To help prevent pneumonia:

  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines are available to prevent some types of pneumonia and the flu. Talk with your doctor about getting these shots.
  • Make sure children get vaccinated. Doctors recommend a different pneumonia vaccine for children younger than age 2 and for children ages 2 to 5 years who are at particular risk of pneumococcal disease. Children who attend a group child care center should also get the vaccine. Doctors also recommend flu shots for children older than 6 months.
  • Practice good hygiene. To protect yourself against respiratory infections that sometimes lead to pneumonia, wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking damages your lungs' natural defenses against respiratory infections.
  • Keep your immune system strong. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
March 14, 2015