What is pneumonia in children

Inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia)

Doctors divide pneumonia into bronchopneumonia and lobar pneumonia. If the airways with the adjacent pulmonary connective tissue are affected, one speaks of bronchopneumonia. If, on the other hand, a segment or a flap of the pulmonary connective tissue is attacked, one speaks of segment or lobar pneumonia.

Newborns, infants and toddlers are particularly often affected by the disease because their immune system is not yet fully developed and they are therefore more susceptible to the pathogens. Bronchopneumonia predominates in infants and toddlers. Lobar pneumonia occurs primarily in older toddlers and school children. The individual pathogens also show an affinity for age, which means that some of them are more common in younger children, while others are more common in older children.

It is estimated that up to 2.6 million children under the age of five develop pneumonia annually in developed countries (North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan). About 1.5 million children in this age group have to be hospitalized and 3,000 die as a result of pneumonia. In Germany in 2014 around 45,000 children and adolescents under the age of 15 had to be hospitalized for pneumonia.

Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death in young children worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 156 million children under the age of 5 develop pneumonia every year around the world, 20 million therefore have to be treated in hospital and over 2 million children die from it. In 2014, 31 deaths of children and adolescents under 15 years of age in connection with pneumonia were recorded in Germany.