Keep vaccinations up-to-date. All children, starting at 2 months, should begin a series of vaccines that prevents the bacterial type of pneumonia. All children 6 months of age or older should get a flu vaccine yearly even if they have an egg allergy.
Symptoms: Cough; Tachypnea; Fever
Not only are we susceptible to getting the flu, but we also have a chance of getting pneumonia. According to reports from the New York Times, former First Lady Barbara Bush was recently hospitalized due to a case of pneumonia. As a matter of fact, the subject of pneumonia has been discussed in the news recently. Because pneumonia is a more serious condition than the common cold, the blog post that I wrote for RN Remedies titled Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment of Pneumonia inspired me to write this post. Keep reading for advice on how to prevent pneumonia in your child as well as how to treat it if they develop symptoms of the disease.
Pneumonia Prevention Tips
- Keep your child away from children (and adults) who are sick. If you child is sick with upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms (e.g. runny nose, cough and sneezing), it is best to keep them away from healthy children.
- Make sure your child is vaccinated. The Hib and Pneumococcal vaccines (PVC13) will help protect your child against bacterial pneumonias.
- Make sure your child gets a flu shot. Did you know the influenza (flu) virus could turn into pneumonia?
- Frequent hand washing with warm water and soap is very important to prevent viruses or bacteria from entering the body when hands come in contact with your child’s nose or mouth. When you’re on the go, use hand sanitizer.
- Don’t let your child share eating utensils, cups or straws with others. Same goes for facial tissue and handkerchiefs.
Caring for a Child Battling Pneumonia
If you think your child has pneumonia, schedule an appointment with their pediatrician promptly. In most cases, pneumonia can be treated at home after your child sees their doctor, but in more serious cases children require hospitalization.
Tips for caring for your child at home:
- If your child’s pediatrician prescribes antibiotics, give them to your child at the correct time each day and for the entire duration prescribed. Don’t stop the antibiotic after a few days even if your child is feeling better. Address any concerns about the medication or side effects with the pediatrician.
- Check with your child’s pediatrician before giving over the counter cough and cold medications (Many of these are NOT recommended for children under six years of age).
- Check your child’s temperature with a thermometer. Anything greater than 100.4 F is considered a fever. Do not attempt to guess if your child has a fever by simply feeling if their body seems hot.
- Keep your child well hydrated. This is a golden rule for almost any type of illness to prevent dehydration.
- Allow your child to get plenty of rest—naps, quiet play and lounging on the couch work the best.
- A humidifier helps moisten the air and may help your child breathe better.
- If you notice your child is having difficulty breathing (rapid chest rise, tummy moving in and out fast, sucking in at or under the ribs with breathing or nasal flaring), take them immediately to the emergency room for evaluation.
- Your child’s lips and nail beds should be rosy pink, not blue or gray, which is a sign your child may not be getting enough oxygen. If this happens, your child needs to be seen by a doctor immediately.
- If your child is treated at home for pneumonia and is not getting better or looks worse, take them back to the doctor for evaluation. They may require hospitalization.
I sincerely hope that the information provided is useful. Keep in mind that the most important aspect of pneumonia prevention is maintaining the health of your family. Your child should be reminded to wash their hands frequently and to practice good hygiene. They should also be kept away from people who are sick, fed nutritious food, and they should be vaccinated. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from pneumonia, it is imperative that you have them examined as soon as possible by a pediatrician. I am of the opinion that parents almost always have their instincts correct.
What Causes a Baby To Get Pneumonia?
What are the potential causes of pneumonia in children? In the vast majority of cases, pneumonia is brought on by bacteria or viruses. Some of these bacteria and viruses can be passed on from person to person through close contact with a carrier who already carries the infection.
Danger Signs Of Pneumonia In Infants
Knowledge of pneumonia danger signs by respondents (multiple responses allowed).
|Pneumonia danger signsWHO/UNICEF recognizedFast breathing181 (60.5)Difficulty in breathing66 (22.1)Chest wall indrawing37 (12.4)Stridor (noisy breathing)15 (5.0)WHO/UNICEF experiencedFast breathing75 (68.2)Difficulty in breathing17 (15.5)Chest wall indrawing10 (9.1)Stridor (noisy breathing)8 (7.2)Respondent perceivedFever226 (20.6)Fast breathing181 (16.5)Cough (continuous)180 (16.4)Chest pain67 (6.1)Difficulty in breathing66 (6.0)Cold/shivering63 (5.7)Catarrh/running nose43 (3.9)Weakness41 (3.7)Chest wall indrawing37 (3.4)Convulsion33 (3.0)Others161 (14.7)Respondent experiencedFever123 (24.5)Cough (continuous)98 (19.5)Fast breathing75 (14.9)Cold/shivering34 (6.8)Convulsion22 (4.4)Difficulty in breathing17 (3.4)Catarrh/running nose17 (3.4)Inability to suck17 (3.4)Chest pain16 (3.2)Posttussive vomiting11 (2.2)Others73 (14.5)|