Those most at risk for pneumonia include infants and young children. 1
Major risk factors for pneumonia in children include lack of exclusive breastfeeding (during the first 4 months of life), malnutrition, low birth weight and indoor air pollution. 2
The risk of pneumonia can be reduced by: 3-4
- Covering the mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
- Hand hygiene
- Providing a smoke-free environment
- Vaccination, which is the most effective method for prevention of pneumococcal pneumonia
Is pneumonia particularly prevalent in young children?
In 2013, the World Health Organization estimated 935,000 children under 5 years of age died from pneumonia, accounting for 15% of deaths in children of the same age group. 5
Pneumonia is particularly prevalent in the developing world, with 151 million episodes per year (as collected during the pre-conjugated vaccine era), accounting for more than 95% of all new cases worldwide. 6
- NHS Choices. Pneumonia. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pneumonia/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Last accessed June 2015.
- Rudan I, et al. Epidemiology and etiology of childhood pneumonia. Bull World Health Organ 2008; 86: 408–16
- WHO, UNICEF. Global action plan for prevention and control of pneumonia (GAPP). 2009. Available at: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2009/WHO_FCH_CAH_NCH_09.04_eng.pdf?ua=1. Last accessed June 2015.
- CDC. Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette in Healthcare Settings. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/resphygiene.htm. Last accessed June 2015.
- WHO. Pneumonia Fact Sheet No 331. 2014. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs331/en/ [Last accessed: June 2015].
- Rudan I, et.al. Epidemiology and etiology of childhood pneumonia. Bull World Health Organ 2008; 86: 408–16.