Bronchitis and Pneumonia by benbenzhou


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									                                            Fact Sheets for Families

                  Bronchitis and Pneumonia
Children in child care settings are often sick with upper     bacteria, in which case antibiotics are the treatment of
respiratory infections. The rates of these infections are     choice. When pneumonia is caused by bacteria, an in-
higher in the winter months, although they can occur          fected child usually becomes sick relatively quickly and
any time of the year. Some side effects of upper respi-       experiences the sudden onset of high fever and rapid
ratory infections, such as colds or flu, are bronchitis        breathing When these infections are caused by a virus,
and pneumonia.                                                such as RSV, adenovirous, or influenza, antibiotics will
                                                              not help and most often the infection will have to run its
What is the difference between                                course. Bronchitis and pneumonia both require the care
bronchitis and pneumonia?                                                     and supervision of a health care profes-
Bronchitis is most often a bacterial or                                          sional, as children with pneumonia
viral infection that causes swelling                                                can become sick enough to require
of the tubes (bronchioles) leading                                                    hospitalization.
to the lungs. Pneumonia is an
acute or chronic disease marked                                                      When can children
by inflammation of the lungs and                                                      return to child care?
is caused by viruses, bacteria,                                                       With treatment, most types of
other organisms and sometimes                                                         bacterial pneumonia can be
by physical or chemical irritants.                                                    cured within 1 to 2 weeks. Viral
A diagnosis of “double pneumo-                                                        pneumonia may last longer. Chil-
nia” means both lungs have been                                                       dren recovering from bronchitis
affected. “Walking pneumonia”                                                         or pneumonia can return to the
means that the illness is not serious                                                 child care program provided
enough to require hospitalization                                                     they are feeling well enough to
of the child or adult; it is generally                                               participate, are free of fever, and
caused by a germ called mycoplasma.                                               have been seen by a health care pro-
The symptoms of bronchitis and pneu-                                           fessional. Bronchitis and pneumonia are
monia are similar and may include fever,                                   not directly contagious, but the germ that
headache, cough that brings up thick green or yellow          caused the original cold or upper respiratory infection
mucus, chills, looking ill and tired, fast, noisy, or diffi-   may be. This is why some children (and staff) in a child
culty breathing, wheezing, tightness or pain in the chest.    care setting may get very sick from the same respiratory
Pneumonia that is deep in the lungs may also cause            germ, others just get mildly ill and still others don’t get
abdominal pain and vomiting. Any child, especially            ill at all.
young infants, with these symptoms should be seen by
a health care provider.                                       Can bronchitis and pneumonia
                                                              be prevented?
How serious are bronchitis                                    Upper respiratory infections that could lead to bronchi-
and pneumonia?                                                tis or pneumonia are difficult to totally prevent in child
Both conditions are more serious if a child has a chronic     care settings. Reducing exposure to colds and flu by
health condition or if the condition is caused by a           frequent hand washing and environmental cleanliness
                                                              and sanitation are the first and most important line of
        Provided by California Childcare Health Program       defense. Childhood immunizations such as Hib, acel-
        For more information, please contact:                 lular pertussis (the aP in DTaP), Pneumococcal conjugate
        Healthline 1-800-333-3212
                                                              vaccine (PCV), and influenza vaccine (especially for
        Distributed by:                                       staff) can provide some protection against pneumonia.
                                                              Getting plenty of rest and fresh air, eating healthy foods,
                                                              exercising and avoiding secondhand smoke will also
                                                              keep young bodies strong.

                                                                                                              Rev. 10/07

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