Pneumonia is an infection in which the air sacs in the lungs (known as alveoli) fill up with pus and fluid. This makes it hard for oxygen to reach the bloodstream. While there are different types of pneumonia, the infection typically occurs within four stages. During these stages, the lungs will progressively become weaker.
Pneumonia is most common in children younger than five years of age and is caused by bacteria, viruses, and other germs. This infection is one that should not be taken lightly in regards to children. According to UNICEF, pneumonia causes 1 in 5 deaths worldwide and kills 2 million children each year.
Causes of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites and often occurs after an upper respiratory tract infection. Pneumonia caused by a bacteria will usually cause a child to become sick quickly with a high fever, while pneumonia caused by a virus will show gradual symptoms that seem less severe. Children with chronic health problems, weak immune systems, or problems with their lungs are more susceptible to pneumonia.
Symptoms of pneumonia in children include loss of appetite, abdominal pain, chest pain, vomiting, chills, coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast breathing, and in extreme cases, bluish coloration of the lips and nail beds. Pneumonia symptoms can often appear to be caused by different health problems or illnesses, making it important that a child is seen by a medical professional in order to properly diagnose them.
Some forms of pneumonia can be prevented by different vaccines, including the flu vaccine. Doctors may also give a child who has been exposed to another child or adult with a particular type of pneumonia (like whooping cough) antibiotics to help them avoid getting sick. Teaching your child sanitary habits, such as washing their hands throughout the day, can help them avoid the germs associated with pneumonia.
If your child has pneumonia, it is important to keep them out of school for the duration of the illness. If, for some reason, they are in the vicinity of others, be sure that they do not share drinks or eating utensils with others. Also, ensure that your child coughs and sneezes into their arm to avoid spreading the infection.
Treatments for Pneumonia
Many times, pneumonia can be treated with rest, fluids, and medication, but sometimes, it requires antibiotics. Otherwise, a child may receive a breathing treatment for their pneumonia. The breathing treatment is a great route for children that may struggle with the inability to breathe as well.
As adults, we can understand that our breathing issues will get better if we are properly treated for our illness, but children may have a harder time imagining that they will feel better soon. The inability to breathe clearly can quickly become claustrophobic. A breathing treatment will help loosen the mucus in your child’s lungs and help them breathe clearly again.
Find Treatment for Your Child Today
If your child is exhibiting worrying pneumonia symptoms or is not getting better from minor symptoms, it is important to have them seen immediately by a medical professional. At BASS Urgent Care, we understand that it is never easy to take care of a sick child. Pneumonia, in particular, can make a child feel miserable. Not only that, but this infection could potentially be fatal if left alone.
With a typical doctor, you may find that you have to wait days for your child to be seen. With BASS Urgent Care, you can come in and quickly see one of our medical professionals anytime between 7AM to 7PM, Monday through Friday. With our help, your child will be feeling better in no time.