A Works Progress Administration poster describes pneumonia as a huge man-eating shark that is led by its pilot fish, the common cold. This is a very apt description as pneumonia can assume the proportion of a monster shark, sometimes far more scarier. And it is also a fact that in a majority of cases the common cold is the most likely cause. This dreaded disease was first described by Hippocrates who called pneumonia a disease “named by ancients”. Pneumonia is a major cause of death in low-income countries and according to the World Health Organization, pneumonia causes the death of one in three new born infants. Effective treatment is hindered by the fact that there is relatively very low awareness of this disease. So, in most cases by the time people seek medical help, the disease would have taken root. To counter this lack of awareness, November 2 has been declared as World Pneumonia Day so that policy makers and concerned people can formulate strategies against this disease. This disease is very common among kids and so it is very necessary that the parents and guardians familiarize themselves with pneumonia. This will not only make them more aware of the disease but it will also help them in taking measures to prevent pneumonia in kids. To know how you can prevent pneumonia in kids read below.
Ways To Prevent Pneumonia In Children
- Teach the kids good hygiene. Ensure that they wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet. Kids should also learn to wash their hands after sneezing and handling any other unhygienic stuff.
- Don’t smoke near kids. Also, keep your kids away from people who are smoking. The tobacco smoke reduces the ability of the lungs to ward off the infection. It can also impair the natural defense system of the body and also heighten the risk of infection by pneumonia.
- Ensure that the kids get all their vaccines timely. It is better to have the kids get a flu vaccination every fall as it reduces the risk of pneumonia. Sometimes, pneumonia can also be caused from flu. The vaccination should start at the age of two months and a booster dose should be given when the kid is 12 to 15 months.
- For children with chronic illnesses like chronic heart and lung disorders it is better to vaccinate them with a flu vaccine. Since kids with chronic illnesses are more prone to pneumonia, they should receive additional vaccines and immune medication.
- If your kids have been exposed to someone with pneumonia then they should be administered with prophylactic antibiotics. However, this must be done only when recommended by the doctor.
- Anti-viral medications are also very good in preventing viral pneumonia.
- Vaccination is recommended for children up to the age of five. It is better to vaccinate your kids if they attend play school or tend to stay out for longer duration.
- A healthy diet is a must in preventing pneumonia in kids. The diet will strengthen their immunity system. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the diet. Purple foods like blueberries, cranberries, eggplant, etc, are especially good as they are rich in antioxidants.
- Sleep is also very important. Ensure that the kids get plenty of sleep.
- Encourage your kids to start exercising. Walking and aerobics are very good in enhancing the lung function. Remember that the healthier your kids are the lesser is the risk of infection by pneumonia.