Can Kids Get Pneumonia?

February 3, 2024

It’s hard seeing your child sick and suffering, especially when you can tell they are struggling with thick mucus and cannot seem to get comfortable.

It can be difficult to know if your child is dealing with a cold, the flu, bronchitis, or even pneumonia, and the winter months are challenging due to respiratory illnesses spreading at lightning speed.

Continue reading for tips and information provided by our AFC Urgent Care Statesville team to help you as you care for your child.

What Is Pneumonia?

While anyone can get pneumonia, it can be particularly dangerous for young children and is more common in children under five years of age. Pneumonia directly impacts the lungs by causing the tiny balloon-shaped sacs, called alveoli, to become inflamed and filled with fluid. These sacs are the mechanism through which carbon dioxide is rapidly and efficiently pulled from the blood and replaced with oxygen. When this system is compromised critical oxygen becomes less available to vital organs and extremities.

What Are the Signs of Pneumonia?

A deep mucus-producing cough and fever are classic symptoms of an upper respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Pneumonia can develop after exposure to a virus or bacterium, and it can be contracted through close contact with someone who already has it.

Common Symptoms of Children with Pneumonia

  • Cough
  • Heavy mucus that may be yellow or green
  • Fussiness
  • Difficult or fast breathing
  • Headache
  • Chest moving in when inhaling rather than out
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Noisy or rattly breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting, abdominal pain

While pneumonia is a most unwelcome occurrence, there are groups of people for whom the risk is more serious and who require a greater amount of protection to avoid it.

Those at Risk of Severe Pneumonia

  • Children with chronic illnesses like heart or lung disorders
  • Anyone who has asthma
  • Premature infants
  • People with compromised immune systems

Should I Bring My Child in for a Diagnosis?

If you are concerned about symptoms your child is exhibiting, it is always best to err on the side of caution and have them evaluated, especially if they cannot communicate clearly how they feel. We can do a thorough examination and get a health history for your child. If he or she is over the age of six months, we can also perform an X-ray to see where the infection is and its severity, so we can determine if it is pneumonia or bronchitis and provide the proper treatment for your child.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention for Pneumonia

  • If your child is having trouble breathing
  • If your child’s fingernails or lips have a blue or gray color
  • If your child has a high-grade fever of 102 degrees or higher
  • Your child is younger than 6 months of age

Does your child have a cough or other respiratory symptoms? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Statesville today and let us help.

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