What Are the Signs of Pneumonia in Infants?

Pneumonia, caused by viruses or bacteria, is an infection in the lung.  There is a greater risk for the elderly and infants to get pneumonia.  At RSVP Home Care we want to make sure that you can recognize the signs of pneumonia in all infants especially critical care infants whom may be at greater risk.  Learning the signs and symptoms of pneumonia is important because it is critical that you consult your physician for medical treatment. 

What Causes Pneumonia in Infants

Pneumonia is caused by a virus or bacteria that create a lung infection which can be life-threatening.  The lung’s air sacs fill with infection and liquid, causing breathing difficulties.  Whether the pneumonia is bacterial or viral, it can strike quickly and is dangerous if not treated.  Pneumonia often begins as a bad cough or a common cold, however bacterial infections sometimes can start without symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia

Your baby needs to be seen by a physician immediately if they have any of the symptoms listed below.  A blue face or blue lips indicate the infant is not receiving enough oxygen and may need hospitalization immediately.

Preventing Pneumonia

Although there is no definitive way to avoid contracting pneumonia, there are steps that can be taken to minimize your baby’s risk.  All caregivers should consistently be washing their hands with soap and water. It is important to regularly wash items such as bottles, pacifiers, and toys to remove viruses and bacteria. It is also possible for infants to receive the pneumococcal vaccine, which has been approved for children under the age of 2. Check with your physician to see if your child is a candidate for the vaccine.

Treatment for Pneumonia

Pneumonia cannot be treated at home; you must see a physician immediately.  If your child has productive coughs do not give them a cough suppressant without consulting your physician.  If your child has bacterial pneumonia, your physician may choose to prescribe an antibiotic.  Typically after the second dose of the antibiotic you will see a huge improvement.  Antibiotics are not used to treat viral pneumonia.  Your doctor may also suggest running a vaporizer or cool mist humidifier, giving your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower their fever and alleviate pain, and sitting in a steam filled bathroom with your infant for 10 minutes or so to loosen their cough.

It is important to always seek professional medical care when it comes to the health of your child.  RSVP Home Care founded by a group of Northern Kentucky Respiratory therapists is a provider of Northern Kentucky durable medical equipment and is proud to be an outstanding CHAP accredited Home Care Company in Northern Kentucky.  Please feel free to contact us with your home care and durable medical equipment and supply needs.