When should I call the doctor about my child’s pneumonia?

Call 911 or your local ambulance service right away if your child:

  • Is so tired and weak that he hardly responds to you
  • Is working very hard to breathe or finds it hard to take a breath
  • Grunts when he breathes
  • Has a blue or dark purple color to the nail beds, lips or gums.
  • Stops breathing for more than 10 seconds
  • Cannot speak while trying to breathe
  • Has any breathing problem that needs care right away.

Call your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Does not smile or show interest in play for at least a few minutes during a four-hour period
  • Wheezes or breathes harder than he did when he was seen by the doctor.
  • Your baby is unable to breathe and suck at the same time or chokes when he sucks
  • Has a tight feeling in the chest
  • Has chest retractions (skin pulling in around the ribs and chest when breathing)
  • Cannot be calmed for at least a few minutes each hour using methods that usually work for your child, such as holding, rocking, pacifiers or soothing talk
  • Is not better or has a feeling of tiredness and weakness after three days
  • Has a new fever since being seen by the doctor (temperature over 100.3°F)
  • Signs of dehydration (drying out)
  • No urine in six to eight hours in an infant younger than 1 year old
  • No urine in more than eight hours in a child older than 1 year old
  • No tears when crying
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry lips and mouth
  • Bloody saliva, phlegm or mucus

Also call the doctor if:

  • You have any questions or concerns about how your child looks or feels.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.