Pneumonia and RSV in Children: Can you go to Urgent Care Centers for Treatment?

February 3, 2023 by Alex Gnatko
New-Project-min-min.jpg

Are you worried your child might have pneumonia due to RSV or other persisting viruses? And, where is the best place to bring them for treatment if they do?

You might ask, “if my child has pneumonia, can I take them to an urgent care center? Do they have capabilities for diagnosis and treatments for pneumonia?”

This article will give information about pneumonia, particularly in infants and toddlers who are more at risk. We’ll also discuss how urgent care centers can provide diagnosis and treatments for pneumonia.

What is pneumonia, and what are its symptoms?

The most common symptoms for children infected with these viruses are coughing, trouble breathing, and fever. Children with pneumonia also usually experience fast breathing, or their lower chest may move in or retract when they inhale instead of expanding (just as in a healthy person).

Related article: Does Your Child Have RSV? Here’s What You Need to Know

The most common symptoms for children infected with these viruses are coughing, trouble breathing, and fever. Children with pneumonia also usually experience fast breathing, or their lower chest may move in or retract when they inhale instead of expanding (just as in a healthy person).

Other signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include

  • chills
  • breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds
  • vomiting
  • chest or belly pain
  • being less active
  • loss of appetite (in older children) or inability to feed or drink (in infants and newborns)

Severe symptoms of pneumonia in infants may even include unconsciousness, hypothermia, and convulsions.

If you suspect your child has pneumonia, whether or not they also have RSV or other persisting viruses, bring them to a doctor immediately.

Can I bring my child, who has pneumonia, to an urgent care center?

Emergency rooms are typically the go-to facility for urgent medical situations, such as when a child has trouble breathing or persistent high fever.

However, urgent care centers are the perfect choice for medical matters that are not too complex or life-threatening, especially if you can’t get an appointment with your regular doctor. Urgent care is excellent for treating pneumonia, RSV, and the flu.

Related article: Should I Use Urgent Care or the ER?

If you’re from Lincoln, CA, or Granite Bay, CA, our urgent care center has facilities that provide a diagnosis (such as chest x-ray) and treatments for pneumonia. If you think your child has pneumonia, we encourage you to visit an urgent care center.

Common questions about pneumonia

Is pneumonia contagious?
Pneumonia, in general, is not contagious. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause it can spread to others through the following:

  • Breathing air that has droplets from the coughs and sneezes of someone infected
  • Touching a contaminated object and then touching the mouth or nose.

Who is at risk of getting pneumonia?
Most healthy children are less likely to develop pneumonia from RSV and other viruses. However, children who have the following are more at risk:

  • An immature or weakened immune system
  • Pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma
  • Exposure to indoor air pollution, such as smoke from cooking and cigarettes

Adults 65 years and older, those with existing medical conditions, and those who smoke are at a higher risk of getting infected.

What are the treatments for pneumonia, especially in infants and newborns?
If you think your child has pneumonia, visit your nearest urgent care center or hospital for a proper diagnosis, as treatment for pneumonia depends on what caused the infection.

Bacterial pneumonia is often treated with oral antibiotics; intravenous antibiotics (by vein) are typically given in infants and newborns. Viral pneumonia, however, requires other treatments. Depending on the severity, such as persisting fever or breathing problem, the infected child may need hospitalization. Treatments may include IV antibiotics and breathing treatments. In most severe cases, the child might be brought to an intensive care unit (ICU).

How long does pneumonia last?
With the proper treatment, children with bacterial pneumonia recover in 1–2 weeks, while viral pneumonia may take 4–6 weeks to go away completely.

How can pneumonia be prevented?
You can’t avoid getting infected with bacteria and viruses altogether, but you’re less likely to develop pneumonia from RSV and other viruses through vaccines.

Our urgent care centers provide routine vaccines and annual flu shots if you’re from Lincoln, CA, or Granite Bay, CA (and surrounding areas). Contact us to book an appointment.

You and your children can also help prevent pneumonia by avoiding people who are sick, washing your hands regularly, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces.

lincoln-

Lincoln Urgent Care and Granite Bay Urgent Care are full-service urgent care centers with onsite x-ray and laboratory testing. Our team is dedicated to providing patients with affordable and timely care for their urgent care needs.

Lincoln Urgent Care
77 Lincoln Boulevard Suite 1
Lincoln, CA 95648
Phone: (916) 258-2751
Fax: (916) 258-7172

Granite Bay Urgent Care
5290 Douglas Blvd
Suite 102
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Phone: (916) 570-7265
Fax: (916) 200-2412