Pollution, changing weather making kids below 5 vulnerable to pneumonia

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Due to increasing pollution, the amount of people reaching hospitals complaining of difficulty in breathing has increased by about 15 per cent.

Vaishnavi, a resident of Noida’s Sector 93, said that her 7-year-old son has been sick with cold, and faces difficulty in breathing since the past few months. She added that they visited several doctors who prescribed different medicines but to no avail.

Children are falling prey to pneumonia due to increase in cold and pollution. Those who have not been vaccinated are at a greater risk of falling ill.

Pediatrician Dr D.K. Gupta said that children suffering from pneumonia are being admitted in the OPD and that identification of its symptoms in time can ensure treatment to save them.

Gupta said that children need special care in the winter season as they are at a larger risk of pneumonia.

He suggested that some preventive measures that can be taken to ensure children’s safety are to keep them fully clothed and to keep their ears covered to protect them from cold.

He added that wheezing in the chest can be a sign of pneumonia in children.

Most children below the age of five face difficulty in breathing and drinking milk due to pneumonia.

They are susceptible to various other problems like fever, ear infection, diarrhoea and measles which is a highly contagious disease caused by measles virus.

Vaccination is highly effective in preventing measles.

Droplets spread in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. When a healthy person breathes them in, they become infected.

Regular vaccination of children was affected during the pandemic which resulted in their course of vaccine remaining uncompleted.

Lung infection is caused by bacteria, virus and fungal infection. Cold, on the other hand, is a type of allergy, which results in a runny nose and mucus in the throat.

Vaccines like Pneumococcal vaccine, PCV 13, Haemophilus influenzae type B, can protect the children from bacterial pneumonia.

Washing hands regularly with soap or handwash, avoiding direct contact with infected people, covering the face with elbow while sneezing prevents catching pneumonia.

Symptoms of pneumonia

Chest pain, especially while breathing or coughing

Cough that produces phlegm or mucus; of yellow, green or blood red colour

Excessive fatigue

Loss of appetite

Fever

sweating and chills

Nausea and vomiting

–IANS<br>pkt/fs/dpb

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