Pneumonia in children: What you do not know and 4 tips to avoid it!
Very often, pneumonia begins after an infection of the upper respiratory tract (an infection of the nose and throat), the symptoms begin after 2 or 3 days of colds or sore throat. They move to the lungs. Fluids, white blood cells and debris begin to accumulate in the air spaces of the lungs and block the regular passage of air, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
An infection of one or both lungs refers to pneumonia. The main causes of pneumonia are germs such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia in children
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary with the age of your child and the cause of pneumonia. Children often develop one or more of the following symptoms:
- Severe fever;
- Breathing fast and / or difficult: Breathing will become hard work for your child and you will often notice that the ribs “suck” when breathing;
- Cough ;
- Baby is irritable or more tired than usual;
- Pain in the chest, especially during coughing;
- Pain in the stomach (abdominal).
Most children refuse to eat. This is often a concern for parents, but remember that your child will start to recharge once they feel better. It is important to give your child fluids to prevent dehydration. Give him sips of water and give babies breast or bottle more often.
The management of pneumonia
1) At home
Most children with pneumonia can be treated at home. Follow this recommendations:
- Smoking around your child should be avoided at all times.
- They will need a lot of rest.
- They must take small amounts of liquid (water, maternal milk) often so that they are not dehydrated.
- Do not give medicine for coughs. They do not act on children with pneumonia.
- They can be more comfortable sleeping on two pillows, rather than lying on a completely flat surface.
2) At the hospital
Some children with pneumonia must be admitted to the hospital. This is generally the case for children who:
- Have less than one year;
- Are not able to take medication by mouth;
- Have become dehydrated;
- Have serious breathing problems.
During your stay in the hospital, your child will be closely monitored and the following treatments may be necessary:
- Antibiotics can be administered directly into a vein by an infusion (intravenous or IV). These will only be given if the pneumonia is supposed to be bacterial.
- Some children may need oxygen to help them breathe easier.
- Children who are dehydrated should receive fluids by infusion (intravenous or IV treatment).
When to return to hospital after treatment
You should contact a doctor if your child is being treated for pneumonia and:
- His breathing becomes more difficult;
- He becomes more sleepy or difficult to wake up;
- He continues to vomit and can not drink much;
- You worry about your child at any stage of the illness or you have other questions.
Some children must be checked after a few days. Your doctor will tell you when to return. About six weeks after illness, your child will need to see a doctor to make sure he or she is fully recovered.
How to avoid respiratory pneumonia in a child
- Make sure your child has received all the necessary vaccinations. Your family doctor can give you more advice on specific vaccines, their uses and how they work.
- Teach primary school age children not to share toys, not to eat or drink in the same utensils as other children. Immunized children will have a much lower risk of contracting pneumonia in these cases.
- Teach children to wash their hands after coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs.
- Eat well, sleep well and create strong immunity.