Symptoms of pneumonia in children

One of the most dangerous diseases of the respiratory system is pneumonia. Symptoms in children can be different - depending on the form of the disease and the type of pathogen. Treatment of pathology should be started immediately to avoid severe complications.

  • The first signs of pneumonia in a child
  • Types and Classification
  • How is pneumonia manifested?
  • Diagnostics
  • General principles of treatment
  • Medication
  • Treatment with folk remedies
  • Complications and consequences
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  • Learn what is bilateral pneumonia

The first signs of pneumonia in a child

Pneumonia - what is it? Heavy inflammatory process of infectious origin, in which lung tissue is affected. How does the disease begin? This disease is dangerous, at the initial stage in some children it is asymptomatic or disguises as a common cold. Maybe with or without temperature, acute or slow. But there are certain signs that will help parents recognize the inflammation of the lungs in a child.

The first symptoms of pneumonia:

  1. A sharp rise in temperature to 38 or more degrees, after taking antipyretic drugs, decreases slightly. If the fever lasts more than three days, this may indicate an inflammatory process in the lungs.
  2. Frequent attacks of a strong, deep cough, sputum is not always evident.
  3. Breathing becomes noisy, rapid. Normally, children under 2 months have a respiratory rate of 40-60 per minute, up to a year - 35-40, up to 4 years - 25-35.
  4. With severe inflammation of the lungs, the work of the cardiovascular system may be disrupted - the skin becomes bluish in the child due to hypoxia.
  5. There are pains in the chest, on a background of a fever pulse is quickened.
  6. Breasts become irritable, often cry, older children experience apathy, drowsiness, or agitation.
  7. Against the backdrop of severe intoxication, appetite decreases, there is a disorder of the stool, nausea, and sometimes vomiting.

In newborns, pneumonia sometimes occurs without fever and other characteristic symptoms. A kid can not say that he feels bad, and his parents do not see any signs of illness. If a child's appetite disappears, sleep worsens, he is listless, crying a lot, it is necessary to consult a doctor. The latent form of the disease requires careful diagnosis.

How is the disease transmitted? Infection into the lungs can get from other organs, from the oral cavity, through the placenta. But most often the infection occurs by airborne droplets. Therefore, the answer to the question whether or not pneumonia is contagious or not, healthy children can become infected by contact with sick people. But you need to understand that it's not the form of the disease that is transmitted, but the pathogens - the virus or the bacterium. They can cause colds, pharyngitis, bronchitis or pneumonia in contact persons.

Important! The incubation period of pneumonia depends on the causative agent of the disease, the state of the immune system, the presence of chronic pathologies. With typical pneumonia, the first signs appear within 24-72 hours, an atypical form may appear even after 15-20 days.

Types and Classification

Pneumonia has many forms and varieties. Depending on the main symptoms, the disease is classified in one category or another. It is important to correctly diagnose the type of pneumonia, because the tactics of treatment depend on this.

Primary pneumonia occurs when pathogens penetrate the respiratory system, the secondary form develops against the background of other infectious pathologies. Often, the disease is diagnosed after surgery, especially in weakened and recumbent patients.

The main types of pneumonia

Symptom Types of the disease
Place of origin 1. Hospital (nosocomial) - this form of the disease is considered the most dangerous, as its pathogens are quite aggressive, resistant to many antibacterial drugs.

2. Community-acquired - infection occurs outside the hospital.

3. Perinatal - congenital pneumonia

By type of pathogen virus;





Depending on the location of the inflammatory process 1. Focal (bronchopneumonia) - the disease affects a small area of ​​the lung, often develops against the background of acute bronchitis in children aged 1-3 years.

2. Segmental - pathogenic microorganisms affect 1 or more segments of the respiratory system, the peak of the disease is 3-7 years.

3. Fractional (croupous) - inflammatory process is observed in lobes of the lung.

4. Basal pneumonia - inflammation occurs at the junction of the lungs and bronchi, the disease is difficult to diagnose, signs of pathology can not always be seen even on the x-ray.

5. Interstitial - inflammation covers the respiratory organ completely, affects the walls of the alveoli, the parenchyma

Important! Pneumonia is often diagnosed in children older than 3 years, which is associated with recurrent ARVI due to visiting the kindergarten. At a young age, the development of the disease is associated with the immaturity of the immune system.

How is pneumonia manifested?

Symptoms of the disease depend on the pathogen. Sometimes the pathology proceeds in latent or atypical form, there may be a prolonged or often recurrent course. The diagnosis of chronic pneumonia is excluded from the current classification.

