Pediatric Pneumonitis

Pediatric Pneumonitis



Pneumonitis occurs when the lung tissue is inflamed – typically due to a virus.

Expanded overview

Pneumonitis is inflammation (swelling) of the tissue of a child’s lungs. The inflammation occurs when an irritant enters the lungs. In most cases, these are inflammatory conditions that are not contagious.

If your child has this condition, it is important that they receive treatment to avoid scarring of the lungs (known as fibrosis), which can result from untreated pneumonitis.


Causes of pneumonitis are varied, and include:

  • Bacteria
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Certain medications that are used to regulate heartbeat
  • Exposure to bird feathers or feces
  • High doses of aspirin
  • History of radiation therapy to the chest or whole body
  • Mold
  • Some chemotherapy drugs


Signs and symptoms of pneumonitis may include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unintentional weight loss

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