Coughing in babies and children + ways to treat it
Coughing every now and then does not cause problems and discomfort, but if your child coughs continuously and for several days in a row, it is definitely a concern. In this case, they don’t sleep properly, they don’t eat, and sometimes they can’t even breathe properly. You want to help them in any way you can, but you may not know what to do. This article from the department Child health And the diseases of Dr. Salam will tell you about the different causes of coughing in babies, the causes and how to treat it.
the reason What is coughing in babies?
Coughing is a natural protective reaction in the body that removes any blocking obstructions. Coughing helps clear out any harmful substances such as dust particles and food that have accidentally entered the airways. It also helps to eliminate excessive secretions from the respiratory system such as reflux. When there is secretions with the cough, it is known as a wet cough. Otherwise, the cough is dry.
What is the cause of coughing in babies?
The symptoms your child exhibits can help you determine the cause of the cough. Here are 11 major causes of coughing in babies and toddlers.
It usually starts with a wet cough and turns into a dry cough after the child recovers. Several viruses are responsible for the common cold; One of the most common of them is ryanovirus. Usually, a cough caused by a cold can last for up to two months after the illness is over.
2. Chronic cough
This type of cough is accompanied by loud noise. This cough is severe and completely different from other coughs. The bacterium Bordetella pertussis causes a cough, which can last for days or even months. Toxin production by bacteria can irritate the airways and cause persistent coughing.
3. Babies coughing due to croup or whooping cough
Croup cough has a whooping sound. Different types of croup include viral croup, bacterial croup and spastic croup. The rash usually subsides within a week, and if the treatment is started earlier, it will be resolved faster.
4. Lung or sinus infection
Lung infections lead to phlegm in the lungs and cause a wet cough. Sinus infections also cause a wet cough when infected sinus fluids enter the throat.
A common lung infection in babies and children with bronchitis, where the small airways inside the lungs, called bronchioles, are damaged. The most common cause of bronchitis is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Several viruses and bacteria can cause sinus infections. When infectious secretions pass from the nose to the throat, they tend to irritate the throat and eventually cause a cough.
Cough caused by allergies is usually dry or accompanied by very little phlegm. The child also shows other allergy symptoms such as swelling of the nasal cavity, throat muscles, face, etc.
A common cause of coughing is allergic rhinitis, which occurs when a child is exposed to potential airborne allergens such as dust, particulate matter, and pet dander.
6. Babies coughing due to asthma
It is a dry cough with wheezing and heavy breathing, characterized by nasal flaking, excessive abdominal movement, and other things. Coughing caused by asthma usually occurs at night.
Asthma is a genetic disease that can be caused by several different factors including allergies such as airborne particles and dust, chemicals, stress and even cold weather.
This condition is often lifelong, as there is no cure for it. However, it can be easily controlled with medication and its progression can be prevented by avoiding exposure to aggravating factors.
7. Gastric reflux
Cough from this can be wet, but not contain phlegm or mucus. Instead, when a baby coughs, small amounts of stomach contents, such as milk, are expelled from the mouth.
Coughing occurs due to gastrointestinal reflux, when stomach acid enters the esophagus as a steroid sphincter and reaches the throat.
A child with gastrointestinal disease (GERD) exhibits other symptoms such as wet belches and wet hiccups.
8. Coughing of babies due to cystic fibrosis
A persistent wet or dry cough, which can expel a lot of mucus from the lungs. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that causes thick mucus to form in the lungs that the body is unable to clear. Mucus becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, thus making the child susceptible to lung infections. There is no cure for CF, but modern medicine helps people with CF lead normal, problem-free lives.
This condition is a sudden cough that usually occurs when eating and drinking food and is caused when food enters the airway instead of the food pipe. In such cases, the baby or toddler coughs.
The risk is usually greater when solids are ingested, as they can lodge in the airway and easily obstruct breathing. Babies cause aspiration by placing a foreign object such as a toy in their mouth.
Preexisting conditions, such as congenital malformations of the skull bones and GERD, can make a child more susceptible to this disease.
Babies who are overjoyed for any reason cause coughing and burning when saliva rushes into their throat.
10. Congenital heart and respiratory problems
A dry cough can be a sign of heart disease, while a wet cough is usually the result of respiratory problems. In both cases, the child shows other symptoms such as fatigue and lack of appetite, to which cough is added.
Cough is often an obvious external sign of congenital heart and respiratory problems that manifests itself when the child is physically active.
Trachomalacia is a disease in which the trachea (windpipe) is partially or completely blocked, making it difficult for air to pass through. This is a congenital breathing problem that can lead to coughing.
