Bronchopneumonia in Children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Question: How do I treat bronchopneumonia on a 3 year old toddler? How does gas stove or heater affect a child who is diagnosed with bronchopneumonia? Can you tell me causes, treatment and management of bronchopneumonia in children?

Answer: Bronchopneumonia is caused due to the inflammation of the lungs. It is one of the most serious infections in children. The disease assumes alarming proportion if both the lungs are affected. Great care has to be taken if the patient suffers from bronchopneumonia; if it is left untreated the outcome may be fatal.

Causes of Bronchopneumonia In Toddlers

  • Bacterial: especially pneumococci, staphylococci, heamophilus influenza, Chlamydia etc.
  • Viral: influenza virus, adenovirus
  • Fungus: candida, histoplasma
  • Protozoa
  • Chemical: accidental inhalation of hydrocarbons like kerosene, etc, food or gastric content. Noxious gases in gas stove or heater can make the disease worse, and therefore they should be kept away from the fumes.

Many times children consume accidentally kerosene, thinking it to be water, which may be the result of pneumonia.

Symptoms of Bronchopneumonia in Children

  • Cough with yellow or green mucus
  • High grade fever
  • Pain in the chest
  • Breathlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sick looking child

Investigation: X-ray chest, complete blood count, ESR.

Treatment of Bronchopneumonia in Babies

  • Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor should be taken regularly as advised.
    This is the first line of treatment in bronchopneumonia.
  • Along with the above treatment additionally proper food supplementation, hydration by giving adequate water, vegetable juices made up of carrot, and spinach can be given.
  • Pneumococcal vactionation is advised in children.