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What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia (new-mohn-ya) is an infection in the lungs caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungus. The infection can cause swelling and mucus to build up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. It is one of the most common infections of the lower respiratory tract in children.

What are the signs of pneumonia?

  • cough fever
  • trouble breathing
  • chest pain
  • stomachache or vomiting
  • eating poorly

How should I care for my child?

The doctor may order an antibiotic to fight the infection. It is important to finish all of the medicine.

Encourage extra fluids. This will make the mucus thinner so it can be coughed up and out of the lungs.

Raise the head and chest slightly.

For fever give acetaminophen (Tylenol® or another brand) or ibuprofen (Motrin® or another brand) as directed, every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

When should I call the clinic?

Call the clinic if:

  • vomiting medicine.
  • sleeping more than usual.
  • refusing to drink.
  • fast or noisy breathing.
  • retractions (pulling in of the skin around the neck or between the ribs with each breath).
  • blue or pale color around mouth.


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic.

rev. 5/2018

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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