Clinical picture of pneumonia, depending on the pathogen and localization of the inflammation focus:

  1. Bacterial pneumonia is the most common form. It develops on the background of infection with pneumococci, mycoplasma, chlamydia, hemophilic rod. The pathological process is one- or two-sided. The main signs - acute course of the disease, very quickly the temperature rises to 39 or more degrees, the child is shivering. Frequent attacks of cough accompanied by a sputum discharge of yellow or green, there is pain in the chest and stomach, diarrhea, vomiting.
  2. Viral inflammation of the lungs is less common, it is difficult. It develops against the background of influenza, measles, chicken pox. Signs - frequent shallow breathing, fever (may be subfebrile), headache, discomfort in the chest, abdomen, shortness of breath, productive cough that occurs with a deep breath.
  3. Basal pneumonia - a disease more often affects the right lung due to anatomical features. Pathology has a bacterial or viral origin, in children it develops rapidly. Symptoms - high fever (may be absent), dry cough changes to wet, sweating increases, there are signs of severe intoxication, with discomfort in the chest and upper back absent.
  4. Croupous bilateral pneumonia is an acute form of the disease, in which foci of inflammation are observed in both lungs. The pathology develops rapidly, a few hours after infection, the temperature rises, there is weakness, pain in the head, a rash on the nose and lips. When coughing, a viscous sputum with dissemination of blood is released. The disease is characterized by severe respiratory failure, pain syndrome in the region of both sub-infarctions, the child needs urgent hospitalization.

Mycoplasma pneumonia often occurs atypically, with erased symptoms. It occurs in children of school age. At the initial stage there is a slight increase in temperature, coughing dry, barking, pain in the head, throat and chest, a runny nose develops. In a few days, there may be fever, an increase in coughing. Then the temperature drops to subfebrile digits, sputum leaves freer.

Important! How to distinguish between viral pathology and bacterial pathology? For the viral is more often characterized by an atypical course, with erased or overly expressed symptoms, respiratory failure. There is no effect from antibacterial treatment. When bacterial - there is a classic picture of pneumonia, against the background of antibiotic therapy is rapidly improving.


When there are signs of pneumonia, it is necessary to visit a pediatrician, therapist or pulmonologist. After collecting anamnesis, careful listening to the lungs, the doctor will prescribe the necessary tests to identify the type of pathogen.

Basic diagnostic methods:

  • clinical and biochemical blood analysis - allows to recognize the presence and type of the inflammatory process;
  • sputum bacillus;
  • an analysis of the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics;
  • X-ray, CT of the lungs;
  • bronchoscopy.

If an atypical infection is suspected, an immunological test is used to determine the presence of antibodies to various pathogenic microorganisms. A more accurate analysis of PCR is that the method is based on the determination of the DNA of the pathogens of the disease, its reliability is more than 90%.

General principles of treatment

Children with pneumonia should lie more, drink a lot, watch less TV. Parents should constantly ventilate the room, moisten the air. To feed the sick child only at will, not to force and not to persuade. Food should be light, healthy and tasty. It is necessary to give preference to the favorite dishes of the baby.


It is strictly forbidden to engage in self-treatment of a child with pneumonia. On the basis of only external manifestations of the disease, it is impossible to establish the cause of its occurrence and an accurate diagnosis.

Than treat pneumonia:

  • antiviral drugs - the doctor selects, based on the expected type of the virus;
  • antibiotics in the form of tablets or injections - Amoxiclav, Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin;
  • antipyretic agents - syrups, suppositories, tablets based on ibuprofen, paracetamol (Nurofen, Panadol);
  • mucolytics - Lazolvan, Bromhexine;
  • antispasmodics - No-sppa (used for spasm of blood vessels against a background of fever);
  • antihistamines - Suprastin, Erius;
  • probiotics to restore the balance of the intestinal microflora after antibiotic therapy (if necessary) - Lineks, Bifiform.

If there are no complications for complete recovery and recovery, it will take 15-30 days.

Important! With a viral form of pneumonia, antibiotics will not help, but will only harm the baby. This disease often requires hospitalization because of a severe and unpredictable course.

Treatment with folk remedies

Recipes of alternative medicine can be used in pneumonia only as an auxiliary therapy, to accelerate sputum and recovery process, strengthen the defenses of the body.

Simple recipes:

  1. Pour 200 ml of boiling water 1 tbsp. l. chopped nettle, simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Drink 50 ml three times a day.
  2. Inhalations with soda, alkaline mineral water - suitable for treatment of children older than 5 years, can be used only at normal temperature.
  3. Honey massage of the chest and back - the method is safe for children over six months, helps to get rid of sputum faster.
  4. Mix in equal parts propolis and unsalted butter, give the baby for 0.5 h. l. an hour before meals three times a day.
  5. Compress on the chest of warm cottage cheese. Apply it better at night.

One of the best tools for treating pneumonia is laughter, when the child laughs, intensive ventilation of the lungs occurs, sputum outflow improves. It is useful to inflate balloons, this is the prevention of stagnation in the respiratory system.

Complications and consequences

Against the backdrop of pneumonia, complications can occur. They develop more often with improper or untimely treatment.

Danger of pneumonia and what consequences may occur:

  • pleurisy - in the lungs begins to accumulate pus and fluid;
  • sepsis;
  • meningitis, encephalitis;
  • articular arthritis (more often with viral lesions);
  • exacerbation of bronchial asthma;
  • heart, kidney disease;
  • On a background of long reception of antibiotics there is a candidiasis, a dysbacteriosis, there are strong allergic reactions.

Important! In young children with severe pneumonia, there is often a brief respiratory arrest. Apnea becomes the cause of oxygen starvation of the body.

Inflammation of the lungs is a common disease, in children it is more severe than in adults. If there are signs of pneumonia, it is necessary to visit a doctor, after diagnosis and cause, the specialist will make an adequate scheme of treatment.