Pneumonia in children: what parents should know

Pneumonia, also known as pneumonia, is a disease of the respiratory tract. Acute inflammation is especially common in childhood. The most common cause of pneumonia is pneumococci. In addition to pneumonia, bacteria can also cause otitis media.

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How contagious is pneumonia in children?

Children with this condition are potentially contagious and can easily pass the infectious agent by coughing. In particular, other children infect each other by coughing and sneezing, for example in schools, kindergartens, households or on playgrounds.

Through droplet infection, pathogens get into the air and are then inhaled by other children. Direct transmission through mucous membranes, for example by kissing, is also possible. The risk of infection is particularly high in children and infants because their immune systems are still developing.

People over 65 are also at increased risk of pneumonia. However, not everyone who comes into contact with a pathogen will get sick.

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Symptoms: Does My Child Have Pneumonia?

Do you suspect your child has pneumonia? The following symptoms may indicate an infection:

  • abdominal pain
  • Cough
  • chills
  • Fever
  • painful breathing
  • disorientation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Refusal to drink (especially in infants)
  • increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath with the so-called nostrils (rapid movement of the child’s nostrils during breathing)

Important: The symptoms of pneumonia in children can vary greatly from case to case.

Course and duration of infection

How long your child’s infection lasts depends on the individual’s health and the specific type of pathogen. As a rule, most pneumonia in children is after about seven to ten days he retreated again. Assuming no complications. Bacterial pneumonia is often accompanied by a high fever (> 39 °C).

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How is the infection diagnosed?

The diagnosis of pneumonia is similar in children and adults. After the anamnestic interview, the doctor listens to the child’s lungs with a stethoscope. Specific breathing sounds provide information about whether pneumonia is present. In addition, the following examination methods can be used for diagnosis:

  • Blut analysis
  • X-ray of the chest (chest)
  • Ultrasound examination (sonography)
  • Lung endoscopy (bronchoscopy)

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