6 doctors weighed in:

What are the different signs of bronchitis and pneumonia in toddlers?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Carl Houghton
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Bronchitis is viral

Bacterial bronchitis really nonexistent in kids.
Bronchitis is just a way of saying chest cold. Same virus that causes a cold, but it involves upper airway between lungs & vocal cords. Treated the same way: rest & patience. Pneumonia is also usually viral in kids, but can also be bacterial. Warning signs: prolonged high fever, labored breathing, marked inactivity. Type of cough is unimportant.

In brief: Bronchitis is viral

Bacterial bronchitis really nonexistent in kids.
Bronchitis is just a way of saying chest cold. Same virus that causes a cold, but it involves upper airway between lungs & vocal cords. Treated the same way: rest & patience. Pneumonia is also usually viral in kids, but can also be bacterial. Warning signs: prolonged high fever, labored breathing, marked inactivity. Type of cough is unimportant.
Dr. David Carl Houghton
Dr. David Carl Houghton
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Dr. Tanya Russo
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Lung infections

in children usually involve some of the following: fever, rapid breathing, wet cough, ill appearance, vomiting, poor appetite, decreased activity level, etc.
Bronchitis and pneumonia usually develop several days after normal cold like symptoms.

In brief: Lung infections

in children usually involve some of the following: fever, rapid breathing, wet cough, ill appearance, vomiting, poor appetite, decreased activity level, etc.
Bronchitis and pneumonia usually develop several days after normal cold like symptoms.
Dr. Tanya Russo
Dr. Tanya Russo
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1 comment
Dr. David Carl Houghton
Clarification for patient/family: all current pediatric guidelines discourage antibiotics for "bronchitis", since this is a viral condition in kids (and most adults). Studies have also shown that the type and quantity of mucus isn't usually helpful in differentiating between a cold and bacterial pneumonia. Abnormal breathing is much more important than the type of cough.
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