Any child can develop a chest infection, but some children are more likely to be affected than others. Children who are at higher risk of chest infections are also more likely to develop serious symptoms or complications if they fall ill. It is important to know if your child is at risk and to take precautions to prevent chest infections as much as possible.
Chest infections can be more serious in children than in adults. Younger children are particularly at risk of complications if they develop a chest infection and the symptoms tend to be more severe in babies and toddlers. Your child may also be at higher risk from chest infections if he or she was born prematurely or has a condition affecting the heart, lungs or immune system.
You can reduce the chances of catching an infection by getting children to wash their hands regularly, preventing them from coming into contact with people who are coughing or sneezing, and getting all the childhood vaccinations. It can also help to give your child the seasonal flu vaccine as chest infections in children often happen after the flu.
Children with Asthma
If your child has asthma then you should be particularly careful about respiratory infections. Even a simple cold can be enough to trigger asthma symptoms, while a chest infection in a child with asthma can be very serious. The combination of the infection with the asthma can make it more difficult for your child to breathe easily. It is also possible to miss the early symptoms of an asthma attack when you are treating a chest infection in your child as the symptoms can be similar. It is important to take extra care when your child is ill and to see a doctor if you suspect a chest infection.