Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, and it can be bacterial or viral. The alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs fill up with pus and other fluids, making it harder for oxygen to reach the bloodstream. Pneumonia tends to be more common in children.
If your child has any of the signs or symptoms of pneumonia as described below, call your pediatric pulmonologist in New York immediately. Dr. Shukla’s one-of-a-kind blend of sleep, allergy, and pulmonary medical training make him the ideal choice to treat pulmonary infections like pneumonia.
Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia
In some cases, fast breathing is the only symptom of pneumonia. Breathing may also feature grunting or wheezing sounds. Your child may work hard to breathe, and flare his or her nostrils, breathe from the belly, or exhibit movement of the muscles between the ribs.
Other symptoms include fever, chills, runny nose, shaking chills, vomiting, chest pain, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
In extreme cases, you may see bluish color in the lips or fingernails.
Pneumonia Caused by Bacteria
Kids with pneumonia caused by bacteria usually become sick fairly quickly, starting with a sudden high fever and unusually fast breathing.
Pneumonia Caused by Viruses
Kids with pneumonia caused by viruses probably will have symptoms that appear more gradually and are less severe, though wheezing can be more common.
Treatment for Pneumonia by a
Pediatric Pulmonologist in New York
Pneumonia caused by bacteria is treated by antibiotics taken by mouth at home. However, the illness is most often caused by a virus that does not require antibiotics.
When the flu is found early in the illness, it is possible to take antiviral medication.
Children Might Need Treatment in the Hospital If They:
● have a lasting high fever
● have breathing problems
● need oxygen therapy
● have a lung infection that may have spread to the bloodstream
● have a chronic illness that affects the immune system
● are vomiting so much that they cannot take medicine by mouth
● keep getting pneumonia
● might have whooping cough
What You Should Do If Your Child Has Pneumonia
A person of any age who has pneumonia needs to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to help their body fight the infection.
If your child is prescribed antibiotics, dispense them on-schedule. If your child exhibits wheezing, their pediatric pulmonologist in New York may also give them an inhaler or nebulizer.
Cough medicine is NOT recommended because coughing helps clear the lungs of mucus and fluids. Additionally, OTC (over-the-counter) cough and cold medicines are not recommended for children under six years old.
Take your child’s temperature twice per day (morning and evening.) Call your pediatric pulmonologist in New York if his or her temperature above 102 °F (38.9 °C) in an older infant or child, or above 100.4 °F (38 °C) in a baby under 6 months of age. Dr. Shukla treats pneumonia throughout New York City with locations in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
How Long Does Pneumonia Last?
With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia can be cured within 1 to 2 weeks. Walking pneumonia and viral pneumonia may take 4 to 6 weeks to go away completely.
Is Pneumonia Contagious?
In general, pneumonia is not contagious. However, the viruses and bacteria that lead to it ARE. These can be spread by coughing or sneezing. It’s best to keep kids away from anyone with a respiratory infection.