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Pneumonia is a scary diagnosis that is often surprising for parents because children do not seem to be “that sick.” Parents expect a diagnosis of pneumonia in a child who has blue lips and skin, high fever or other dramatic signs of the illness.
In fact, Pneumonia can be due to many different viruses and bacteria. It can be mild (example walking pneumonia, so called because most children stay pretty active despite being sick) or life threatening. Children can have a variety of symptoms – from the typical like cough and fever in older children, to the subtle like belly pain, rapid breathing, vomiting, and poor feeding in young children and infants.
What to look for to determine if your child is having difficulty breathing:
If you determine that your child is working harder than normal to breathe, then it is time to go to his/her pediatrician, urgent care or even the emergency department depending on your level of concern. Breathing issues regardless of whether they are caused by pneumonia or other illness or issue can be severe and even life-threatening and it is important for your child to be evaluated by a health care provider.
The way pneumonia presents is different based on child’s pre-existing illnesses like asthma and their age.
Pneumonia is a general term for a lung infection and can be caused by both bacteria and viruses. Frequently both viral and bacterial pneumonia occur after someone has a cold or the flu. Other common symptoms of pneumonia can include:
Dr. Aleksandra Avery is a primary care physician with WakeMed Physician Practices – Garner Primary Care, specializing in internal medicine and pediatrics.
WakeMed is the leading provider of care to children and their families in Wake County, featuring a Children’s Hospital, dedicated Children’s Emergency Department and many family medicine and specialist physicians who care for pediatric patients.
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Raleigh, NC 27610