Friday, September 29, 2023

Signs Of Pneumonia In Infants

Pneumonia Causes And Diagnosis

Medical Conditions & Symptoms : Signs & Symptoms of Pneumonia 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:

  • Viral pneumonia. This is the form of pneumonia most often seen in babies. It develops when a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract â such as a cold or influenza â moves further down into the chest. The signs of viral pneumonia may appear gradually, and they are sometimes less severe than those of bacterial pneumonia.

  • Bacterial pneumonia. Lung infections can also be caused by bacteria. With this type of pneumonia, the symptoms can appear without warning, and often start with a sudden high fever and rapid breathing.

Only your healthcare provider can determine what’s causing your little one’s pneumonia, so it’s essential to have any possible symptoms checked out as soon as possible.

Pneumonia is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination, but an X-ray or blood tests might also be needed to gather more information about your little oneâs condition.

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:

How Can Parents Care For A Baby With Pneumonia

Here is what you can do at home when your baby has pneumonia:

  • Give plenty of fluids: Babies with pneumonia will have trouble eating due to loss of appetite and lethargy. So switch to a liquid diet that is nourishing and keeps the baby hydrated.
  • Use a cool-mist humidifier: Cool-mist humidifiers pump water vapor into the air and make breathing easy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of cool-mist humidifiers for infants with cold and flu symptoms . Do not use a hot-mist or steam humidifier since it can increase the risk of burns.
  • Prevention is always better than cure, and it is also easier when it comes to pneumonia in babies.

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    How Do I Know If My Child Is Having Trouble Breathing

    • Your child’s nostrils open wider when he or she breathes in.
    • Your child’s skin between his or her ribs and around his or her neck pulls in with each breath.
    • Your child is wheezing, which means you hear a high-pitched noise when he or she breathes out.
    • Your child is breathing fast:
    • More than 60 breaths in 1 minute for newborn babies up to 2 months old
    • More than 50 breaths in 1 minute for a baby 2 months to 12 months old
    • More than 40 breaths in 1 minute for a child older than 1 to 5 years
    • More than 20 breaths in 1 minute for a child older than 5 years

    What Looks Like A Cold Or Flu

    Pneumonia in Children &  Babies: Symptoms, Home Treatments ...

    The scary thing about pneumonia is that it can grow from what starts as a common cold or nasty flu. These things on their own, as unpleasant as they are for a newborn baby , are effectively self-healing and build the immune system. Pneumonia, on the other hand, takes more to cure and is destructive for the lungs and immune system.

    So if your baby develops a cold or flu, which will happen as part of life, it is important to note how long the healing process is taking. If the cold or flu lingers for weeks on end, never improving, and results in a super nasty sounding cough, it is worth consulting a doctor. The healing process does differ for everyone, but mothers instinct will tell you when something isnt right.

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    When Should I Seek Immediate Care

    • Your child is younger than 3 months and has a fever.
    • Your child is struggling to breathe or is wheezing.
    • Your child’s lips or nails are bluish or gray.
    • Your child’s skin between the ribs and around the neck pulls in with each breath.
    • Your child has any of the following signs of dehydration:
    • Crying without tears
    • Dry mouth or cracked lip
    • More irritable or fussy than normal
    • Sleepier than usual
    • Urinating less than usual or not at all
    • Sunken soft spot on the top of the head if your child is younger than 1 year

    Treatment For Pneumonia In Infants

    If the baby has bacterial pneumonia, then the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. These show signs of improvement within 48 hours. Of course, the cough will take longer to go.

    Viral pneumonia is also treated with medications. If the infant fails to feel better within 48 hours, doctors recommend hospitalization. More often than not, when it comes to pneumonia in infants, babies under 6 months are admitted as a precaution. This means that the baby will be admitted without the customary 48-hour wait.

    Child care can be quite daunting. It is natural for parents to start pulling their hair over small symptoms or irregularities. The first few days after having a baby are often the scariest for new parents. Watch your baby carefully for any signs of pneumonia, and make sure you inform your doctor quickly if you think your baby has a lung infection!

    You should always seek help from a Specialist no matter how smallthe problem. After all, its your babys health.

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    How To Take Care Of Your Baby At Home

    If the baby has mild pneumonia or one that is caused by a virus, treatment at home becomes possible. If the condition becomes stable after 48 hours of starting the antibiotics, the baby need not be hospitalized. There are many other treatments that can be given in parallel to help ease the babys discomfort. Its important the baby gets plenty of rest throughout the day. To bring down fever, infant paracetamol or infant ibuprofen can be given on the doctors advice. Babies older than two months can have infant paracetamol. If they are over three months old and weigh at least 5 kilograms, they can have ibuprofen. Make sure you read the dosage correctly on the packet and if in doubt consult the doctor or the pharmacist. Also, refrain from giving the baby any over-the-counter medicines for cold and cough. They are unsuitable for children under six years due to the risk of side effects.

