3 Yr Old with Pneumonia

Updated on February 05, 2012
T.C. asks from New Haven, CT
10 answers

Hi Mamas,
We are now going on day 5 of my son having this yucky respiratory virus/ turned pneumonia. He started antibiotics on Wednesday, and his pediatrician also wants him taking albuterol round the clock every 4 hours, which to be honest, doesn't seem to be doing anything. I don't know if the real reason I'm writing this is because I just need support - I am at wits end because my son has been so miserable, clingy, neither of us are sleeping much, and we've been cooped up inside during one of the nicest weeks ever in CT winter... or if I am wondering if you think i should be worried.

I know it has only been a few days of the medicine, but his cough is still so bad and frequent. He just turned 3 and he lacks the ability to cough up anything and refuses to blow his nose. For these reasons, advice that I've gotten that I need to loosen up his chest (steamy bathroom and gently beating on his chest, etc) doesn't seem to help. I am also worried because he's been running a high fever since Monday on & off. Yesterday he went a good part of the day with a low fever and seemed ok, but then in the middle of the night he started burning up again.

In your experience, what should I expect with this type of illness and how long before he's on the mend? Two weeks ago we both caught a stomach virus and he missed a week of preschool (he's goes 2 days a week) and now this is another week missed. For those of you with children who have serious medical issues, I don't know how you do it! I feel so bad for my son and helpless that I can't make him feel better, and at the same time I am getting frustrated. If I have to watch Cars 2 one more time I'm going to lose it!!! Phew I feel better after writing this.....

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So What Happened?

So we did wind up back at the doc's yesterday and they did a chest xray to confirm that it is pneumonia (ahhhh... thought that was already confirmed?) And it is. I asked about the viral / bacterial thing and the doc he saw this time said that because they don't know which one, they give antibiotics just in case. Well that really increased my faith in them. My main concern was that after being on the antibiotics for almost 72 hrs, he got a 104.3 temp yesterday again. I had tried to go to work for a few hrs and left him with my husband, but he called right after I got there. Anyway, they switched his antibiotic and today is the first day that he doesn't have a fever, so I am hopeful that he's making progress. He still feels lousy, coughing alot, and won't eat, but I think he will get better soon.
Thanks all for your stories and advice. Btw, we have gone on a few short walks in the stroller, but for those who recommend the fresh air I just want to say that where we live it is in the 30s. I don't know about you but when I have a bad cough / congestion, the most irritating thing for me is the cold. I know this is a topic of debate but, if it was just a little warmer I'd be getting him outside more. He has been exhausted and mostly staying in bed much of the week. The 2 days that we had spring like weather he was very feverish and in bed. Just curious, would you take your child outside to get fresh air if they were miserable and had a high fever? Does it help with the virus in your opinion? Or better to let them stay in bed and cuddle?

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answers from New York on

If he was diagnosed with Viral Pneumonia, then being on antibiotics wouldn't do any good. If I remember correctly virius' won't respond to antibiotics. I would speak to the dr. again to see if he could spend a short while outside in fresh air. It is hard when they are sick and are confined in side. Good luck!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I would be calling the docs office and have him admitted. We went through this with our granddaughter and within a few hours she was feeling better. She was in an oxygen tent with a humidifier going. She slept deeper and was out in a couple of days.

As for the snot get a snot sucker with a clear bulb on the end. You are going to have to be mean...it feels mean but in fact you are helping them get better much quicker.

I roll the kids up in a blanket to hold them down. Then I plug one nostril up a bit and put the snot sucker on the other nostril. I suction out the snot and get tons of it out. Then I switch nostrils. The plugging up the other nostril helps to get the snot that is in the back of the throat up and out too.

He needs to be in the fresh air. The germs are all over the house and reinfecting him. In the older days...a couple of hundred years ago, docs started learning about germs. They realized that getting the windows open, fresh air circulating, allowing them to go outside even, helps them get over their illness quicker. It is the best thing ever. Of course letting them get chilled or too hot is not good either.

I had pneumonia and was in the hospital when I was just 3. It is one of my very very very first memories, I remember standing in the baby bed and seeing my mom coming up the hallway. I remember getting home and my sister having to baby sit me. We went out on the porch for a few minutes and I started puking up snot. I remember thinking it was snot. I assume is was mucus and puss. I felt so much better after that. I could breathe.

