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Jan 03, 2023

Pneumonia & Bronchitis: Protect Your Child


Pneumonia and Bronchitis are two illnesses that can have many harmful effects. Unfortunately, when children contract it, they experience excoriating pain and if gone untreated, there can be grave consequences. It is important to stay informed and understand the signs of these viruses and illnesses to prevent your child from having any long-term consequences.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.

Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere and even though we have amazing healthcare options in our country, our youth is still very much at risk.

The presenting features of viral and bacterial pneumonia are similar. However, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be more numerous than the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia. In children under 5 years of age who have a cough and/or difficulty breathing, with or without fever, pneumonia is diagnosed by the presence of either fast breathing or lower chest wall indrawing where their chest moves in or retracts during inhalation (in a healthy person, the chest expands during inhalation). Wheezing is more common in viral infections.

Pneumonia Transmission

There are several ways Pneumonia can spread. The viruses and bacteria that are commonly found in a child’s nose or throat can infect the lungs if they are inhaled. They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after birth. More research needs to be done on the different pathogens causing pneumonia and the ways they are transmitted, as this is of critical importance for treatment and prevention.

Pneumonia Risk factors

While most healthy children can fight the infection with their natural defenses, children whose immune systems are compromised are at higher risk of developing pneumonia. A child’s immune system may be weakened by malnutrition or undernourishment, especially in infants who are not exclusively breastfed. Pre-existing illnesses, such as symptomatic HIV infections and measles, also increase a child’s risk of contracting pneumonia.

Causes of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is caused by several infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The most common is streptococcus which is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children. Hemophilus influenza is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia, followed by the respiratory syncytial virus which is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.


Pneumonia Prevention

Preventing pneumonia in children is an essential component of a strategy to reduce child mortality. Immunization against Hib, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent pneumonia. Adequate nutrition is key to improving children’s natural defenses, starting with exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. In addition to being effective in preventing pneumonia, it also helps to reduce the length of the illness if a child does become ill. Addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution (by providing affordable clean indoor stoves, for example) and encouraging good hygiene in crowded homes also reduces the number of children who fall ill with pneumonia. In children infected with HIV, the antibiotic cotrimoxazole is given daily to decrease the risk of contracting pneumonia.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

If your child’s symptoms are getting worse if he/she has a fever lasting for a few days, breathing problems, trouble drinking fluids, and new symptoms such as neck stiffness or swollen joints, it is time to call your child’s healthcare provider.

What is Bronchitis?

Now, it’s time to talk about Bronchitis. What is acute bronchitis in children? Bronchitis is an inflammation of the large breathing tubes in the lungs. The illness can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). Acute bronchitis means that the symptoms often develop quickly and don’t last long. Most cases are mild.

What causes acute bronchitis in a child?

Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a viral infection. It may also be caused by bacteria or things such as dust, allergens, strong fumes, or tobacco smoke. In children, the most common cause of acute bronchitis is a virus. The illness may develop after a cold or other viral infection in the nose, mouth, or throat (upper respiratory tract). Such illnesses can spread easily from direct contact with a person who is sick. Children that are more at risk for acute bronchitis are kids that deal with chronic sinusitis, allergies, asthma, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and exposure to secondhand smoke.

How is acute bronchitis diagnosed in a child?

Your child’s healthcare provider can often diagnose acute bronchitis with a health history and physical exam. In some cases, your child may need tests to rule out other health problems, such as pneumonia or asthma. These tests may include chest X-rays, pulse oximetry, or sputum and nasal discharge samples.

How is acute bronchitis treated in a child?

Treatment will vary depending on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. In nearly all cases, antibiotics should not be used to treat acute bronchitis. That’s because most infections are caused by viruses. Even children who have been coughing for longer than 8 to 10 days often don’t need antibiotics.

It is important to talk with your child’s healthcare provider before giving over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to your child. Most experts do not recommend giving medication to children younger than four years old because it may cause harmful side effects. For children between ages four and six, only use over-the-counter products when recommended by your child’s healthcare provider. It is also important to note, not to give aspirin or medicine that contains aspirin to a child younger than age nineteen unless directed by your child’s provider. Taking aspirin can put your child at risk for Reye syndrome. This is a rare but very serious disorder. It most often affects the brain and the liver.


At the end of the day, pneumonia and bronchitis are two nasty illnesses that are brutal to deal with, but very much treatable. If your child finds themselves struggling with either one, self-care is an option, but Chai Care would be your best option for treatment because our incredible staff of trained experts will supply them with quality care while offering top-notch advice on how to stay healthy!

* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.

Nov 15, 2022

Sex, (Prescription) Drugs, And Optional Rock ‘n’ Roll


I’m just going to call out the elephant in the room: Some time ago, and it may have been a while, your mom and dad had unprotected sex.

They may have done it a few times. Naughty!

How do I know? Simple: You exist.

Enjoy Yourself

Human beings are passionate creatures, driven by the pursuit of pleasure and connection. Science can do its best to explain why and how we get these powerful and sometimes uncontrollable feelings but at the end of the day, there is no explanation needed. When you lock eyes with that special someone, flirting and bonding, there is no proper combination of words that can truly describe the feeling.

Whether you like to take things slow or consider yourself to be someone who moves at a quicker pace, there are many different points of view on whether this is healthy or not. The answer is always changing and evolving but that’s only because of how personal physical intimacy is with the specific individual that you are talking to. If you ask me, the more the merrier.

Healthy Sex

Most people will claim that sleeping around is sleazy and even unhealthy. Honestly, these are the same people who have a hard time maintaining a constructive relationship and typically are not great when it comes to the game of love. It’s easier for these people to make rude accusations about others, rather than focusing on their own faults.

It is perfectly healthy to live a sexually active life, and please go ahead and do whatever makes you happy! – however, there are some guidelines you should follow if you want to stay in the game.

First things first, use your head (the one on your shoulders). It’s fun to be bold and live dangerously, but there’s a difference between being spontaneous and making a stupid decision. Situations are hard to read, and every circumstance has its own unique factors, but keep your head on a swivel. When flirting and dating new people whom you don’t know much about, you’re entering a potentially threatening world. This isn’t to say you should be paranoid the whole time, just understand that this person may not be exactly what they are making themselves out to be and could have cruel intentions.

You leave the bar, you’re both on the same page about where the night is heading, and things are beginning to get intimate.

To wear or not wear protection, that is the question. The answer is simple.

No matter what your friend claims to be true and how they “have never had an STD”, just wear one. Do condoms make the experience slightly less enjoyable? Definitely, but the risks are greater than the reward. STDs and unexpected pregnancy can really throw a wrench in your life and this seemingly small risk is not worth a lifetime of regret.

Communication is key when it comes to sex. If you and your partner trust each other and have both been tested for various STIs, have a conversation and as long as you both are on the same page, the choice is yours. Sex is an activity for responsible adults which puts both parties in a situation to make mature choices. If you want to take a risk, be prepared to face any potential consequences.

I would know.

Be Responsible

If you roll the dice enough times, you are eventually going to lose. Unfortunately, my time was up. Let’s just say after what I thought to be a safe and intimate experience, well, I started to feel not well and needed a check-up. Most people would agree with me when I say taking that trip to the urgent care facility, sunglasses on and hat down low is a brutal journey that no one wants to make. After eagerly waiting for my results, I received the unfortunate news that I contracted an STD. Fortunately, it was one that was treatable and after one week I was as good as new.

Now What?

So, what is the moral of the story? In my opinion, it is to use your best judgment. Looking back at that experience there were many red flags I ignored because I had too many cocktails and I didn’t follow my gut. This isn’t to say that the woman I was with is a bad person and knowingly had an STD but believe me when I tell you that there were plenty of conflicts of interest and I should’ve been more responsible and used protection.

Not everyone knows best. In fact, most people don’t which is why you shouldn’t immediately take advice from other people. Be an adult, analyze the situation, and weigh the pros and cons but consider the possibility that things can go sideways. No matter what anyone tells you there is no way to know how things are going to play out so you might as well make the safe play and use protection!

But, if you happened to have taken the risk, the smartest thing you can do next is get tested for STD as thoroughly as you can. It’s a right thing to do, and you deserve respect for doing the right thing. Chances are, you’re perfectly fine, but should the test find something, it would be absolutely essential to have it treated right away.

Chai Care offers discrete, respectful, thorough STD testing service in all our locations. If you find yourself in a situation when STD testing is a wise action to take. just find the Chai Care location near you, check the work hours, walk in and get tested today, without delay. Walk-ins are welcome, and no questions are asked. If you’d like to commit to a certain specific time slot for your STD test, you can also book an appointment at the nearest location.

(Booking an appointment is a purely psychological thing, it’s more for you than for us. We’ll welcome you anytime, even without any appointment, but having an appointment sometimes help your mind to focus on doing what needs to be done.)

* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.