When Should You Call Your Doctor
The faster you get treatment, the faster you will get over pneumonia. This is especially true for the very young, for people older than 65, and for anyone with other long-lasting health problems, such as asthma.
911 or other emergency services immediately if you:
- Have chest pain that is crushing or squeezing, is increasing in intensity, or occurs with any other symptoms of a heart attack.
- Have such bad trouble breathing that you are worried you will not have the strength or ability to keep breathing.
- Cough up large amounts of blood.
- Feel that you may faint when you sit up or stand.
if you have:
- A cough that produces blood-tinged or rust-coloured mucus from the lungs.
- A fever with shaking chills.
- Difficult, shallow, fast breathing with shortness of breath or wheezing.
- Frequently brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs and lasts longer than 2 days. Do not confuse mucus from your lungs with mucus running down the back of your throat from your nasal passages . Post-nasal drainage is not a worry.
- Occurs with a fever of 38.3Â°C or higher and brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs .
- Causes you to vomit a lot.
- Continues longer than 4 weeks.
Also call your doctor if you have new chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing and if you have other symptoms of pneumonia, such as shortness of breath, cough, and fever.
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Take Steps To Protect Yourself And Others
The following steps can help you prevent spreading the infection to others around you.
- Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.
- Get rid of used tissues right away.
- Limit contact with family and friends.
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing and sneezing.
Some people get pneumonia again and again. Tell your doctor if this happens. Return to Prevention to find more strategies to help prevent pneumonia.
Pneumonia Kills More Children Than Any Other Infectious Disease
Many people associate pneumonia with the elderly, but it is actually the biggest infectious killer of children worldwide. It claims the lives of over 800,000 children under five every year, including over 153,000 newborns, who are particularly vulnerable to infection. That means a child dies from pneumonia every 39 seconds and almost all of these deaths are preventable.
A child dies from pneumonia every 39 seconds. Almost all of these deaths are preventable
What causes pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection of the lungs. It doesnt have one single cause it can develop from either bacteria, viruses or fungi in the air. When a child is infected, his lungs are filled with fluid and it becomes difficult to breathe. Children whose immune systems are immature or weakened such as by undernourishment, or diseases like HIV are more vulnerable to pneumonia.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
As pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, the most common symptoms are coughing, trouble breathing and fever. Children with pneumonia usually experience fast breathing, or their lower chest may draw in or retract when they inhale .
Is pneumonia contagious?
Pneumonia is contagious and can be spread through airborne particles . It can also be spread through other fluids, like blood during childbirth, or from contaminated surfaces.
How is pneumonia diagnosed in children?
What is the treatment for pneumonia?
Can pneumonia be prevented?
Is there a pneumonia vaccine?
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Toddlers
Pneumonia in toddlers is typically caused by viral or bacterial infection, and though the symptoms are often similar for both forms, the symptoms a child exhibits can present very differently depending on which type he or she has. Both forms generally cause a fever, but a bacterial pneumonia‘s fever often comes on more rapidly and is higher than with viral pneumonia. Breathing problems typically accompany both types, though in cases of viral infection the issue usually develops slowly from initial cold-like symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite can occur with both types. Some other possible symptoms include weakness, rapid pulse, or signs of oxygen deprivation.
Fever is a very common symptom of pneumonia in toddlers. They may also have body aches or chills along with the raised temperature. In cases of viral infection, the fever is typically moderate to high and rises relatively slowly. With bacterial pneumonia, which is generally considered the more serious form, the onset of the fever is rapid and it gets very high in a short period of time.
What Is Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia refers to a mild case of pneumonia that does not keep a child in bed. The symptoms often resemble a cold and are usually mild enough that they do not slow your child down. Walking pneumonia is usually diagnosed with a history and physical exam, and does not require a chest X-ray unless your childs symptoms worsen.
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Who Is At Risk For Pneumonia
Pneumonia is common in children compared to adults. The children whose immunity is weak, who suffer from nutrition deficiency, are more susceptible to pneumonia.
Pneumonia is also common in children with genetic diseases, congenital anomalies of the chest and lungs.
Children who live in overcrowded areas or who live in unhygienic places are also more susceptible.
