Rehan is three years old. He had been suffering from a severe cough for some days. His parents tried common medicines for the cold. But his cough did not go away. His parent got worried. Besides coughing, Rehan also suffered from fever. He got diarrhoea. And he was vomiting. Then his parents decided to consult a paediatrician.
The pediatrist ran some tests on him. The reports said that Rehan had got pneumonia. But the doctor comforted his parents. He said that there was nothing much to worry about. He assured that Rehan could overcome this disease. He would be all right soon enough.
Children under the age of 5 years suffer from infantile pneumonia. This type of pneumonia can be severe or mild at times. Germs in the air can cause it. They can be bacteria or viruses.
Risk factors for children
Children with the following factors can be at a higher risk to get infected. A child can easily catch pneumonia if it suffers from-
- Weak immune system
- Chronic health issues
- Problems with lungs or airways
Here, it must be noted that children under the age of 1 year can be affected differently. They can be infected if they are around secondhand tobacco smoke.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia in children
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia in children can vary. They depend on the type of germs. But there are some common pediatric pneumonia symptoms. The following signs and symptoms can assure the infection. However, different germs show different symptoms.
- Cough with mucus
- Pain in the chest
- Diarrhoea (Sometimes)
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulties in breathing
- Fussy feelings
In the case of this viral pneumonia, these symptoms get added with that of the bacterial ones.
Methods to confirm the infection.
There are many ways to confirm pneumonia in paediatrics. Some tests are necessary for assurance.
X-ray of the chest:
X-ray helps to show the state of internal organs. Chest X-ray shows the images of internal tissues, organs, and bones. Thus it helps to diagnose pneumonia.
A blood test or count helps to know if any infection is there. An arterial blood gas test could be done. It will help to measure the quantity of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
CT scan of the chest:
This test is done very rarely. It shows the structure of the chest. This can identify any problem in the chest. However, this is not the first option to opt for.
This test is done to confirm bronchopneumonia pediatric. It helps to have a look inside the lungs, especially the airways. This test, too, is not attempted frequently.
Probable complications in children
Pneumonia sometimes may threaten life. In children, it may result in two severe health issues.
- Breathing troubles
- Bacteria entering into the blood
Visiting a doctor
As soon as the symptoms become worse, it is necessary to consult a doctor. Pediatric pneumonia treatment has been advanced a lot. Consulting a doctor gets essential when the following things occur.
- A fever longing for more than a few days
- Troubles while breathing.
- Neck stiffness or swollen joints
- Problems in drinking enough fluids.
Protecting children from pneumonia
Children can be protected from pneumonia in several ways. In case of bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics may be prescribed. On the other hand, viral pneumonia can be cured on its own. And pneumonia, which is related to flu, may need antiviral medicines. Apart from these, some other easy remedies are there. They can help to ease out the symptoms.
- Adequate rest
- Consummation of more fluids
- Implementation of a cool-mist humidifier in the child’s room
- Providing Acetaminophen in case of fever or other discomforts
- Giving medicines for cough
Pneumonia in children can be treated and cured. Consulting a doctor at the right time is necessary. Following the prescribed things are mandatory too.
How can pneumonia in children be prevented?
Children can be saved from pneumonia in several different ways. Now, there are vaccines for preventing pneumonia. So, vaccinating children should be the first choice. Besides, maintaining good hygiene and healthy lifestyle help too. Washing hands regularly and having a healthy diet may lessen the risk. Nevertheless, consulting a paediatrician is always advisable.
How to differentiate between typical cold and pneumonia in children?
Typical cold and pneumonia can be easily differentiated in children. In the case of pneumonia, the fever stays for long enough. Mucus gets released with coughs. The coughs do not go away with usual medicines. There would be difficulties while breathing and eating. In general, these are not symptoms of a normal cold.