Sunday, April 24, 2011

Child Health Promotion: Respiratory Problems in Children

Children hold the future. They should therefore be properly nurtured and cared for to encourage the promotion of their growth mentally, emotionally, and physically. Children should also be protected from illness - their health is a priceless commodity. Unfortunately, it is difficult to protect children from disease because their immune systems have not quite matured. 
Compared to adults, children are more prone to infectious diseases; this is why vaccinations are started at an early age. Of the many infectious diseases, respiratory infections are one of the most common infections in children. In fact, one out of five deaths in children ages five and below is brought about by acute infections of the lower respiratory tract. 
Respiratory problems are a great health burden for children worldwide. Therefore, the importance of promoting the health of children to protect them from respiratory disease cannot be overemphasized. 
Pneumonia is an infection of the respiratory tract that affects about one-hundred fifty million children aged five and below. Pneumonia involves the lower respiratory tract, including the alveoli (the air sacs responsible for air exchange). The air sacs become inflamed, compromising air exchange. This can cause great difficulty in breathing, eventually leading to respiratory failure and death. 
Pneumonia may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Children suffering from pneumonia may have fever, weakness, or loss of appetite. They may also have difficulty in breathing, retractions, flaring of the nostrils, and abnormal lung sounds. 
The management of pneumonia is focused on providing comfort and symptomatic relief while treating the cause. Oxygenation or even intubation may be necessary; antibiotics may be used if pneumonia is due to bacteria. 

*This article was written by Stefanie dela Cruz and edited by Alma Jones, a doctor writing about common medical conditions. Alma is also promoting discounts online, such as ix web hosting coupons and gotomeeting coupons.

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