Pneumonia accounts for 15% of childhood deaths. Most end up as a temporary illness, but some experience chronic problems due to respiratory infections. So, what are the symptoms of childhood pneumonia? How else can it be treated? Learn more in this article!
Pediatric pneumonia is a common disease that mainly occurs in children under 5 years of age. In fact, according to data from the World Health Organization, childhood pneumonia accounts for 15% of deaths in children. Estimates also suggest that 14% of children with pneumonia require hospitalization. So, are there any other preventive measures for childhood pneumonia?
The best way to prevent disease is prevention. With some research, B-type Haemophilus influenza vaccination is revealed problems that can significantly reduce childhood pneumonia. Likewise, pneumococcal vaccination has proven effective in the most severe cases.
Other important steps to prevent childhood pneumonia include breastfeeding, ventilating the house, avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke, and washing hands frequently. In addition, if you have a history of respiratory diseases, you should postpone entering the daycare center.
What is Pneumonia?
In general, pneumonia refers to an infection in the lungs. Because it also occurs in the deep parts of the lungs, it is also called a lower respiratory tract infection. Most are caused by viruses, but bacteria and other pathogens can also cause pneumonia.
Most commonly, pneumonia in children occurs after a cold. The lungs contain air sacs called alveoli (alveoli), which fill with pus and other fluids when an infection occurs. This prevents oxygen from reaching the bloodstream.
Among the various types of pneumonia, particularly prominent problems are:
- Viral pneumonia. It is usually caused by viruses such as respiratory syncytial, influenza, parainfluenza, or adenovirus. It is the most common type of pneumonia, and bacterial pneumonia can easily develop in pediatric patients.
- Bacterial pneumonia. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. However, other bacteria such as group A streptococci, group B streptococci, and Staphylococcus aureus can also cause bacterial pneumonia.
- Mycoplasma pneumonia. The cause of this pneumonia is Mycoplasma pneumonia. Because the problem does not appear as serious and occurs more often in children over the age of 5, it is also called atypical pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia in Children
Pneumonia is a disease that affects the lower respiratory tract and can be caused by viruses or bacteria.
Symptoms of pneumonia in children may vary depending on the severity of the infection, the age of the patient, and general health. Likewise, the most common sign is rapid breathing, which occurs in almost all cases.
Other common symptoms include:
- High fever and chills
- Wheezing sound when breathing
- Shortness of breath. You can open your nostrils, move the muscles in your ribs, and breathe through your abdomen.
- Stuffy nose and chest pain
- Colic. It is a symptom that occurs when you have to cough while exerting force on your body and not breathing properly.
- Throw up. It occurs when coughing or swallowing mucus.
- Loss of appetite
- Blue lips and nails. This only occurs in extreme cases.
In general, the symptoms of viral pneumonia progress more slowly than bacterial pneumonia. If the disease affects the lower part of the lungs, you may experience fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting without respiratory symptoms.
Clinical symptoms of pneumonia may appear differently in each case depending on the cause. In general, problems such as fever, coughing, breathing noises, and a stuffy nose can occur.
Causes and Diagnosis
In conclusion, pneumonia in children is often caused by viruses. However, it can also be caused by pathogens or bacteria, such as fungi or parasites. Often the problem begins with an upper respiratory infection, which is a cold.
Most pneumonia occurs when pathogens inhaled from the nose or throat penetrate deep into the lungs.
Contact with someone who is already ill can also cause problems. When a person coughs or sneezes, droplets carrying the virus can spread through the air. Therefore, if a child comes into contact with these droplets, they may contract pneumonia.
Pneumonia in children is a blood-transmitted disease, particularly during or after delivery. Pneumonia in childhood is relatively common, and if it doesn’t happen often, there’s nothing to worry about.