Babies are brittle creature that should be protected from everything that could harm them. There are a lot of diseases that can easily infect the tots and one of them is pneumonia. This kind of illness is very dangerous. Pneumonia in babies can lead them into dead.
Bacteria and viruses are the most common factors that cause babies suffer from the disease. Be aware of cough that comes along with fever, moreover if they last for more than a week. Get to know more about the symptoms of pneumonia in babies so you can take immediate action to cure the illness.
Pneumonia in Babies: Causes and Symptoms
Before we go further with the discussion about the symptoms of pneumonia in babies, it would be better if we talk about the definition of the disease first. Pneumonia is an infection that occurs in lungs. The infection can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi (though it is rare).
Most of time, this lung infection is caused by Streptococcus pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, though there are also a lot of pneumonia cases in toddlers that are caused by viruses.
Commonly, pneumonia can strike your baby anytime especially when your tot’s immune system is decreasing. But, the percentage of pneumonia cases often increases during winter season and spring. Babies are not the only one to be prone of the disease.
People with current infection caused by viruses, such as flu also tend to have bigger possibility to suffer from this lung infection. People who have lung chronic condition such as bronchitis, people with poor immune system, patients in hospital and old people are also prone to be infected by the disease.
Pneumonia in newborn babies can be shown by general symptoms, include:
- High fever
- Worsening cough
- Chest pain that comes sharply
There are some differentiation symptoms shown in lung infection caused by bacteria and viruses. Pneumonia which is caused by bacteria usually comes with some signs include high fever, coughing, and rapid breathing.
The infection also makes your children lose willingness to eat. Trouble and rapid in breathing, a faster pulse, vomiting, diarrhea and bluish nails or lips are the other signs of bacterial pneumonia. Though it is rare, abdominal pain and stiff neck also can be the signs that your baby is having the disease.
Most of the symptoms in lung infections caused by bacteria come in sudden and quickly lead your baby becomes weak. Unlike the one caused by bacteria, lung infection caused by viruses often comes slowly.
But the symptoms will steadily get worse from time to time. The symptoms of this lung infection caused by viruses usually start with cold. The infection will be followed by high fever that can reach 101.5 Fahrenheit degrees, even more.
The other symptoms might appear include diarrhea, weakness, wheezing, vomiting, worsening cough, and rapid breathing. Viruses that can contribute in infecting your baby with pneumonia include flu virus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and adenovirus.
Though the lung infection caused by viruses are commonly considered less harmful than the one caused by bacteria, but it can lead your tots to be more susceptible to the bacterial pneumonia.
How to Treat Pneumonia on Your Tots
Though some pneumonia cases that strike babies are not dangerous and can be treated at home by using antibiotic, but untreated lung infection can result in fatality. There are some treatments usually taken to cure this disease.
But the treatment given can be different and it depends on the causes of the infection. For lung infection caused by bacteria, doctors will give your baby antibiotics to relieve the disease. But the treatment for viral pneumonia is usually limited since it cannot be cured by antibiotic just like the one given to bacterial pneumonia.
Doctors will give fluids and suggest their patients to take more rest to heal. For babies with bacterial pneumonia, you might be suggested to run a cool mist humidifier. Most of tots will look uncomfortable and get fever because of the infection so you are suggested to give them ibuprophen and acetaminophen (for 6 old months babies or older) for home remedy.
But if the babies have to be hospitalized, doctors will give them antibiotics through an IV and fluids. The intravenous fluids are needed to avoid your babies from dehydration since they usually get difficulties to eat and drink because of the disease.
To help babies’ breath easily, the nurses will do suction process to their nose. For worse cases of pneumonia in babies, the doctor will use a nasal oxygen tube to help them breath easily. Oximeter is also needed in order to check the babies’ blood oxygen level to avoid fatality.
Symptoms of pneumonia in babies sometimes need pain relieving medications to reduce the pain caused by the disease. Most of pneumonia cases in babies will relieve within a week.