Monday, August 14, 2006

Day 175 - Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia

Today's First Time Parenting Tip - Watch for the signs and symptoms of pneumonia

My son's had a litte cough for the past couple of days, and on the pediatrician's recommendation, treating it with PediaCare, since there are no other symptoms to go along with it. She said to bring him in if the cough doesn't go away in two days, or there's the possibility he could develop pneumonia.

Which got me thinking...I don't even know what the signs and symptoms of pneumonia are!

The most common symptoms are rapid breathing or breathing problems like shallow breath or coughing, but those could be absent and your infant could still have pneumonia. Fever, abdominal pain and vomiting could be a sign if the infection is in the lower lungs. Other symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • unusually rapid breathing
  • breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds
  • labored breathing that makes a child's rib muscles retract (when muscles under the rib cage or between ribs draw inward with each breath)
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • decreased activity
  • loss of appetite (in older children) or poor feeding (in infants)
  • in extreme cases, bluish or gray color of the lips and fingernails

Call your pediatrician if any of these symptoms pop up, and they'll be able to give you a home treatment. In severe or special cases they may be kept at the hospital.

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