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When to worry about pneumonia

Hi, first time mom, here.  Twin girls - aged one year and two weeks.  Well, I've got a KILLER head cold.  So far it's lasted four days and I don't think it will be done for another four.  I tried tried tried not to get the babies sick, but my littler one definitely has it now.  If anyone has tips on how to make life more comfortable for her, I'm all ears (if she is feeling anything like I feel, it must be AWFUL for her).  But my main concern is pneumonia... how common is it and how do you avoid it?  Since yesterday she's been breathing through a lot of phlem, and starting this morning, she can't breathe without sounding like a cat purring.  You can feel the vibration in her lungs... it's definitely in her lungs.  She's acting pretty active given that she has a cold, still trying to walk and talk and the like, and I've been giving her a half a teaspoon of children's robitussin every six hours per the pediatrician (which I'm also wary about... it says don't give it to a child younger than SIX)... but I figured the doc must know.  She's coughing a lot, but only in her sleep.

Is there anything I can do for her, and does it sound like she may be at risk to develop pnemonia?


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
My daughter had pneumonia at a year and a half. Not to scare you but I took her into the ER once I started hearing the rattling in her breathing & I was so glad I did because it got pretty bad & required a hospital stay. I would especially look out for wheezing.

And I'd cut out the Robitussin completely, they are trying to get that crap taken off the shelves because it really does nothing for kids that small.. and especially considering it shouldn't be given to a child under 6. I'd be a little worried about a doctor even recommending that tbh.
Aug. 31st, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
the humidifier will definitely help...no cold medicine, tylenol for a fever
or motrin (for the fever also)
if you think she's breathing funny or are concerned take her to the DR to listen to her lungs
when my daughter was a baby everytime she touched her ear- I had her at the pediatrician checking for an ear infection
(must've been at least a dozen times) she actually had an ear infection once
but, better safe than sorry
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
I go largely by behavior on how sick a kid is. This doesn't mean you get to get comfy because things go down hill, but if she's acting normal, she's handling what she has. If she goes limp and pale on you, it's time to take her in. If she seems to struggle to breathe (not just an occasional cough but difficulty catching her breath after the cough) then don't wait.

They used to give robitussin all the time for kids, it's just in the last year they decided it's not effective. Not bad, just liable to be abused by parents and not necessarily effective.
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
She has a definite rattle in her lungs... it's as if she's breathing through many layers... but it doesn't seem as if it's difficult for her to catch her breath. My pediatrician isn't all that good, anyway. They can't even measure the babies, let alone diagnose something important.
Aug. 31st, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
Yeah... but if she weren't getting enough air, she wouldn't be able to play. She wouldn't want to eat, she wouldn't be interested in walking around. She'd be spending all her energy trying to get that next breath.

When she starts acting limp (which may very well happen). Have her hold her breath (if she's old enough to do that) or wait until she's resting between breaths, if you still hear a rice-crispies popping noise when she is not breathing in or out, that's the sound of pneumonia. Look to see when she breathes in, if her chest collapses inward instead of just getting bigger like normal, that's a sign of airway constriction. But having a bunch of phlegm in her upper airway will make a ton of noise and vibration without actually lowering the amount of air in her lungs.

Steam can help loosen the phlegm in her upper airway and help her cough it out easier.
Aug. 31st, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
when my daughter started to rattle like that (sounded & felt just like a cat), they started her on that machine that they breathe from - you put the mask on her mouth and nose, and I had to put asthma medicine in it. It helps open up the bronchioles. We had to do it every 4 hours around the clock for 3 days.
she was acting sick, but not lethargic. She was about 9 months old. No fever.
Aug. 31st, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Take her to her doctor. It doesn't have to be pneumonia to be nasty. There's all manner of other chest infections that are bloody awful and better treated sooner rather than later. Wheezing, rattly breathing, nasty coloured or very thick phlegm and prolonged bouts of coughing (no matter if it was only during sleep) would all have me heading to a doctor as soon as possible, especially if it sounds like it's down in her lungs.
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
I would take her in to be checked just in case. It will makes you feel better.
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
if you are worried take her in. Better safe than sorry. Also humidifiers are the best thing ever. My son had a mild case of croup and this helped his cough like anything.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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