According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumonia accounts for 15% deaths of children under the age of five years. Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs, filling the air sacs with pus and fluid.
Although pneumonia affects adults as well, it’s more common among children and can be deadly. It’s caused by viruses, bacteria or even fungi. The treatment depends on the cause of the infection.
While there are vaccinations that can protect a baby from catching pneumonia, as a parent, there are things you need to do to protect your loved one or reduce the risk of being infected.
1. Maximum levels of hygiene
Your baby may not have a very strong immune system to resist the infection. You, therefore, have to be very careful while handling them as you can pass the virus or the bacteria to them. Wash your hands regularly with soap before handling your baby. When sneezing or coughing, make sure you cover your mouth.
2. Exclusive breastfeeding
There is a reason as to why moms are advised to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months. The mom’s milk has antibodies that help in fighting against infections in the baby whose immune system is still developing.
3. Keep your baby from sick people
Let them say you are tough but do what you have to do to keep your baby safe. If someone is sick, don’t let them handle your baby. If other kids are sick, don’t let them play with your baby. They might not have pneumonia but they could be having an infection that can trigger pneumonia.
4. Keep baby stuff clean
Whether it’s the pacifier or the feeding bottle, make sure they are well cleaned. Also make sure that your baby doesn’t share things such as utensils, straws, handkerchiefs and such stuff with other people.
The symptoms can vary from child to child and also depending on the causing factor. Some common symptoms include;
Cough with pus
Loss of appetite
Difficulties in breathing
Vomiting and or diarrhoea