Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is common in childhood. Viruses account for most cases of CAP during the first two years of life. After this period, bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae become more frequent. CAP symptoms are nonspecific in younger infants, but cough and tachypnea are usually present in older children. Chest x-ray is useful for confirming the diagnosis. Most children can be managed empirically with oral antibiotics as outpatients without specific laboratory investigations. Those with severe infections or with persistent or worsening symptoms need more intensive investigations and may need admission to hospital. The choice and dosage of antibiotics should be based on the age of the patient, severity of the pneumonia and knowledge of local antimicrobial resistance patterns. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends the use of the heptavalent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine, which is efficacious in reducing chest x-ray positive pneumonia by up to 20%.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health