Cough Relief

How To Provide Cough Relief In Children

All children at some point get sick and most of then will need a safe form of cough relief.  Although a cough may sound bad enough to cause you to worry, most times a cough sounds worse than it is.  Coughing is actually your child's body causing a form of reflex to protect their chest and throat.  It is important to understand what kind of cough your child has to determine what kind of cough relief they need.

The croup is a cough that many mothers become familiar with.  It sounds like a bark due to the upper part of your child's airway being swelled.  This cough can be from a virus but it is also very common to be caused by allergies.  If your child is under three years old, needing cough relief from the croup, this is common because their windpipes are still so very narrow.

The whooping cough is most common in infants under one year old who did not receive the pertussis vaccine.  This cough is due to an infection in your child's airways that is caused by bacteria.  This infection is extremely contagious and they should not be around other children if they are infected.

Your child may need cough relief from a cough caused by wheezing.  This often is due to asthma or a viral infection such as bronchitis.  Many coughs tend to get much worse at night, especially if your child has a cold or asthma.  However, if the cough is due to allergies then they could suffer more during the day when they around affecting elements.  It is important to know also that many children vomit when they cough due to a gag reflex.  This is not necessarily a cause for alarm unless the vomiting persists.

Your child does not automatically need medicine for cough relief.  Turning the hot shower on and shutting your bathroom door will form a steam room.  Sitting in the bathroom for about 20 to 30 minutes with your child allowing them to breathe in the steam will often offer immediate cough relief.  You can even take this time to read them their favorite book.  A cool mist humidifier in their bedroom is often helpful as well.  Juice or cold water can be soothing to them but avoid orange juice or soda, both can irritate the throat and make the cough worse.  If you can't seem to offer cough relief for you child or symptoms get worse you should consult your doctor.  Some signs to watch out for is if your child is having a hard time breathing, has a blue color to the face, lips or tongue, has a high fever or has wheezing when breathing out.  If it is an infant under three months old that has been coughing for more than a few hours or if your child is coughing up blood, these are both considered an emergency and you should seek treatment immediately.

If you cannot relieve your child's cough naturally then your doctor will be able to diagnose it.  Coughs are mainly from a virus though so if this is the problem, antibiotics are not given for a virus infection.  They will just need to run their course so be prepared for this answer.  You should not give your child any kind over the counter cough medicine unless consulting your doctor first and always be sure to not exceed proper dosage.  When in doubt, ask!  Lastly, stay calm when your child has a cough.  A lot of times it bothers you hearing it more than it bothers them, try some home remedies and hope this aids in their cough relief.