Can I Look After My Child At Home
Many children with pneumonia can be looked after at home.
- Make sure they get a lot of rest.
- Your child may not want to eat but it is important to make sure they stay hydrated. Give them small amounts to drink regularly.
- If your child is still in nappies you will be able to tell if they are getting enough to drink because they will still get wet nappies.
- If your child has chest or tummy ache you can give them pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen made for infants or children.
- Cough medicines dont help with pneumonia.
- Dont smoke around your child or let them breathe in other peoples smoke.
- A high temperature can be scary, but it is a natural response to infection. Dont try and reduce your childs fever by sponging them with water.
Your doctor should give you more information about the best way to look after your child at home. If your childs symptoms get worse, go back to your doctor.
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How Can I Manage My Child’s Symptoms
- Let your child rest and sleep as much as possible. Your child may be more tired than usual. Rest and sleep help your child’s body heal.
- Give your child liquids as directed. Liquids help your child to loosen mucus and keeps him or her from becoming dehydrated. Ask how much liquid your child should drink each day and which liquids are best for him or her. Your child’s healthcare provider may recommend water, apple juice, gelatin, broth, and popsicles.
- Use a cool mist humidifier to increase air moisture in your home. This may make it easier for your child to breathe and help decrease his or her cough.
Should I Give My Child Cough Suppressants
While the cough is uncomfortable, it is also useful. Coughing helps break up the fluid and mucus in your childs lungs and clear them out of their body. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against cough suppressants containing codeine or dextromethorphan in infants and children. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to keep your child as comfortable as possible without preventing their body from fighting the infection.
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What Causes Walking Pneumonia And Is It Contagious
Walking pneumonia is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a bacterium that damages the lining of the respiratory system. Studies have found walking pneumonia to be a cyclic epidemic occurring every three to seven years. In Korea, it is known to occur in three- to four-year cycles .
Walking pneumonia is contagious and passes from one person to another through respiratory droplets. When the infected person sneezes or coughs, the bacteria are released into the air through the nasal secretions or sputum. When another person breathes in these droplets, they would get infected.
Generally, the infection spreads among people living in proximity, so walking pneumonia outbreaks are common in schools .
Symptoms In Babies Over A Month Old
Once a baby is over a month old, then the most noticeable symptom of pneumonia is likely to be coughing. All of the symptoms that affect newborns will possibly be present too, although grunting becomes less common as the baby grows older. Other pneumonia symptoms observed in babies of this age include:
- Congestion, the feeling that the chest is full or clogged
- Wheezing or heavy breathing
- Fever, particularly during pneumonia caused by bacterial infection
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Things That You Can Do To Help Your Child At Home Are
- Control the fever with the proper medicine and right strength for the age of your child. Fevers lower than 101° F do not need to be treated unless the child is uncomfortable .
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- See that your child gets lots of rest.
- Do not give over-the-counter cough medicines or other OTC medicines without asking the health provider first. The child needs to cough and bring up the phlegm. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing the infection from the lungs.
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants in the air.
In Older Adults And Children
Older adults may have different, fewer, or milder symptoms, such as having no fever or having a cough with no mucus . The major sign of pneumonia in older adults may be a change in how clearly they think or when a lung disease they already have gets worse.
In children, symptoms may depend on age:
- In infants younger than 1 month of age, symptoms may include having little or no energy , feeding poorly, grunting, or having a fever.
- In children, symptoms of pneumonia are often the same as in adults. Your doctor will look for signs such as a cough and a faster breathing rate.
Some conditions with symptoms similar to pneumonia include bronchitis, COPD, and tuberculosis.
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Key Points To Remember About Pneumonia
- pneumonia is an infection of the lungs
- pneumonia causes cough, fever and problems with breathing
- viruses and bacteria can both cause pneumonia
- viral pneumonia is more common in children
- most children make a complete recovery from pneumonia
- if you are worried about your child’s breathing, you should see a doctor
What Are The Types Of Pneumonia Found In Babies
Pneumonia is usually caused by a virus or bacteria, or in much rarer cases by fungi or parasites.
Sometimes a combination of different germs can be at play. For example, your baby’s immune system might be weakened by a virus, which makes it easier for a bacterial infection to take hold.
