Pediatricians have observed that 50% of pediatric patients come to the hospital with respiratory infections. Infections in a child's nose, sinuses, throat, respiratory tract, or lungs are called respiratory infections. They are common causes of respiratory problems in children. Many children face respiratory infections due to air pollution.
Children often have a cough and runny nose, which are almost harmless and get better quickly.
Symptoms of viral respiratory infections
Upper respiratory tract infections
Children usually get many of these because they are generally not yet immune to the virus that causes them. In most cases, they will recover on their own.
The common symptoms are
- Runny nose,
- Sore throat,
- Ear pain, or other pains.
Causes: Exposure to respiratory pathogens (viruses) within families, in crowded areas, and daycare centers, Exposure to pollutants, Environmental factors leading to allergies, Genetically, Lack of breastfeeding
Common cold Common colds irritate the nose and throat. This leads to runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and moderate to high fever. Colds are common in children up to the age of 1-6.
Sore Throat Sore throat is when the tonsils swell and turn red with or without white spots. It is found in children between the ages of 4 - 7. Fever, swelling of the glands, and difficulty swallowing are signs of tonsillitis.
Sinusitis Sinusitis is an inflammation of caries called the sinuses. This problem occurs in children over the age of 2 and is characterized by a stuffy nose, runny nose, low-grade fever, cough, sinus pain, headache, and loss of appetite.
Middle ear infections Middle ear infections are an inflammation of the middle ear. It's characterized by ear pain, redness of the eardrum, perforation of the eardrum, fever, vomiting, and vomiting. There may be pus or fluid in the middle ear cavity, depending on the severity.
Lower respiratory tract infections Infections that affect the child's main respiratory tract and lungs are called lower respiratory tract infections. Some of the symptoms are
- Cough and vomiting with cough,
- Dyspnea (rapid breathing, breathing noise),
- Eating and drinking problems due to dyspnea,
- Change in skin color.
Causes: Both viruses and bacteria cause lower respiratory tract infections, Mycoplasma (a bacterial-like organism that lacks cell walls and is resistant to common antibiotics) can also cause typical pneumonia
Symptoms are relatively severe as they appear quickly and may indicate that the infection is bacterial and treated with antibiotics. Diagnosis of Respiratory infections
In general, healthy children with mild upper respiratory tract symptoms should see a Pediatric doctor unless they have breathing problems, do not drink water, or have a fever for more than a day or two. X-rays of the throat and chest can be taken when a child with difficulty breathing, wheezing, or a doctor can hear pulmonary congestion. Blood tests and tests for respiratory secretions are rarely useful.
Prevention for respiratory infections
The best precautions are good hygiene. All people in the family need to wash their hands frequently. Influenza is the only viral respiratory infection that can be prevented by vaccination. All children over 6 months old, like all adults, should be vaccinated annually.
Vaccination is essential for children and adults with certain medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, renal failure, and sickle cell anemia. In addition, children with weakened immunity, such as children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus and those receiving chemotherapy, should be vaccinated.
When to seek a pediatric doctor?
If your child is under the age of 5 and you suspect you may have a respiratory infection, be sure to see a doctor. Older children usually do not need to see a doctor for a mild respiratory infection, but if the symptoms are very severe or last for more than a few weeks, they should see a doctor.
If you want to get an influenza vaccine for your child, or you are worried that you may have a respiratory infection. In that case, Adam and Eve Specialized Medical Centre’s pediatricians will help in your child’s faster recovery. They can usually manage the symptoms of respiratory infections in children. Book an appointment with our pediatricians now.