Pneumonia results from bacteria or viruses getting into the lungs and multiplying. The illness typically starts as a cold or similar respiratory infection and progresses into pneumonia. Many pneumonia symptoms overlap with other illnesses, sometimes making it difficult to identify for parents. If your child exhibits only one or two of the symptoms, he might not have pneumonia. Several simultaneous symptoms are a more likely indicator of the illness.
A fever is common along with pneumonia. A fever of 102 degrees F or higher is common. Your child might also experience chills during the fever. A bacterial cause for the pneumonia in particular is associated with high fever, in symptoms that come on quickly.
Coughs are another symptom associated with pneumonia. The child might already have a cough from the original illness. The cough can vary from average to severe, depending on the progression of the illness. The AskDrSears website notes that the cough usually sounds “junky,” but that is not always the case. If your child has a persistent cough that doesn’t go away, along with other pneumonia symptoms, call his doctor about the possibility of pneumonia.
Because of the location in the lungs, pneumonia often causes breathing difficulties in children, which can range from minor to severe. Breathing is often rapid over an extended period of time. Your child’s breathing might also be more labored than usual. Wheezing sometimes accompanies pneumonia. In severe cases, pneumonia might result in bluish tones around the lips and fingernails because of the lack of oxygen. Blue coloring in the child is cause to head to the emergency room to ensure oxygen levels are high enough.
The coughing associated with pneumonia might cause your child to vomit. She might also continue vomiting even when she isn’t experiencing severe coughing. Vomiting also signals many different illnesses or health issues, so look for other signs of pneumonia if your child starts vomiting.
Pain is another symptom that accompanies many different medical conditions. Specific pains in childhood pneumonia are chest and abdominal pains. While coughing sometimes causes chest pain, pneumonia can cause continuous chest pain, even when your child isn’t coughing.