I think if he is still running such a high fever and still has the excess mucus he needs to be where they can suction out his nose and throat if needed and where they can keep him in a moisture rich environment.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter, 5 is just now getting over pneumonia, after two weeks!! I feel your pain, but hang in there. He may need steroids, thats what my daughter ended up having to take, plus the albuterol. Being that he is only three & can't properly cough & blow his nose makes it even more frustrating, i'm sure. Try putting vicks rub on the bottom of his feet at night, covered with socks. & maybe a little on his chest & back to help with the cough. Hope he feels better soon & you both get some rest!! :)

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answers from Raleigh on

Hmmm. I feel for you. My youngest got pneumonia when she was 3,4,5,6 and again at 7!!! 3 if those times it was bad enough that she needed steroids. It's the steroids that really help I think. Her last time her doc sent us to the ER and they ended up saying it was viral, not bacterial, and therefore we didn't get antib's...only neb treatments and steroids. If the antib's were working and he started them Wed, I would expect his fever to be gone. It's a hard call, especially on a Friday! Is the office open on the w/e in case you need to go in? If not, I'd call today and ask if they think steroids would help him.

Sorry he's feelin so miserable. I know how awful it is to deal with, believe me! Good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

Hang in there. I had double pneumonia this time last year. NOT FUN!!!!!!! Because mine was so bad they admitted me and kept me in the hospital for a week. It will take several days for the meds to do anything noticable. The breathing treatments are probably doing more than you realize. I would not beat on his chest but on his back with a cupped hand. If his nose is stuffed up get some sailine droppes or spray and if he wont plow it get a bulb suring and do it like a baby. You sould be able to give him motrin and tylonal for the fever cause you want him comfortable. Just keep in mind once he starts feeling better he may still take a while to get to his normal self cause this takes a lot out of you.

Good luck and God Bless

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answers from Dallas on

I have had pneumonia around 6 times from 3 mos old on. I had it back to back years in high school. It hurts ! Each time took me about 2 weeks to get over. The nebulizer was used the last time I had it. It does help - may not seem like it for a couple of days - but it is doing some good. I would keep up with that but also call the doctor and see if it is bacterial or viral. The fever seems to want to start going down a little bit. It may waiver up and down for a couple of days. Sorry about this mama - it's just something you have to get through :( Get a book and read while he is watching Cars 2. It may save your sanity :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

takes a while, will depend on the kind of Pneumonia he contracted. I had Walking Pneumonia as a kid, I would get it every year. Its started when I was 5, and got it every winter till I was 10ish. If he has viral rather than bacterial, your going to get a lot of productive cough soon, lots of gunk will come up and eventually out. Have tons of tissue. Each time it took almost 2 weeks to get rid off. Antibiotics, and good ole fashion home rest, soups and keeping out of the cold and damp. Maybe get netflix or start going to the thrift stores for new movies.

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answers from Denver on

Hang in there! If the fever is persisting, I'd call the Dr too - to see if he needs to seen again. Only other thought is to get some saline spray and spray lots in his nose, and help get the goop out. He won't like it but it will help a bit since (just like my kids) he won't/can't blow his nose.

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answers from New York on

My son had pneumonia last year when he was 2. His fever was VERY high and he was pretty much passed out. When I took him to the emergency room they have him a shot of antibiotics and also pumped him full of tylenol and motrin to get his fever down. He was feeling better after just a couple days. He really should be feeling better by now assuming it's a bacterial pneumonia. I think you need to speek to him doctor. As far as prevention, run a cool mist humidifier in his room from September - June and on high when he is ill. Also, give him an immuno boast vitamin...we like Lil' Critters. My son had a runny nose for 2 days once since September...we have been very lucky this winter.

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answers from New York on

So sorry about your son and I know how hard it is to be a shut in with a sick child. Between the stomach virus and the pneumonia your son's immune system has been hit by a truck. First of all our immune system starts in the gut so between having the stomach virus and then being on all of the anti-biotics his good, healthy gut flora has been wiped out. I highly recommend giving him high doses of probiotics (break the capsule into some apple sauce--he won't taste it). Don't give him yogurt since it is dairy which will increase mucous and most are high in sugar which bacteria feeds on. Also, the best thing to help build the blood which will build up his body is bone soups. Make a homemade chicken soup using organic chicken and vegetables and put a little apple cider vinegar when you start it (it will pull out more of the nutrients from the bones). Boil it for at least 2 1/2 hours and put fun noodles in it and make it a game when he eats it. It will also help loosen his flem. My almost 4 year old son asks for chicken soup all the time and has been a miracle worker in keeping him strong this winter. Best of luck!

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