The cough reflex expels air and secretions from the lungs with a sudden explosive noise.It clears the mucus and pus from the airways and protects your child from more serious conditions like Pneumonia.
What causes a cough ?
Most coughs are caused by viral infections of the trachea and bronchi. Bacterial infections, asthma, allergies and pollutants may also cause a cough.
What can you do at home ?
- Milk does not need to be eliminated from the diet unless your child is allergic to milk. Never stop breast feeding your child because of a cough.
- Sipping warm liquids help relax the airways and loosen up the mucus. Start with warm lemonade, warm apple juice, and warm water with honey.
- Cough suppressant drugs like Dextromethorphan reduce the cough reflex. Use them only for coughs that interfere with sleep, school and other daily activities. Do consult your doctor before using any medicines.
- Humidifiers are useful as dry air makes coughs worse. Don’t add medication to the water in the humidifier.
- Do not use antihistamines, decongestants, antipyretics without consulting your doctor.
- Children above 4 years old can be given hard candy or cough lozenges. Half a teaspoon of honey also helps.
- Notice all the details of your child’s cough to help find out what is causing it. When does he cough? What does it sound like? Is it dry or wet? What color is the mucus? This information is helpful to your doctor.
What are the signs of a serious problem ?
Call your doctor immediately if your child
- Coughs up blood or has a bad chest pain.
- Has trouble breathing even after clearing the nose.
- Has a high pitched sound when inhaling or starts looking very sick.