A cough can often be a sign of heart failure in children with heart defects, so the child needs an emergency medical visit.
11. Habitual cough
These types of coughs are dry and usually do not have signs of discomfort or other symptoms. In this case, the baby/toddler is healthy and normal.
Toddlers who live in a dusty environment may cough a lot. They may continue to cough even when they are not exposed to environmental factors.
A sign of a normal cough is that the child does not cough when doing something like playing. Also, he does not cough during sleep and does not seem to suffer from coughing.
A cough is often a noticeable symptom of one of the conditions listed above. In some cases it may be prominent and ignored by parents. However, remember that in some situations, a baby or toddler who coughs needs immediate medical attention.
When should we see a doctor for a child’s cough?
If there is any of the following symptoms along with the cough, take the child to the doctor:
- Fever, with a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
- Lethargy, lethargy and extreme fatigue
- Cough accompanied by a strange noise or accompanied by a whistling or whistling sound
- The child does not eat properly and loses his appetite
- Cough, accompanied by a lot of green sputum containing red spots or having an unpleasant smell
- The child becomes semi-conscious or lethargic after a bout of coughing
- The child complains of pain in the lungs or chest after coughing. The chest may also feel tender when touched, which may be due to muscle damage or dislocated ribs caused by severe coughing.
- Simple activities such as climbing stairs, running fast, and walking outdoors can cause coughing
- The baby usually vomits after coughing
- The child breathes forcefully during coughing and is unable to produce sound from the mouth.
- The child’s lips turn pink after coughing for a few moments
- The child faints after a severe cough
Based on the cause of the cough, the doctor will suggest the appropriate treatment method.
How is cough in babies treated?
Cough treatment may include one or more of the following options.
- When the cough is caused by some type of bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics is prescribed. The dose of antibiotics can vary based on the disease, the age of the child and the severity of the infection.
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) are also used to relieve cough discomfort and reduce fever.
- Preventive medications are used for chronic conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. These drugs help to reduce the severity of the disease, which will eventually reduce the cough. Medications can also be used to reduce the frequency of acid reflux and eventually stop it in the long term.
- Rest helps with coughs caused by allergies. Rest is also necessary for viral infections, which the immune system must fight on its own without the help of drugs.
- Surgical intervention is necessary in severe conditions such as congenital heart defects, severe gastrointestinal reflux, and brain disorders that can lead to chronic cough.
Always consult your child’s doctor for cough treatment and avoid using over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines for babies.
Can cough medicine OTC give to the child?
Never. Do not give any OTC syrup or pill to an infant or toddler.
The US Food and Drug Administration strongly discourages the use of cough medicines for children under the age of two. This organization also stated that these drugs can affect the child’s health and even cause side effects.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says: The best age to use OTC cough medicine is from the age of four. Instead of using a bottle of cough syrup, try some natural home remedies after consulting your pediatrician. It is better to try to prevent babies from coughing with preventive measures that we will tell you later.
How to prevent babies from coughing?
Preventing coughing in babies means avoiding things that can cause coughing. So, here are some things you can do.
Maintaining proper hygiene:
When a person infected with the virus sneezes or coughs, respiratory diseases are transmitted to others through the air and spread. If someone in the family has a cold or a lung infection, keep your child away from them. Tell them to hold a tissue over their mouth when they sneeze or cough. Wash your hands before touching the baby and baby items to prevent the spread of the virus through touch.
Be aware of cough triggers:
If your baby coughs when exposed to pollutants such as car smoke and dust, prevent the baby from being exposed to them. Some children with asthma should not be exposed to plants that spread pollen, as this may aggravate the cough.
Avoid the risk of airway obstruction:
Babies tend to hold objects in their mouths, which may become lodged in their airways and cause obstruction. Keep the child at home and keep small toys, household items and plastic bags away from him to reduce the risk of coughing from aspiration.
Medicines must be used on time:
Taking medicine on time is the best way to prevent cough caused by genetic diseases such as Asthma And Cystic fibrosis is created To prevent coughs caused by irritants, always use medicine on time.
Watch out for severe symptoms:
Some causes of cough, such as heart disease, can be deep-seated and difficult to eliminate unless the child’s condition has been diagnosed in the past. Be aware of strange symptoms with cough and inform your doctor as soon as you see them.
While coughs are often benign, they are cause for concern when they last for a long time or are accompanied by other symptoms. If you feel that something seems unusual in your child’s cough, definitely show him to a specialist doctor. Early diagnosis and initiation of treatment can play an important role in the successful treatment and management of several serious diseases that can cause cough.
Source: Dr. Salam