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Pneumonia in Kids

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Last updated date: 22nd Jul 2024
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Introduction to Pneumonia

You all might have felt chest pain or heavy coughing once. This can be because of many reasons like cold, fever, etc. But if it is uncontrollable in kids, then we can say that the kid is suffering from pneumonia. So, what is pneumonia? The inflammation or swelling of tissue in the lungs is known as pneumonia.


It generally causes inflammation in lung tissue. This is the distinctive feature of pneumonia. You may feel chest pain, difficulty in breathing, etc. Pneumonia can occur due to many reasons like cold and infection. It is treated by medication as well as vaccination. 


In this article, we will learn about pneumonia symptoms, home remedies for pneumonia, and how to treat pneumonia in kids.



Pneumonia


Pneumonia


Pneumonia

Pneumonia is commonly caused by bacteria or viruses. It is a condition in which air sacs (small balloon-like structures in the lung) get filled with pus or other fluids instead of air due to infection.


Causes of Pneumonia 

Viruses, like the flu or RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), cause most cases of pneumonia. Kids with pneumonia caused by a virus usually have symptoms that happen over time and tend to be mild. 


Less often, bacteria can cause pneumonia. When that happens, kids usually will become sick more quickly, starting with a sudden high fever, cough, and sometimes fast breathing. Sometimes pneumonia is transmitted to a healthy person from the patient. So, precautions should be taken to protect other people. 


The causes of pneumonia in kids are the following:

  • Streptococcus pneumonae

  • Mycoplasma pneumonae

  • Group B Streptococcus

  • Influenza virus

  • Parainfluenza virus


Pneumonia Symptoms in Kids

Symptoms of pneumonia are quite different in children. Symptoms depend upon the cause of pneumonia. Symptoms are a bit different for bacterial and viral pneumonia. Let's see the symptoms of both of these.

Bacterial Pneumonia

  • Cough with mucus

  • Chest pain

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite

Viral Pneumonia

  • Chills

  • Heavy breathing

  • Headache

  • Dizziness


Which Children are at Risk for Pneumonia?

Pneumonia can infect any child, but some children are prone to them. A child can cause pneumonia easily if:

  • He or she has a weak immune system.

  • If a child is already suffering from asthma, cystic fibrosis, or any other chronic disease.

  • A child suffering from a problem with the lungs.


Diagnosis of Pneumonia in Children

Diagnosis means the process or steps taken to detect any kind of disease. Some tests are required to determine whether a child is suffering from pneumonia. The doctor takes your history of any diseases and will do a physical examination. Following are the diagnostic procedure for pneumonia:

  1. Chest X-ray: Chest X-ray will give images of internal organs, tissues, and bones. This will help your doctor to make the right decision and treatment plan.

  2. Blood tests: Blood count is checked in the blood test, which will show the signs of infections you have. 

  3. Sputum culture: This test is conducted on your sputum (mucus) that is coughed from your lungs. This test will decide whether the child is suffering from pneumonia or not.


Chest x-ray


Chest x-ray


How to Treat Pneumonia in Kids?

Treatment consists of antibiotics in the case of bacterial pneumonia. Viral pneumonia is comparatively difficult to treat. They can sometimes be cured on their own. If pneumonia is because of the flu then antiviral medicines are provided. Following are some steps taken to treat pneumonia:

  • Always stay hydrated by taking large amounts of fluids.

  • Take proper rest.

  • Add a cool-mist humidifier to the child's room.

  • Acetaminophen.

  • Antibiotics are given intravenously.

  • Oxygen therapy.

  • Breathing treatments.


Pneumonia


Pneumonia


Home Remedies for Pneumonia in Kids

Few home remedies are there that can cure or help in curing pneumonia. But if the condition persists after taking these home remedies also then please soon visit your doctor for better treatment. Following are some effective home remedies:

  • Saltwater gargle

  • Turmeric milk

  • Ginger tea or soup

  • Fenugreek tea or soup

  • Hot water bath

  • Wash your hands properly

  • Maintain proper hygiene

  • Protection from cold

  • Do not go into polluted prone areas

  • Take a healthy diet

  • Take some rest


Summary

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia can be mild or serious depending on the symptoms. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or even fungi. A few common symptoms are fever, cough, tiredness, chest pain, chills, etc. Pneumonia can spread from an infected person to a healthy person. Sometimes pneumonia can be treated by vaccines or even some good home remedies like salt water gargling and turmeric milk can treat pneumonia. In severe cases, oxygen therapy and IV treatment are provided. Streptococcus pneumonae and Mycoplasma pneumonae are some causes of pneumonia.


In this article, we have discussed pneumonia symptoms in kids, home remedies for pneumonia, and signs of pneumonia in kids. Hope this article will give you good knowledge to protect yourself from pneumonia.

FAQs on Pneumonia in Kids

1. What are the signs of pneumonia in kids?

Signs of pneumonia in kids include cough with mucus, pain during coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, tiredness, and fever.

2. How to check pneumonia at home?

Here are a few conditions that can detect pneumonia at home. If coughing gives greenish or yellow mucus or if blood comes out with cough. If your child is lazy or inactive for a long time, has fever, sweating, and shaking chills confirm the condition of pneumonia.

3. Is pneumonia worse at night?

Yes, if the child is suffering from non-bacterial pneumonia, it can worsen at night. A dry cough is more uncomfortable during the night.