Chest infection in Children

Chest infection in Children

Chest infection are common , especially .after a cold or flu during and winter .
Although most are mild and get better or their own , some can be serious or even life threatening .

Signs and symptoms of a chest infection

The main symptoms of a chest infection can include :
• A persistent cough .
• Coughing up. Yellow or green phlegm (thick mucus ) or coughing up. blood
• Breathlessness or rapid and shallow breathing .
• Wheezing .
• A high temperature ( fever).
• A rapid heartbeat .
• Chest pain or tightness.
• Feeling confused and disorientated .
Children may also experience more general symptoms of an infection such as a headache , Fatigue ,sweating .loss of appetite or joint and muscle pain

What causes Chest infection ?

A chest infection is an infection of the lungs or airways . The main types of chest infection are broncholitis and pneumonia .
Most bronchiolitis cases are caused by viruses Where as most pneumonia cases are due to bacteria .
These infection are usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes . This launches tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus or bacteria in to the air ,where can be breathed in by others . The infection can also be spread to others if you cough or sneeze on to your hand , an object
Many chest infection aren’t serious and get better with a few days or weeks .Most of the children well recover at home by :
• Getting plenty of rest
• Drinking lots of fluid to prevent
• Treating headaches ,fever and aches and pains with painkillers- such as paracetamol or ibuprofen

• Drinking a warm drink of honey and lemon – to relieve a sore throat caused by persistent coughing

• Using an air humidifier or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water

Avoid cough medicines ,as there ‘s little evidence they work ,and coughing actually helps you clear the infection more quickly by getting rid of the phlegm from your lungs .
Antibiotics aren’t recommended for many chest infections , because they only work if the infection is caused by bacteria , rather than a virus .
If there’s a flu outbreak in your local area and you’re at risk of serious infection .

When to see a doctor

• Child is feeling very unwell or his symptoms are severe
• If symptoms are not improving
• Feel confused ,disoriented or drowsy
• Have chest pain or difficulty breathing
• Cough up blood or blood stained phlegm
Doctor should be able to diagnose you based on your symptoms and by listening to your chest using a in some cases , further tests –such as a chest X-ray , blood samples may be necessary.

Preventing chest infections

• Good hygiene
• It’s important to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and to wash you hand regularly . Put tissues in the bin immediately .
• Vaccinations
• Flu and pneumococcal vaccination are usually recommended.

Blog by :-Dr. Seema Sharma
MBBS, MDÂ Paediatrics

Motherhood Chaitanya Hospital Chandigarh

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