Pneumonia Symptoms in Children

In cases where a child develops pneumonia, the symptoms will vary. Common signs seen in children include cough, rapid breathing, and fever. You may notice the pneumonia symptoms a couple of days after your child has upper respiratory symptoms, such as a runny nose. If your child's face or lips turn blue, go to the emergency room immediately.

What Are Some Possible Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia in Children?

A child with pneumonia can have a variety of signs and symptoms. These often vary, based on the age of the child and what is causing the infection.
 
The three most common signs or symptoms of pneumonia in children include:
 
  • Fever (it is common, although a child may not have a fever and still be diagnosed with pneumonia)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Cough (usually a dry cough -- sputum is produced in less than half of all cases).
     
Additional pneumonia symptoms in children can include:
 
  • Chest pain when coughing, as well as between episodes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Flaring of the nostrils
  • Tiredness.
     
Your child may also have:
 
Often, pneumonia symptoms will begin a couple of days after a child has upper respiratory symptoms, such as runny nose and congestion.
 

Serious Symptoms and Signs in Children

There are several symptoms that might indicate a more serious infection. You should contact your healthcare provider immediately if your child has any of the following signs:
 
  • Grunting when breathing
  • Blue lips or face (go to the emergency room immediately if this occurs)
  • Rapid or labored breathing.
     
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Pneumonia Information

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