Pneumonia is the most common reason for hospitalization for children in the United States. At Katy Pediatric Associates in Katy, Texas, board-certified pediatricians, Tabassum Imam, MD, Asmaa Fotouh, MD, and Hebah Aboul-Fotouh, MD, offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for pneumonia to prevent additional health complications. The pediatric team focuses on helping your child feel better as quickly as possible by tailoring treatment plans to their specific needs. Schedule a sick visit today for a pneumonia evaluation. You can call the office today or request an appointment online now.
Pneumonia is an infection that develops in the lungs. The condition results when the air sacs of one or both lungs fill with fluid because of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. These germs can infect your lungs when your child breathes them in from the environment or when they make contact with infected objects that then touch their mouths.
Children two years old and younger, and children with weakened immune systems, are most at risk for developing the infection. Pneumonia in older children or otherwise healthy children can also occur.
The symptoms of pneumonia can differ among children. For some, pneumonia only causes mild symptoms that resolve in a few days while others need to be hospitalized to ensure they recover fully from the infection.
Common symptoms of pneumonia in children include:
Some children may also experience nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting because of the infection. Due to the persistent coughing, chest pain is also common with pneumonia.
The Katy Pediatric Associates medical team can diagnose pneumonia by reviewing your child’s medical history and symptoms. During a physical exam, your pediatrician listens to your child’s lungs through a stethoscope to identify abnormal sounds, like crackling, when your child breathes.
To confirm pneumonia and rule out other lung conditions, your provider may request a chest X-ray. They may also order blood work to identify the root cause of lung infection.
Typically, when pneumonia is the result of a bacterial infection, your Katy Pediatric Associates provider prescribes antibiotics to clear the infection.
For viral infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics, your child may need to take medications to loosen phlegm and thin out mucus to make it easier to clear the lungs and quiet a cough.
Infants and toddlers may need to stay in the hospital to receive treatment for pneumonia, especially if they show signs of dehydration or have difficulty breathing.
For home care, you should make sure your child gets plenty of rest and limits their activities until they start feeling better. If your child has a fever, it’s important they stay away from other family members until the fever breaks to avoid the spread of infection. Give your child liquids often to prevent dehydration and help loosen mucus in the lungs to make coughs more productive.
If your child has a fever and chronic cough that you suspect is pneumonia, call Katy Pediatric Associates as soon as possible to schedule a sick visit. You can also request an evaluation online now.