What is Pneumonia in Infants? How Is It Treated?

While pneumonia in infants used to be a very dangerous disease, it can be easily overcome thanks to the treatment methods developed today. However, early diagnosis is very important. For this reason, you should learn what are the symptoms of pneumonia in babies and how to treat pneumonia. All the information you need is waiting for you in our article!

Two months old baby boy in a blue bodysuit lying on the white blanket

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia, medically known as pneumonia, is a lung infection caused by viruses or bacteria. In pneumonia, the air sacs that make up the very tip of the lung become inflamed.

Although it was very dangerous in the past, it is now easier to treat this disease thanks to the advances in the treatment of pneumonia and the vaccines developed.

What causes pneumonia in babies?

We can divide the causes of pneumonia in infants into 3 groups:

  • Different organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi can spread to the chest, causing pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia can be transmitted by direct contact with the saliva or mucus of someone who is sick, or by coughing.
  • If your child’s immune system is weakened by any viral infection, bacteria begin to develop in his lungs and a second infection may occur on top of the first infection.

In addition, children with weakened immune systems or lungs due to diseases such as cystic fibrosis , cancer or asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia. Children with an abnormality in their lungs or airways for any reason are also at high risk.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia in babies?

  • Sweating,
  • Shake,
  • skin rash,
  • fire ,
  • Anorexia,
  • Weakness,
  • Pallor,
  • More crying than usual.

Pneumonia can also show more specific symptoms as it can cause breathing difficulties. Therefore, it is useful to know all the symptoms of pneumonia:

  • Cough,
  • Rapid, labored breathing
  • The opening and closing of the nose wings,
  • More work of the respiratory muscles between the ribs, below and above the collarbone,
  • Chest pain accompanied by coughing and deep breathing,
  • Wheeze,
  • Bruising on lips and fingertips.

How is pneumonia diagnosed in babies?

Although the diagnosis of pneumonia can be made with various signs and symptoms, the disease can be definitively diagnosed with a lung x-ray.

How to treat pneumonia in babies?

If the source of pneumonia is a virus;

  • There is no specific treatment that can be applied other than rest and fever control.
  • You should not use cough suppressant syrups containing codeine and dextromorphan. Because coughing is necessary to clear the excess secretions caused by the infection.
  • Although viral pneumonia usually resolves in 1 week, the cough may persist for several weeks.
  • Medication is usually not required.

As it is often difficult to tell whether pneumonia is caused by bacteria or viruses, your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics. Mothers whose children have pneumonia may be inclined to discontinue antibiotics early. However, it is important that you use the full and recommended dose of the antibiotic. Because although the child feels well, some of the bacteria may remain and the infection may return if the pneumonia treatment is not fully performed.

If the infection worsens despite treatment for pneumonia, beware!

  • Fever lasting more than a few days despite the use of antibiotics
  • breathing difficulties,
  • You should definitely contact your doctor again if you have symptoms that show signs of infection elsewhere in the body, such as swelling and redness of the joints, bone pain, vomiting or stiff neck.

How many days does the treatment for pneumonia in babies take?

Viral pneumonia usually resolves in 1 week. It may take several weeks for the cough to go away. However, this may differ from child to child.

If the child has low oxygen levels, has respiratory distress, and has feeding difficulties, treatment should continue in the hospital under the supervision of a doctor.

Does pneumonia recur in babies?

Yes, pneumonia can recur. When a child has more than 2 pneumonias per year is called recurrent pneumonia.

If the disease has not resolved after 4 weeks, persistent (non-healing) pneumonia is in question. In order to find out why your child has recurrent pneumonia, he needs to go through some tests.

Can pneumonia be transmitted to a baby?

Pneumonia, which is frequently seen especially in the autumn, winter and early spring months, is contagious. Having close contact with the person who has pneumonia; Using the same plate, fork and spoon leads to the transmission of the disease.

Children with weakened immune systems, poor nutrition and allergies are more likely to contract pneumonia. Babies between 0-1 years of age are in the highest risk group. Children aged 1-5 years, whose immune system is incomplete, are the second highest risk group.

Does pneumonia in babies go away with herbal treatment?

The care of the child with pneumonia is done in a way to rejuvenate the body. In children with a more severe course of the disease, it is sufficient to go to the applications for treatment in the hospital such as oxygen loading, but it is sufficient to give importance to nutrition in those who have a milder disease.

Although we cannot talk about herbal treatment directly, there are some herbs and foods that are good for pneumonia.

What is good for pneumonia in babies?

Foods such as basil, ginger, turmeric, carrot juice and garlic are among the foods that are good for pneumonia. It is necessary to include plenty of vegetable juices in the diet of the child with pneumonia.

When is the pneumonia vaccine given in infants?

The child can be vaccinated against pneumococcal infections, a cause of bacterial pneumonia. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children younger than age 2 get the pneumonia vaccine. This vaccine is called the conjugated pneumococcal vaccine or the PVC series.

  • Doses of pneumonia vaccine in infants; 2, 4, 6 and 12-15. It is given at the same time as other child vaccinations between months and months.
  • In addition, it is recommended that children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years be vaccinated against the flu to prevent viral pneumonia.
  • In addition, it is extra important to have a special pneumonia vaccine for those who have a reduced immune system, spleen, or heart and lung diseases due to various diseases. Those who have a temporary disease should be vaccinated against pneumonia within that period, and those who are permanent should be vaccinated every 5 years.

What to do to prevent pneumonia in babies?

  • You should pay special attention to the nutrition of your child and ensure that he consumes all nutrients.
  • Especially in the first 6 months, you should take care to feed your baby only with breast milk.
  • You should get your pneumonia vaccines on time.
  • In winter and spring, you should try not to keep your child indoors and not to let them into places where there are sick children.
  • You should never smoke near your child and you should not keep them in smoking environments.
  • Early diagnosis is very important in pneumonia, so you can recover faster.
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