pneumonia the baby is infected with.
- Blood tests – Doctors recommend a blood test to find out how much blood is infected. ABG tests are performed to determine the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood in babies with a serious illness.
- Sputum culture– Sometimes the baby’s sputum can be examined to identify the infection. This test is rarely performed in young children as it is difficult to take the sample.
- CT scan– Sometimes a CT scan of the baby’s chest is done. It also makes sense if there is something stuck in the baby’s trachea. This test is rarely done if necessary.
- Bronchoscopy – Bronchoscopy is done to check the airways of a baby who has frequent pneumonia and to remove the mucus.
- Plural Fluid Culture – Sometimes babies develop chest pneumonia, or pus in the pneumonia.
What is treatment of Pneumonia in children?
If the baby has bacterial pneumonia, he is given antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is cured in a few days. In the flu, the baby may need antiviral drugs.
The following measures should be taken to reduce the symptoms of pneumonia
- Take rest
- Drink plenty of water.
- In case of fever, give paracetamol syrup at 15 mg / kg according to the weight of the baby.
- Give cough medicine.
- Nebulise your child.
If all of the above measures do not reduce the baby’s symptoms, the baby may need to be hospitalized. The baby is given IV fluids after being admitted to the hospital. Intravenous injections are given, steam is given at regular intervals, and oxygen is given if needed. The mucus from the baby’s nose and mouth is removed.
About 95% of babies recover from pneumonia after the above treatment. The rest have complications or even their lives are in danger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can pneumonia be prevented in young children?
Some pneumonia in children can be prevented by vaccination. Infants need a dose of pneumonia vaccine at one and a half months, two and a half months, three and a half months.
Children who have frequent colds or who suffer from major illnesses and have low immunity are vaccinated against the flu every year to reduce the incidence of whooping cough and pneumonia.
Hygiene means washing the baby’s hands frequently and keeping the baby’s diet regular in order to reduce the risk of pneumonia.
Can a cold cause pneumonia?
If a baby has a cold, mucus can get into the lungs and cause pneumonia at some point.
Does the baby need to be admitted if he/she has pneumonia?
The doctor may ask the baby to be admitted based on the baby’s symptoms and signs. It is better to admit the baby at this time because pneumonia is a disease that can grow very much in a day and most of the deaths in children are due to pneumonia.
Can pneumonia spread to other person?
Pneumonia can be spread by coughing up of an infected person. But if the caring person has a good immune system, the chances of getting pnumonia are very low.
What happens if pneumonia is not treated?
If left untreated, pneumonia develops in the lungs and water builds up in the chest. This is called pleural effusion.
Or when the pus begins to form it is called empyema. If left untreated, it can be life threatening and even life threatening.
What to feed child when a child has pneumonia?
When children have pneumonia, the first step is to drink plenty of water. They can also give easy to digest food khichdi, varan-bhat-bhaji-poli. The baby should not be fed fully. Give small feeds from time to time.
Fruits which are high in Vitamin C should be fed oranges, citrus fruits, Kiwi fruit. If the baby is eating eggs, it works even if given. It provides the baby with much needed protein and helps boost the baby’s immune system.
If a child has a cold or cough, he should not stay at home for a long time as the cough can turn into pneumonia in a very short time. This is the time for the child to be admitted to the hospital and otherwise if you make delay then the cost f treatment increases. Therefore, treatment by a pediatrician in time is the best way at such time.
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