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Pneumonia in a child (part 2)

FIRST AID

As soon as you notice that the child’s breathing has changed, first ventilate the room; lift the head end of the crib, substituting something under its legs; relax diapers – tight swaddling makes breathing in the chest difficult; with the help of cotton wicks, clear the nasal passages from mucus, this will also facilitate breathing.

If you are feeding a baby from a bottle, reduce each serving by one third, replacing the missing amount with 5% glucose solution (it is sold at a pharmacy with a prescription) or boiled water.

It is useful to make a mustard foot bath. Pour water into a small but deep basin or large saucepan (temperature 38-39 °), dissolve about a dessert spoon of mustard in it, take the child in his arms and lower his legs there to his knees for 5 minutes. Then quickly, so that the legs do not cool, wrap the baby in warm, dry diapers.

Mustard plasters are placed with little children with caution, not forgetting that their skin is very delicate. It’s best to do this: put a piece of soft linen cloth or gauze moistened with warm water on the baby’s back, mustard plaster on it, and a dirt cloth over it. You can keep such a mustard for 5 to 10 minutes, controlling the degree of redness of the skin and the behavior of the child. If the skin turns red and the child becomes restless, mustard plasters must be removed.

Medicines are prescribed by a doctor, and they must be used very carefully: there is no reason to hope that pneumonia in a small child will go away by itself.

If the doctor suggests putting the child in the hospital, do not refuse. Perhaps the baby will need such treatment methods or emergency measures that are not feasible at home. Sometimes hospitalization is necessary to examine and clarify the diagnosis, and this is also vital.

AFTER THE DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL

In a hospital, the child usually stays for a long time, sometimes up to 6 weeks, but even in this case, by the time of discharge, the body’s functions are not fully normalized.

For the final recovery, it is necessary to create a protective regime for the child: to walk with him, gradually increasing the time of walks, very clearly adhere to the feeding schedule, making every effort to ensure that the child receives mother’s milk, carefully protect him from contacts with infectious patients.

A good effect is exerted by stroking massage, breathing exercises. The doctor will show the methodology, he will make other appointments if necessary. If the time has come for a preventive vaccination, the doctor will decide for how long it should be postponed.

It remains to be said once again: an infant who has had pneumonia should be very carefully nursed. Only good care will consolidate the results of treatment, ensure the correct further development of the child, increase the protective forces and, therefore, prevent the development of repeated pneumonia.

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