Home Emergencies: preparadness and response Injury prevention Child protection HIV and AIDS Malaria Hygiene Coughs, colds and more serious illnesses Diarrhoea Immunization Nutrition and growth Breastfeeding Child development and early learning Safe motherhood and newborn health Timing births

The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust

 

Connect

Follow MotherChild on Twitter  Connect with MotherChild on Facebook  Subscribe to HealthPhone on YouTube
Facts for Life

Coughs, colds and more serious illnesses

Supporting Information

2.

Sometimes, coughs are signs of a serious problem. A child who is breathing rapidly or with difficulty might have pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. This is a life-threatening disease. The child needs immediate treatment from a trained health worker, who can also provide a referral to a health facility.

Why it is important - All key messages - Resources

Most coughs, colds, fevers, sore throats and runny noses end without requiring medication. But sometimes a cough and a fever are signs of pneumonia, which needs to be treated by a trained health worker.

If a trained health worker provides antibiotics to treat the pneumonia, it is important to follow the instructions and give the child all the medicine for as long as the instructions say, even if the child seems better.

Many children die of pneumonia at home because their parents or other caregivers do not realize the seriousness of the illness and the need for immediate medical care. Millions of child deaths from pneumonia can be prevented if:

  • parents and other caregivers know that rapid and difficult breathing is a danger sign, requiring urgent medical help
  • parents and other caregivers know where to get medical help
  • medical help and appropriate and low-cost antibiotics are readily available.

The child should be taken immediately to a trained health worker or clinic if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • the child is breathing much more quickly than usual: from birth to 59 days – 60 breaths a minute; 2 months to 12 months – 50 breaths a minute or more; over 12 months to 5 years – 40 breaths a minute or more
  • the child is breathing with difficulty or gasping for air
  • the lower part of the chest sucks in when the child breathes in, or it looks as though the stomach is moving up and down
  • the child has had a cough for more than three weeks
  • the child is unable to breastfeed or drink
  • the child vomits frequently.

Health-care providers have a responsibility to provide parents and other caregivers with this information on the health risks for a child with pneumonia and the preventive steps and treatments to take.


Foreword  •  Purpose  •  Structure  •  Essential Messages  •  Guide for Using Facts for Life   •  Glossary  •  Contact



The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust
a U.S. 501(c)(3) non profit organization
our portals and sites
Another child will die in ....
HealthPhone™
Guide to Child Care
imagine
Community Video
HealthRadio
Kyunki-Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai
Rehydration Project
Successful Breastfeeding
Disaster Relief
Community Radio
AIDS action
Polio Free
Untouchability
Health Education to Villages
Breast Crawl
Education for Girls
A Simple Solution
Diarrhoea: 7 Point Plan
HIV and Breastfeeding
Rights of the Child
Mother and Child Nutrition
Mother and Child Health
Facts for Life
Education for Boys
Child Protector
HealthTube
Ebola Resources