General

Respiratory tract infections in children

Respiratory tract infections in children

In the preschool period, children have an average of 6-8 times a year respiratory infection, which draws attention to pediatric specialist. Murat Kandemir (*) points out that these infections may cause bronchitis, pneumonia and even heart rheumatism.
What are the most common throat infections in children in winter?
The respiratory system is the most susceptible to infections in children. Respiratory tract infections are the most common infectious diseases of childhood. In the preschool period, a child has an average of 6-8 respiratory infections per year.
The majority of these infections heal on their own, but some types such as bronchiolitis or epiglottitis may be life-threatening. It can occur in different ways; mild and febrile flu, pneumonia can be different infections. Influenza, pharyngitis, pharyngitis, middle ear inflammation and sinusitis are common infections of the upper respiratory tract, while laryngitis, laryngeal inflammation, pseudoparasite, epiglottitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia form infectious diseases of the lower respiratory tract.
The most common of all these conditions is the upper respiratory tract infection, which is described as a throat infection. The two main groups that cause these infections are microorganisms, viruses and bacteria.
What are the factors that cause these infections?
Upper respiratory tract infection or nasopharyngitis is inflammation of the nasal passage and pharynx. The majority of cases start suddenly. It is caused by viral agents. On average, children experience this infection three to eight times a year. Upper respiratory tract infections are 50 percent more common in children in day-care homes and nurseries. Living in smoking environments, nutritional disorders, being in crowded, confined spaces increases the risk and frequency of infection. Transmission usually occurs when the causative agent in the nasal secretions of sick people is passed on to other people. The main forms of contamination are the spreading of these secretions into the air as droplets as a result of coughing or sneezing and settling them in the upper respiratory tract mucosa of other people, or spreading these secretions to the hands of other persons and the outer layer of the nose and eyeball.
What kind of problems do they cause if left untreated?
The main problem and purpose in the diagnosis and treatment of these infections is to differentiate viral nasopharyngitis from bacterial infections. While viral upper respiratory tract infections show spontaneous recovery without treatment, antibiotics should be used for bacterial infections such as streptococcal tonsillitis and sinusitis. If group A beta hemolytic streptococcal infections are not treated, acute rheumatic fever and acute glomerulonephritis may occur, as well as abscess formation in the upper respiratory tract. In addition, if the infected person does not use the effective antibiotic at the appropriate dose and time, it can spread the infection to those around him.
What kind of treatment should be applied?
Inflammation of the nose is the most common infection in childhood, a runny nose and nasal congestion occurs. The most common causative agents are rhinoviruses with more than 100 serotypes, corona viruses and respiratory syncytial virus. These infections often heal by themselves and do not require treatment. Parosetamol ibuprofen is the best treatment agent for severe infection with fever. Antibiotic treatment is not necessary because the agent is viral.
Pharyngitis due to throat pain and burning is also often caused by viruses. There is no need for antibiotic treatment in these infections where adenoviruses, enteroviruses and rhinoviruses are the most common pathogens. Group A beta hemolytic streptococci may also be the causative agent of pharyngitis in older children. Antibiotic treatment should be started if necessary by differentiating with throat culture and some rapid tests (such as Strept A). Tonsillitis is a form of pharyngitis in which inflammation is concentrated in the tonsils and an inflammatory membrane covers the tonsils. Group A beta hemolytic streptococci and epstein barr virus are the most common agents.
Viral and bacterial tonsillitis cannot be separated by examination. Headache, weakness, abdominal pain, the presence of a white membrane on the tonsils and swelling of the lymph nodes suggest a bacterial infection. Therefore, in severe tonsillitis and pharyngitis, it may be necessary to administer an appropriate antibiotic, even if one third of the cases are active bacteria. Although there is no rapid improvement in antibiotic therapy in streptococcal infections, antibiotic treatment should be continued for 10 days to prevent acute rheumatic fever and complete eradication of bacteria in the throat.
What should families take care to protect children from throat infections?
The most important measure of protection is washing of hands. In this way, the secretions of the infected persons are prevented from being transmitted to the entry routes of infection such as mouth, conjunctiva and nose. Again, closing the mouth during coughing and sneezing and the use of paper masks by sick people also eliminates contamination through the droplet. Non-smoking at home and indoors significantly reduces the frequency of infection. It is reported that children who are breastfed have fewer upper respiratory infections.
In repeated group A beta hemolytic streptococcal infections, it is very important to cultivate throat culture in all family members and to detect and treat them if there is a surrogate at home. It is also very important for the child with streptococcal throat infection to use the appropriate dose of antibiotic for 10 days and to apply intramuscular depot penicillin treatment every three weeks if necessary.