The two most common types of pneumonia in babies are:
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Common Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Kids
Pneumonia is one of the most common conditions that affect children below five years old. Its an acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. When kids have pneumonia, their small sacs in the lungs fill up with pus and liquid, limiting oxygen intake and making it painful for them to breathe.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed In Children
Your doctor will ask you questions and examine your child. They will:
- take their temperature
- check for fast breathing or low oxygen saturation
- listen to their chest
Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria or a virus, but it is almost impossible to separate the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia in very young children.
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Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Babies
In newborns and babies under 1 month, look out for:
- struggling to breathe – they may be grunting or moving their head up and down with each breath
- drawing the muscles under their chest in when they breathe so it looks like they are breathing with their tummies
- breathing fast
- no wet nappies for 12 hours or more
- a fever – or a temperature that goes up and down a lot
- irritability and sleeping badly
How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.
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What Are The Different Types Of Pneumonia
The main types of pneumonia are:
Bacterial pneumonia. This is caused by various bacteria. The streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacterium that causes bacterial pneumonia.Many other bacteria may cause bacterial pneumonia including:
Group B streptococcus
Bacterial pneumonia may have a quick onset and the following symptoms may occur:
Viral pneumonia. This is caused by various viruses, including the following:
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV
Early symptoms of viral pneumonia are the same as those of bacterial pneumonia. However, with viral pneumonia, the respiratory involvement happens slowly. Wheezing may occur and the cough may worsen.
Viral pneumonias may make a child susceptible to bacterial pneumonia.
Mycoplasma pneumonia. This presents somewhat different symptoms and physical signs than other types of pneumonia. They generally cause a mild, widespread pneumonia that affects all age groups but more commonly in older children.
Symptoms usually do not start with a cold, and may include the following:
Fever and cough are the first to develop
Cough that is persistent and may last three to four weeks
A severe cough that may produce some mucus
Other less common pneumonias may be caused by the inhaling of food, liquid, gases or dust, or by fungi.
How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person
Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.
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Causes Of Pneumonia In Children
Children are vulnerable to developing pneumonia from viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Pneumonia often develops as a complication of another disease like the flu or a viral upper respiratory infection. Our nose and throat passageways allow microorganisms to get into our airways and infect the air sacs of our lungs.
Respiratory syncytial virus is a virus often found in children with pneumonia who are 5 years old or younger. Children younger than 1 year old have an increased risk of pneumonia if they are exposed to secondhand smoke. The following conditions can make children more likely to get pneumonia from microorganisms:
- Compromised immune system
- Chronic health issues like cystic fibrosis or asthma
- Lung or airway problems
Causes And Risk Factors
All types of pneumonia are due to a lung infection.
Walking pneumonia is often caused by an infection with the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. M. pneumoniae infection is less common in children under 4 years old.
Many cases of walking pneumonia are caused by respiratory viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus, though tests for viruses are often not needed.
One study suggested that pneumonia caused by M. pneumoniae infection tends to occur in three- to four-year cycles.
Another study found that in recent years the cycles have occurred less frequently in some geographical areas. Depending on where you live, you may notice more cases of walking pneumonia every 3-4 years.
If you smoke in your home or have caregivers that smoke around your child, your child may be more susceptible to developing pneumonia.
Certain living conditions, such as very crowded spaces or homes with significant air pollution, can also contribute to lung infection. This is why you may see more cases of pneumonia in the colder fall and winter months, when people spend more time indoors.
Children who have other health conditions or weakened immune systems are also at risk for pneumonia.
See your doctor right away if your child:
- lacks energy for an extended period
- has trouble breathing
- suffers any significant changes in behavior or appetite
Walking pneumonia is a lung infection. It can turn dangerous very quickly, especially with young children.
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Beware Of Chronic Chest Pains
Never ignore a mild to moderate chest pain post-COVID recovery, as you may not realise when it can turn into a severe symptom and lead to hospitalisation. One of the most common Long-COVID symptoms is chest pain. This can happen due to a lot of reasons, but patients suffering from pneumonia will experience the worst of it. one may develop chest pain, which can get worse when breathing or coughing. Take this seriously and make sure to get tested for pneumonia without delay, says Dr. Mukherjee.