Causes child chest infections, choking, kids health
The are caused by germs which are breathed in through the child's nose or mouth. From there,, they pass down through the child's windpipe (trachea) and into her large air passages (her bronchi) and her lungs.
Children are of course exposed to a whole range of germs which they have never met before (particularly) when they first go to playschool or to 'real' school), and they usually have no immunity to these.
Chest infections are common in small children until they have built up their immunity.
Common Infections include acute bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia, though this last infection is less common than it used to be. Tracheitis is an infection of the windpipe, which helps down into the bronchi , the two major air passages of the chest.
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the 'lining' of the child's chest. It often follows other infections.
Tubercular chest infections are fortunately rare nowadays in Western countries but are more commonly seen in babies and children from the Asian community.
Resistance - children vary greatly in their resistance to infection. For instance, if a toddler is extremely fit and healthy, it may well happen that a germ which enters his chest does not cause an infection, and is just killed by the body's defences.
On the other hand, a youngster who is already under the weather, and perhaps suffering from some other medical condition, is all too likely to fall victim to a germ which she breathes in. In particular, it is very common indeed for a child to develop a chest infection immediately after she has had an infection higher up in the air passages. That's why a cold, or a bad bout of catarrh or tonsillitis may be followed by a chest infection.
The main symptoms are cough, soreness in the chest and breathlessness.
Choking is one of the most common accidents among babies and children. If the child can cough, there is less to worry about as obviously some air must be getting through. It is frightening for the child, however, so stay calm yourself. Food and drink which has 'gone down the wrong way' may be coughed back up the nose. This may be painful but it is not dangerous.child chest infections, choking, kids health
If the child does not cough, but gasps, turns red and then greyish or blue while obviously panicking, her airway is blocked and you must act quickly.
Open her mouth and hook your finger around the object or piece of food to see itf you can get it out of her throat. Don't worry if you make her retch, it could help dislodge the obstruction.
To clear a choking baby's throat, lay her across your thigh and give her four light but firm slaps on her back.
If you cannot clear her airway with your finger and the child is under a year old, lie her head down over your knees and on top of your forearm (see illustration). Give her four smart pats between the shoulder blades with the heel of your other hand. If she continues to choke, turn her over and put two or three fingertips on the lower end of her breastbone. Press down quickly and smoothly four times. Repeat the sequence of pats on the back alternating with pressure on the front until the obstruction is dislodged. Be ready to give artificial respiration if breathing stops altogether.child chest infections, choking, kids health
For an older child, apply pressure to the area beneath her ribs with the heel of your hand.
Lie and older child on her back and put the heel of your hand just below her ribcage, above her tummy button (see illustration). Press smartly upward and inward between six and ten times until the object is cleared. If she is still not breathing, give artificial respiration.