    Here are some tips to take care of your baby at home.:

    How To Help At Home

    What are the symptoms of pneumonia in children & its management? – Dr. Dhanashree Kulkarni

    There are some steps people can take to help the child feel more comfortable at home.

    If the child has been prescribed antibiotics, make sure the medicine is taken at the right time and that the child completes the course. This will help them recover more quickly, and will reduce the possibility of the infection spreading to other members of the family.

    If the child has a fever, offer paracetamol syrup to reduce their temperature. Make sure they drink plenty of fluids, but dont worry if they are eating less than usual they will catch up when they recover.

    Children can find coughing distressing and this is often worse at night. A productive cough produces mucus and you should encourage the child to cough up phlegm and spit it out. If the child is too young to be able to do this, try laying them across your lap and patting the back during coughing fits. Raising the head of the child’s cot at night may help you could do this by slipping a pillow or a rolled up blanket underneath the mattress.

    If the child has chest pain, try a heating pad or warm compress on the chest area.

    Check the childs lips and nails to make sure that they are pink, not bluish or grey, which is a sign that the lungs are not getting enough oxygen.

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    How Is Pneumonia Treated In A Child

    Treatment may include antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia. No good treatment is available for most viral pneumonias. They often get better on their own. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with an antiviral medicine.

    Other treatments can ease symptoms. They may include:

    • Plenty of rest

    • Cool mist humidifier in your childs room

    • Acetaminophen for fever and discomfort

    • Medicine for cough

    Some children may be treated in the hospital if they are having severe breathing problems. While in the hospital, treatment may include:

    • Antibiotics by IV or by mouth for bacterial infection

    • IV fluids if your child is unable to drink well

    • Oxygen therapy

    • Frequent suctioning of your childs nose and mouth to help get rid of thick mucus

    • Breathing treatments, as ordered by your childs healthcare provider

    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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    Respiratory Tract Host Defenses

    To prevent and minimize injury and invasion by microorganisms and foreign substances, various defense mechanisms have evolved, both systemically and within the respiratory tract. Some mechanisms are nonspecific and are directed against any invasive agent, whereas others are targeted against only microbes or substances with specific antigenic determinants. Many of the defenses are compromised in the fetus and newborn infant. These compromises may result in more frequent breaches and a consequent disruption of normal lung structure and function.

    Nonspecific defenses include the glottis and vocal cords, ciliary escalator, airway secretions, migratory and fixed phagocytes, nonspecific antimicrobial proteins and opsonins, and normal relatively nonpathogenic airway flora. Anatomic structures of the upper airway and associated reflexes discourage particulate material from entering. On the other hand, coordinated movement of the microscopic cilia on the tracheal and bronchial epithelia tends to sweep particles and mucus up the airway and away from the alveoli and distal respiratory structures.

    Pathogenesis Of Lung Damage

    Vector Illustration Pneumonia Symptoms Children Stock ...

    When SARS-CoV-2 enters the airways of a newly infected person, the viral S protein binds with high affinity to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 cellular transmembrane receptor found on the apical membranes of respiratory epithelial cells, mainly type II pneumocytes. Subsequently, the ACE2 receptor and SARS-CoV-2 are transported inside the cell and the S protein is cleaved by the protease TMPRSS2, inducing the release of the viral RNA within the cell and thereby allowing its replication . The ACE2 receptor is subsequently cleaved by a tumor necrosis factor alpha converting enzyme , a metalloprotease that allows the release of the ACE2 ectodomain into the extracellular space. Soluble ACE2 is enzymatically active and appears to be capable of binding with SARS-CoV-2. This led to speculation that administration of recombinant human ACE2 may reduce inflammation secondary to the action of SARS-CoV-2 .

    Graphic representation of the virus-host interaction and reasons why children are less affected. Binding between SARS-CoV2 spike protein and ACE2 receptors transport of the ACE2 receptor/SARS-CoV 2 complex within the cell cleavage of the spike protein by the protease TMPRSS2 release of viral RNA within the cell.

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    Are There Any Home Remedies For Pneumonia In Babies

    There are certain things you can do at home to treat your baby. Of course, nothing replaces the care and expertise of a doctor. However, you can use the following home remedies –

    • Ensure your baby gets enough rest.
    • Breastfeed your baby often, even though he/she may not have any appetite. This is to ensure that the baby stays hydrated at all times.
    • Do not give the baby any random cough medicines. They have no effect on pneumonia.
    • Do not smoke around your baby.
    • If the baby has bacterial pneumonia, then use a cool mist humidifier.

    These are things you can do to make the baby comfortable. However, do watch for the danger signs of pneumonia in infants, as mentioned above. If you spot any of those signs, take your baby to a doctor.

