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How to Care for Toddlers With Pneumonia

by
author image Melissa McNamara
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
How to Care for Toddlers With Pneumonia
Rest is important for toddlers with pneumonia. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Contact your toddler’s pediatrician immediately if you suspect he has pneumonia. Pneumonia symptoms include fever, cough, chills, rapid breathing, nasal flaring, chest pain, wheezing and nasal congestion. In severe cases, your toddler’s fingernails and lips may turn a bluish gray color. Toddlers will appear limp and pale, and they may cry more than usual. Once your toddler is home from the doctor, take certain measures to ensure that your toddler’s recovery is as comfortable as possible.

Step 1

Administer antibiotics on schedule and exactly as prescribed by your toddler’s pediatrician. Viral pneumonia will not respond to antibiotics, but it’s difficult to tell whether pneumonia is viral or bacterial, so doctors typically prescribe antibiotics. Your child’s pediatrician may need to try more than one antibiotic to find the correct medication for treating your toddler’s type of pneumonia.

Step 2

Increase the amount of fluids your toddler drinks to prevent dehydration. Water is the best option, but juice can help as well. A warm broth can help loosen your child’s cough.

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Step 3

Keep your toddler home from daycare or preschool until the fever has disappeared and she is no longer coughing up mucus. Consult with your toddler’s pediatrician before sending her back to daycare or preschool.

Step 4

Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce your toddler’s fever. Check with your toddler’s pediatrician for proper dosage instructions. Go to the emergency room if your toddler acts confused, has difficulty breathing, has blue lips or has a high fever that’s not responding to ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

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References

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