A.H. asks from West Memphis, AR on September 16, 2009
3 Yr Old Pneumonia
My poor baby had RSV @ 2 and now he has pneumonia at 3!!!! He is in a smoke free home, but I want to know what to look out for?! All of this creeps up on us!
K.P. answers from Memphis on September 17, 2009
Sometimes respiratory ailments can be caused or worsened by allergens -- whether in food or your environment. Some people get bad allergies because of dust mites, animal dander, and other stuff that stays in carpet and carpet padding. Many people have gotten relief from removing carpeting and moving to all hard-surface floors (tile, wood floors). You may want to consider this.
Some people also are sensitive to dairy products. My SIL's kids are constantly sick, and end up in the hospital or having to go to the emergency room with breathing difficulties at least a few times every year. I honestly think that they are sensitive to milk, which she makes them drink every day (for calcium, and because it's "healthy," y'know).
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L.W. answers from Nashville on September 17, 2009
Our son was the same way. He got RSV at two, he's now 5, and still battles colds and they often turn into pneumonia or bronchitis. Unfortunately, RSV weakens the lungs somehow. It makes some kids have difficulty fighting off common colds. I have a friend whose daughter has some real problems because she got RSV as a young infant. Be lucky he was two. Allergies could worsen the problem. My son has seasonal allergies and was on singulair for a while, which I would not recommend. Milk and dairy products ARE healthy for your kids, as long as they're not allergic, which isn't necessarily the case. You could ask your pediatrician to run allergy tests and try to remove anything that's making it worse. What has worked a little for us is using humidifiers with colds, because it keeps breathing passages flowing a little better for my son. I don't like putting him on lots of meds, and lots of doctors try to do that rather than finding the cause. But once again, the cause might just be a little bit of weakened lung function because of the RSV. The good news is that this supposedly often wears off as kids grow up. Good luck to you. I feel for you. It is tough when the little guys are so sick, and they do become sick with pneumonia. But also realize that it is not as uncommon as many think. That (among many other reasons)is one of the reasons that so many kids used to die at such young ages. Now there are drugs that can treat them. Thank God for modern medicine!
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J.T. answers from Louisville on September 17, 2009
I'm so sorry...does he still get the injection each season against RSV?? My son rec'd it because he was born with cardiac problems that caused his lungs to fill with fluid 45 min after he was born. The Pediatrician's felt it would jeapardize his lung health later in life. We rec'd the injections until his cardiologist said not to. As for pneumonia...this is either a virus or bacteria...there's really nothing to look for. Teach him as best you can how to wash his hands properly and if you know someone is coming to your house who has been sick or sneezing and coughing, ask them to leave or keep your son in another room. I'm not big on disinfecting everything he touches because this is how a child's immune system is built, by being introduced to small amounts of germs. Does he have asthma or other breathing problems? If so, you should speak to your doctor, if not I would still speak to them about a pneumonia vaccine...I can't remember the age off the top of my head but even you can look it up at www.cdc.gov We generally push them for people with other health issues and those over 65 yrs of age. Washing hands and covering the mouth with tissues when coughing or sneezing is the best thing to do. I wish you the best and my consider that flu vaccine each year too!!! My son gets one every year along with the rest of the family, mom's a nurse and sisters tend to bring things home from school. Take care and hope he feels better soon!! Remember to hydrate, esp with apple juice if he likes it!
J.W. answers from Lexington on September 17, 2009
My child repeatedly got pneumonia and once even got a contagious form of pleurisy. She'd had allergies with repeated ear infections starting at 1 year old. Later, asthma got added to her list of ailments. What I didn't know was that probiotics fiven before the age of 5 might have cut down on some of that. And it turned out that not only did she have the usual allergies to dust, mold, pollens, but she had sensitivities to foods, especially gluten. Also confounding the whole issue of her immune system was that she didn't sleep well.
All these issues have to be addressed. She needed better sleep, change in diet, probiotics, treated for candida, shored up her immune system - lots of nutritional supplements. She no longer consumes gluten, dairy, soy or eggs.
As weird as this may sound, a lot of what I learned came from parents dealing with the biological aspects of autism. They are way ahead in the immune system game. A great book is by Kenneth Bock dealing with the epidemic of allergies, autism, adhd, and asthma. He could've added childhood bipolar to the list, as well as gut issues, and repeated lung infections.
L.H. answers from Memphis on September 17, 2009
My granddaughter had RSV when she was 14 days old. We had a smoke free home too. We washed our hands before we picked her up and again after we put her down. We washer everything tables, counters etc.with sanitizer everyday.We would not let anyone who had a cold,a cough or sneezing in the house. We had to tell everyone how important it is for the baby to stay away from germs.Keep the temperature at the same temp. all of the time.Not too hot or too cold.As the Dr. about a good vitamin and vit. c is great. Certain pets like cats could cause the sneezing and coughing. If you have pets that shed, brush them everyday and vacuum everyday.Certain scents will add to the problem, breathing.Hope this helps.
A.C. answers from Charlotte on September 17, 2009
I know exactly what you are going through. My oldest son had RSV at 7 weeks old and then got it again at 18 months. Every year after that he found his way into the hospital with some sort of respiratory illness or pneumonia. Our pediatrician told us that children who get RSV will have weaker immune systems until they get older. He told me to expect my son to have a strong immune system around the age of 5. Needless to say, the doctor was right. Since he turned 5 years old, knock on wood, not one single hospitalization and only minor illnesses like colds, and stomach viruses. I would suggest that your little one get the flu shot every year which your pediatrician will recommend anyway. I found that if I kept my son in and away from public areas as much as possible he did better until I had to put him in daycare. If your son is in daycare try to find an alternative child care - such as a in home baby sitter. If you are a SAHM then keep him home as much as possible. They say this year's flu season is going to be bad expecially with the swine flu. You and your husband need to get vaccinated too. The swine flu is hitting young children and young adults hard. You know that flu can turn into pneumonia so if your son is already susceptible to pneumonia he's at greater risk if he gets the flu. Keep him indoors away from the public as much as possible. You may get cabin fever during cold and flu season but it's worth it to keep your little one healthy. If you go to church keep hand sanitizer in your purse so that he can use it. I make my son use it after we shake everyones' hands and on the way home. But really he's got a weak immune system from the RSV and will have to grow out of this.