Can Children Get Pneumonia

December 30, 2022

Can Children Get Pneumonia?

Children can, and do, get pneumonia. Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused either by a virus or by bacteria. RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is one of the viruses that can cause pneumonia and it’s very prevalent right now. If your child has been exposed to RSV they may develop pneumonia. Viral pneumonia can’t be treated medically, but children with bacterial pneumonia can take prescribed antibiotics to clear up the infection.

The Symptoms of Pneumonia In Children

The symptoms of viral and bacterial pneumonia in children are similar, but the onsest of the symptoms different. Viral pneumonia tends to start out mild and get worse over time while bacterial pneumonia has a very rapid onset of symptoms. The symptoms that your child experiences can include:

  • Cough that produces mucus
  • Cough pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fast or hard breathing
  • Headache
  • Fussiness

If your child starts displaying any of these symptoms within a 24 hour period or if they have had a few of these symptoms which linger and then seem to get worse it’s best to have a doctor examine your child.

How Pneumonia Is Diagnosed And Treated

Typically a doctor will examine your child, check for a fever, check their breathing, and do an X-ray of their lungs to check for pneumonia.

 If the X-ray doesn’t give the doctor enough to go on or if the doctor thinks more tests are warranted they may do blood tests or a sputum test to determine if the child has pneumonia.

If your child is having a lot of trouble breathing the doctor put them on a pulse ox monitor to monitor the amount of oxygen in their blood to make sure their blood is getting the oxygen it should be getting. They also may order a chest CT scan to make sure there isn’t a more serious medical problem that needs to be addressed.

Pediatric Services At Urgent Care

If your child has a rapid onset of symptoms and you can’t get in to see their primary care doctor or if their condition worsens overnight you can bring your child to urgent care. Urgent care offers a full range of pediatric diagnostic services to help parents and kids who get sick outside of regular medical hours.

Call urgent care now if your child is coughing, has a fever, or is displaying other signs of pneumonia so that they can be seen by a pediatrician who can determine if they have pneumonia.

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