Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is caused by bacteria or a virus. The infection causes air pockets in the lungs to fill with fluid.
There are two types of pneumonia; bacterial and viral. Bacterial pneumonia is more serious than viral. The usual symptoms of bacterial pneumonia include a high fever, coughing, chest pain, and trouble breathing. Symptoms can also include vomiting, diarrheal, weakness, and severe fatigue.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia are similar but will usually mimic a cold that slowly progresses to pneumonia.
A child with pneumonia will have fever, chest pain, headache, a bad cough and trouble breathing. If you are concerned that your toddler may have pneumonia, seek medical attention immediately.
The doctor will check your toddler’s lung sounds and perform a chest x-ray which will determine if there is fluid in the lungs. Blood tests will indicate if the pneumonia is viral or bacterial. Viral pneumonia is treated with antiviral medications while bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. In both cases, if your child is having difficulty breathing, the doctor may decide to keep them in the hospital for a few days.
A healthy child will usually recover from pneumonia in 7 to 10 days with no lasting effects.