Child Health

Pneumonia In Children


It is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs, and it comes at the forefront of the infectious causes of death in children all over the world. Although pneumonia infection was considered a serious infection in the past, children infected with it now recover from it easily when receiving appropriate medical care. Most cases of pneumonia occur after a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract. It can also be caused by a bacterial infection. If a viral infection irritates the airway enough or weakens a child's immune system, bacteria may begin to grow in the lung, increasing the seriousness of the original infection.

Reasons for Pneumonia:
The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which are filled with air when breathing. In pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and sticky fluid (mucus), which makes breathing painful and limits the entry of oxygen. Pneumonia occurs because of several infectious factors, including viruses, bacteria and fungi, the most common types of pneumonia are:
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children.
    • Haemophiles influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia.
    • The respiratory syncytial virus is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.
    • Transition methods:
Pneumonia can spread in several ways:
  • Viruses and germs normally found in a child's nose or throat can infect their lungs if they are inhaled.
  • Through droplets caused by coughing or sneezing.
  • Through blood, especially during or shortly after childbirth.
Risk factors:
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Malnutrition or lack of it, especially in infants who did not receive proper breastfeeding.
  • Air pollution due to the use of wood or dung.
  • Overcrowding and living in overcrowded homes.
  • Exposure to passive smoking from parents or others.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary depending on the age of the child and the cause of the pneumonia. Symptoms are often one or more of the following:
  • A rise in temperature.
  • Sweating and tremors in the body.
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Breathing with snoring or wheezing sounds.
  • Chest pain, especially when coughing.
  • Cough with phlegm.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anorexia.
When to see a doctor:
You should see the doctor if the child has pneumonia accompanied with the following:
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Excessive sleepiness or difficulty waking him up.
  • Tighten the muscles between the ribs inward when breathing.
  • Widening of the nostrils, which indicates a lack of oxygen for the child.
  • A bluish discoloration of the lips or nails, which results from a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream.
Most children recover from pneumonia without lasting effects, but some may need specialized treatment for complications, which include:
  • Lung abscess.
  • Pulmonary edema (a buildup of fluid around the lungs).
  • Inflammation of the pleural membrane lining the lungs.
  • Blood infection.
Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with prescription antibiotics. Some children may be treated in hospital if they have severe breathing problems, including:
  • Oral or intravenous antibiotics.
  • Intravenous fluids.
  • Oxygen therapy.
  • Suction of the mouth and nose of the child; To help get rid of thick secretions.
  • In the case of pneumonia caused by a viral infection, there is usually no specific treatment other than rest and the usual advice to control a high body temperature. Cough suppressants containing codeine or dextromethorphan should not be used, because the cough helps remove excess secretions caused by the infection, and usually gets better. Viral pneumonia after a few days, although the cough may last for several weeks.
  • Make sure to take the pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Alert the child not to share food, drink and eating utensils with other children.
  • Ensuring that the child is fed with healthy nutrition that improves the child's immunity, especially breastfeeding in the first 6 months of the child's life.
  • Teach the child about washing hands well after coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs.
Tips for pneumonia Children Care:
  • It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even when the child is better.
  • The child will need a lot of rest.
  • Give him fluids frequently to prevent dehydration, and the baby can be breastfed more than once.
  • It may be more comfortable for older babies to use two pillows when sleeping rather than lying flat.
  • If he has chest pains or a high body temperature, he may need pain relievers and a fever reducer.
  • Avoid giving the child cough suppressants or aspirin.
  • Do not allow smoking at home where the child lives or around his own environment.

Last Update : 15 May 2023 12:52 PM
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