Identifying Pneumonia In Kids: Tips For Parents 

Being a parent is hard. You are responsible for taking care of a human being and must ensure that they are kept safe and happy. Children go through a lot during childhood, and while most of the time, illnesses are minor, there are times when something more serious comes along. Pneumonia is an infection that can be very serious at any age, but particularly in childhood. Within this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about pneumonia, including how to identify it and some tips for parents. 

What Is Pneumonia? 

Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes swelling of the tissue in the lung. It can affect one or both lungs, and bacterial infections or viruses usually cause it. More recently, pneumonia has had a spike in cases due to the coronavirus. Coronavirus is, of course, a respiratory virus, so often people who suffer badly from Covid have ended up developing pneumonia. As Covid is less likely to affect children, the most common cause of pneumonia in kids is a bacterial infection or another type of virus. Whereas in the lungs of a healthy person, the small sacs are full of air, in someone with pneumonia, the air sacs fill up with fluid and pus. This, therefore, severely affects the patients breathing and can lead to them frequently feeling out of breath.  

What Can You Do? 

As a parent, if your child has a severe case of pneumonia, then there is not must you can do except support them and listen to the doctors. Pneumonia is treatable, so you must be patient and trust the doctors although it is horrible to see your child suffer. If your child needs to be in the hospital for a long time, then just make sure you take them their favourite toys and give them lots of ways to distract themselves. With a mild case of pneumonia, it is important as a parent to make sure your child gets plenty of rest and that they remain at home until they are feeling better. If you take them into the garden, just make sure they are wrapped up warm, paying particular attention to their chest.  

Signs And Symptoms 

There are quite a few signs and symptoms when it comes to pneumonia, which we are going to explain down below. However, it is important to remember that just because your child has one of these symptoms does not mean that they have pneumonia. Pneumonia is severe, and it is more identifiable if your child is exhibiting multiple signs and symptoms at once. So, if you do notice your child is suffering from a lot of these symptoms, then make sure you seek medical advice. 

  • Fever- check to see if your child’s temperature is running high. All children will get a fever every now and then, and it is not always a major issue. However, if your child is running a super high fever and there are no signs of getting better, it would be best to call the doctors.  
  • Cough- while many children cough, if your kid has got a continuous cough that is either dry or producing mucus, it could be a sign of pneumonia. Particularly pay attention if the mucus is yellow, green, brown, or blood-stained.  
  • Belly pain- if your child has been complaining of belly pain for a while with no obvious reason, it could cause concern. Children can get tummy aches when they eat too much or they have been running around, but if your kid is feeling lethargic and with a bellyache, it could be a bad sign.  
  • Chest pain- this symptom will likely come alongside the coughing. Coughing continuously is always going to cause some sort of ache in the chest, but chest pain from pneumonia will be far more severe and painful. 
  • Loss of appetite- every child is different in terms of appetite, and you will know what is normal for them and what isn’t. If they continuously refuse food, particularly their favourite food, then you should get them checked out.  
  • Issues with breathing- like chest pain, this symptom will likely come alongside the continuous coughing. You may notice that your child is struggling to catch their breath, or that they are easily breathless after a short amount of time.  
  • Vomiting- continuous vomiting or the inability to keep any food down is always a bad sign. If your kid is struggling with this, you need to seek immediate medical attention. 


If you recognize a lot of these symptoms within your child, then it is best to make a doctor’s appointment. Your doctor will be able to examine your child and make a diagnosis based on what they see. They will likely have to listen into your child’s chest and talk to both of you about the symptoms that your child has been experiencing. Pneumonia does share symptoms with other conditions, so sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose. However it is always better to be safe than sorry, and if you know your child has been a bit off recently, then push that point with your doctor. Mild pneumonia can be diagnosed through a chest examination, but if your child has a more serious case, they may need to have a chest x-ray and a blood test. This can be frightening for both you and the child, so just do your best to reassure them and be there for support.  


In terms of treatment, if the case is mild, it can usually be treated at home in terms of treatment. Ensure that your child gets plenty of rest and is staying hydrated. Although they may feel a bit nauseous, try your best to encourage them to eat a little food or make smoothies and soups so they are getting plenty of nutrients. For mild pneumonia, antibiotics will likely be prescribed, so make sure your child is taking their antibiotics correctly and that they finish the whole course. If the pneumonia is more severe, then your child will most likely have to stay in hospital for further and more intense treatment. Breathing problems and high fever are a big issue for a child, so they may need to stay in hospital until they can breathe properly on their own. Antibiotics will still be given, but it will be through an IV to prevent the child from vomiting them back up.  


Bacterial pneumonia is not passed from one person to another, so, there is no real prevention. However, if the pneumonia case is from a virus, then there are things you can do to prevent your child from becoming infected. Make sure that they are always washing their hands frequently with soap and warm water and that they stay away from anyone with symptoms. Teach your kid to sneeze and cough into their elbow or a tissue and make sure they wash their hands after that too. If you do use a tissue, make sure they are thrown away immediately, as germs can live for several hours after leaving the body. Doing all of these things and being aware of the symptoms is a great way to keep your child safe and protected. 

Add Your Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.