Children may find cooler temperatures harmful especially newborns and young children as they have comparatively weaker immunity as other children. Some kids develop respiratory tract infections due to weakened immune systems when they are exposed to very low temperatures. Pneumonia is one of the critical conditions caused due to extreme cold weather and this can even prove to be fatal for kids. This is why parents must make sure that the child is appropriately dressed during winter months. Besides, always cover the baby's head and ears. Read on as Dr. Tushar Parikh, Chief Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune shares more information on pneumonia in kids in the winter season.
Pneumonia in kids in winters
Children are at a higher risk of pneumonia and flu throughout the winter.They begin complaining of the flu and pneumonia as winter wears on. The effects of a cold and cough can linger for a very long period in many youngsters. It is crucial to protect them from the escalating cold in such a circumstance. According to doctors, it is important to not dismiss children's complaints of fever, cough, or cold this season.
Respiratory infections generally start as upper respiratory tract infection which progresses to lower respiratory tract infection . Children, more specifically preterm infants during early years of life have a weakened immune system. They are vulnerable to developing respiratory tract infections. During winter months certain viruses such as RSV and Flu virus are common.
Causes of Pneumonia in Children
Pneumonia is an infection of the lung. It is caused commonly by Viral or bacterial pathogens but rarely by , and other parasitic agents.her microorganism-caused pneumonia can affect children. In most cases, pneumonia arises as a side-effect of an existing illness like respiratory virus infection or flu. Pathogens can enter the lungs through the nose and throat, causing infection in the air sacs. As the infection spreads in the lungs, it affects the respiration process leading to lack of oxygen. In this case, the child might suffer from breathing issues and he/she must be immediately admitted to a hospital.
Young children aged below five years are prone to RSV virus. According to Dr. Parikh, infants who get exposed to secondhand smoke are at a greater risk of developing pneumonia. In winters, the risk doubles up with low temperatures and presence of harmful viruses and bacteria in the air.
Children who have a weak immune system; with breathing or respiratory issues and those living with chronic conditions like asthma are more susceptible to getting pneumonia.
How to prevent and treat pneumonia in children
Pneumonia in children is a major concern throughout the winter months. If the child's cough is chronic there is a higher possibility of catching infection. A sign of pneumonia is difficulty breathing , fever and cough when resting at night. In this situation, therapy should start right away.
In addition, if the kid gets a fever and it persists for more than two days, call the doctor right once. Never administer drugs on your own. Some symptoms in youngsters are occasionally even unknown. Therefore, it might also be an indication of an illness if a youngster complains of a stomach ache or feels less hungry than usual.