    How Is Walking Pneumonia Diagnosed

    Walking pneumonia is usually diagnosed through a physical examination. The doctor will check your child’s breathing and listen for a hallmark crackling sound that often indicates walking pneumonia.

    If needed, a chest X-ray or tests of mucus samples from the throat or nose might be done to confirm the diagnosis.

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    What Are The Signs Of Pneumonia

    Keep in mind that the signs of pneumonia must be detected as soon as possible to avoid any kind of further complications. These signs may differ from mild to severe, largely depending on factors like the type of germ causing the infection, the babyâs age and his overall immunity. Talking about mild signs and symptoms, these often exhibit similar symptoms to those of a cold or flu. But in the case of pneumonia, these symptoms last for a longer period of time.

    In case your little one is showing the following signs, you must call your healthcare provider immediately:

    • High Fever – A fever that exceeds 102°F and is accompanied by chills

    • Coughing – Wet cough âmucusâ directed from the lungs .

    • Fatigue – Feeling weak lack of energy

    • Fast or Laboured Breathing – Breathing patterns would be rapid but shallow. directing from the stomach instead of the chest, accompanied by wheezing.

    • Pale Skin – The skin around the lips and face start turning blue .

    • Pain – Depending on the infected part, he will experience pain in the lung or the abdomen. Especially when coughing or breathing deeply.

    • Stomach Troubles – Feeling nauseous, vomiting, or dealing with episodes of diarrhoea.

    • Loss Of Appetite – Consuming less food than usual.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

    Ask Dr. Nandi: Symptoms and treatment for walking pneumonia in children

    In addition to the symptoms listed above, all pneumonias share the following symptoms. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

    • Fever

    • Not feeling well

    • Fussiness

    The symptoms of pneumonia may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child’s primary care provider for a diagnosis.

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    Preventing Pneumonia In Children

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinating children with the PVC13 vaccine. It helps prevent pneumonia from developing in children 2 years old and younger. The â13â in the PVC13 vaccine means it defends children against 13 variations of the pneumococcal disease. You should discuss the vaccine option with your childâs healthcare provider. Itâs also a good idea to verify that your child is up-to-date on all other recommended vaccines for their age group.

    Children can start receiving doses of the PVC13 vaccine when they are two months old. After that, they should receive booster shots periodically until they turn 15 months old. It only takes one dose of PVC13 to immunize children between the ages of 2 and 5 who have not previously received the vaccine. The same goes for children aged 2 to 18 who have certain medical conditions and have never gotten a PVC13 vaccination.

    The pneumococcal polysaccharide pneumonia vaccine is also recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 5 who have a higher risk of developing pneumonia, including those who have:

    • Heart disease

    Unwillingness To Feed Or Poor Feeding

    There can be many reasons a newborn baby doesnt want to feed, not necessarily related to pneumonia. Therefore, this one needs to be taken into consideration if it is combined with some of the other possible symptoms weve discussed. For instance, a baby with a fever who is coughing and doesnt want to eat is more likely to have pneumonia than a baby who is healthy and well, just not particularly hungry.

    If your newborn baby is refusing to breastfeed and has previously had a great track record of feeding, there may be cause for concern. Be wary not to mistake weaning and refusal to eat solids for a sign of pneumonia, unless there is a fever or cough present. Just remember, some days your baby will have a bigger appetite than others.

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    Causes Of Pediatric Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is an inflammation of the air sacs, also known as the alveoli, in the lungs, usually caused by infection that causes them to fill with fluid or pus.

    This inflammation interferes with the lungsâ ability to breathe and properly supply oxygen to the body, causing many of the symptoms described above.

    Pneumonia is almost always caused by bacteria or a virus. In children below school age, viral infection is the most common cause. School-aged children and young adolescents are more likely to develop a bacterial infection.

    What Is Pediatric Pneumonia

    Pneumonia In Children

    Pneumonia is an inflammation in one or both of the lungs that is almost always caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The inflammation interferes with the bodyâs ability to deliver oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. A person is more likely to get pneumonia as a child, known as pediatric pneumonia, than they are as an adult.

    Symptoms of pediatric pneumonia depend on the cause of the infection and several other factors, including the age and general health of the child. Rapid breathing, a high temperature and coughing are three of the most common signs of the condition.

    Pneumonia in newborns and very young children is more likely to be caused by a viral, rather than a bacterial infection. Potential viral causes for pneumonia include respiratory syncytial virus or influenza infection. Bacterial infections become more common in school-aged children and young adolescents. The most common bacterial cause for pneumonia is a type of bacterium known as streptococcus pneumoniae, but there are several other bacterial infections that can also cause pneumonia.

    Diagnosis is generally based on a physical exam and several other tests, which may include blood tests and an X-ray.

    Vaccination against bacterial infection is the best way of preventing the spread of pediatric pneumonia. Children aged over six months old may also benefit from the influenza vaccine.

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