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.


  1. B said:

    My elder son is 39 months old. He weighs 13-14 kg and has broncho pneumonia since he was 18 months old. I have given vaccination for pneumonia at the age of 2 yrs. My son wheezes very frequently. It was very severe during 18 months -26 months. Allergic test have been done for food panel. The report shows allergy for Egg, wheat, milk, dust. I have stopped giving him milk and wheat related products.
    I would like to know what other food I can give to my son (like vegetables, fruits) so that he can gain weight & become healthy?
    I need a proper diet for him and home remedies for protection from pneumonia.

    October 22, 2010
    • PUP said:

      Give food preparations containing fats and other cereals like rice, corns, pulses and beans and avoid white flour. You can try to give him wheat preparations in between to test if he is still allergic, because as he will grow his body immunity will increase and perhaps he will be able to digest wheat and its products.
      Improve his immunity by giving lemon juice, carrot juice etc as they contain vital vitamins and anti-oxidants which take care of harmful free radicals.

      October 26, 2010
  2. S R said:

    Hi, my 4, 1/2 yr old son started falling ill 3 days ago, our Doctor diagnosed him early today with having Bronchopneumonia, he was running around fit and healthy before 3 days ago, I am curious to know how long Bronchopneumonia may have been lingering in his body before the symptoms started? And how long does it take for it to develop in the child once symptoms begin.

    November 22, 2010
  3. KS said:

    My sister has a 15 month old daughter. She got bronchopneumonia primary infection and cyst on her neck. What treatment can be given to her?

    January 30, 2013
    • PUP said:

      Bronchopneumonia in infants and children can become a serious illness, if treatment is neglected. The child needs to be treated with antibiotics. It is prescribed by the doctor. Early treatment gives promising results. The child should be adequately hydrated. Give her enough fluids and water. This will help to liquefy the mucus in the lungs and allow it to come out. The swelling on her neck may require a clinical examination as there are several causes for such swelling. After examining the swelling your doctor may advice the necessary treatment.

      January 30, 2013

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