Pediatric Pneumonia Treatment Questions and Answers
Pediatric pneumonia can be a scary time in your child’s life. We are here to ensure you; it doesn’t have to be! Walk-in to have one of our pediatric doctors look into your child’s symptoms in relation to pneumonia. Call us today or visit us online for our locations. We serve patients from Greater Orlando, Jacksonville, West Melbourne, and Port St Lucie Florida areas.
What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or even both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus which can cause coughs with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.
Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, as well as people with health problems or weakened immune systems.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Pneumonia?
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia can vary from mild to severe, depending on certain factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, and your age or overall health. Mild signs and symptoms often are similar to those of a cold or flu, but pediatric pneumonia lasts longer.
Some signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Chest pain whenever you breathe or cough
- Cough, which usually produces phlegm
- Fever, sweating and even shaking chills
- Sickness like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
Unfortunately, newborns and infants may not show any signs of infection. If they do, they may vomit, have a fever or cough, appear restless and fatigued and without energy, or have difficulty breathing and eating.
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is caused by a variety of germs like viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. However, most cases are caused by viruses.
Generally, pneumonia begins after an upper respiratory tract infection with symptoms starting normally 2-3 days after a cold or sore throat. After this, it can then move to the lungs.
Children with pneumonia caused by bacteria usually become sick fairly fast, starting with a sudden high fever and unusual fast breathing.
Children with pneumonia caused by viruses generally will have symptoms that appear more gradually and considered less severe, though wheezing can be more common.
The length of time between a child being exposed to the germs and when a child starts to feel sick varies.
How Is Pneumonia Treated?
Your pediatric doctor will diagnose pneumonia with an exam. They will continue to check your child’s appearance, breathing patterns, as well as vital signs and listen to your child’s lungs for abnormal sounds. They might request a chest x-ray or blood tests, depending on the severity of the child’s symptoms.
Pneumonia is caused by a virus, and usually does not require antibiotics. Pneumonia that is caused by a bacteria though is treated with antibiotics taken by mouth at home. This type of antibiotic used depends on the type of bacteria thought to have caused pneumonia.
If the children’s symptoms become more severe, they might need treatment in a hospital if they have a lasting high fever, breathing problems or if they:
- Need oxygen therapy
- Dealing with a lung infection that may have spread to the bloodstream
- Dealing with a chronic illness that affects the immune system
- Vomiting so severely they cannot take medicine by mouth
- Continuously getting pneumonia
- Might also have whooping cough
Generally, pneumonia is not contagious, but the upper respiratory viruses and bacteria that lead to it are contagious. When the germs in the fluid from the mouth or nose comes out from someone who is infected with pneumonia, it can then spread to others by coughing and sneezing, sharing drinking cups, eating utensils and touching used tissues or handkerchiefs from anyone with symptoms of pneumonia like a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and cough etc. from a respiratory infection.
If you believe your child may have pneumonia, and you want to get them diagnosed and treated, contact Night Lite Pediatrics! We have over 13 locations to serve you in Florida. Night Lite Pediatrics is open to help your children 7 days a week, after hours and until 11 or midnight. Walk-in to one of our clinics today, or call us for more information.