Cough is very common among toddlers. This is probably the biggest reason why you often drag your kids to the doctor.
A cough caused due to cold can last from 7 to 10 days. However, there are many serious pediatric issues which are caused due to smoke, pet’s allergies, pollen dust and henceforth. Severe cough can also be due to psychological reasons, while viral infection and asthma are the most common causes for coughing.
If you are one of those worrying mothers, stress yourself no further. Decode all your queries with this handy cough guide for your toddler.
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How Germs Spread?
Cold virus takes up various routes to reach its ultimate destination. Here are the common ways that a virus spreads:
- Touching someone who has symptoms of cold, for example shaking hands, playing with common toys, using common towel and henceforth.
- A virus can stay alive for three hours on an object or skin.
- Once the virus is transferred to the skin, it takes a minute to move into the mucous membrane. For example while rubbing eyes, eating etc. That’s why it is always important to wash hands thoroughly with antiseptic soap.
- Virus can get in just by inhaling the air, example while sneezing.
Types Of Cough:
Here are the different types of cough your toddler may be facing:
1. Barky Cough:
A barking cough is a sudden high pitched cough.
- It is caused due to virus when the voice box and windpipe are inflamed and the air passage swells up.
- A toddler with barking cough gets accompanied by fever, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
2. Wheezing Cough:
If you hear your toddler wheezing when breathing in or out, this could be because of the airways in the lungs are swollen.
- Wheezing cough is not associated with asthma, but a toddler with asthma symptoms can have wheezing cough.
- It also happens due to blockage of foreign object into the lower airways of the lungs.
This cough is caused due to bronchiolitis virus.
- Rapid breathing
- Difficulty in swallowing food.
3. Cough At Night:
Cough at nighttime is very common among toddlers. It gets worse at night and hampers sleep. At night the mucous from the nose and sinus drains down the throat, making your toddler cough.
4. Cough In The Morning:
In the morning, cold air or other things like smoke, freshener or pets can make your toddler’s cough worse.
5. Whooping Cough:
Whooping cough is a dry cough attack with multiple coughs in a row. It develops due to bacterial infection known as pertusis. Ensure your toddler gets DTaP vaccination. The “P” in the vaccination stands for pertusis. See your pediatrician immediately if you are concerned that the cough is a whooping cough.
[ Read: Bacterial Infections In Children ]
6. Cough That Stays For A Month:
Sometimes you may feel that your toddler’s cough doesn’t want to quit, yet there is no symptom of a bad cold. This is likely because of swelling of air passage, asthma or other chronic lung conditions.
If your doctor evaluates the symptom is due to asthma, proper medication is required. Your doctor may also prescribe cold mist humidifier in addition to medication.
Some Tips To Give Your Child Temporary Relief:
Make your toddler drink lots of liquid like water, juice or warm milk, to sooth her throat as well as hydrate the body.
- During fever, body gets dehydrated, so drinking more water helps in releasing toxins in form of urine.
- A steamy vapor can relieve your toddler by loosening up the mucous in the airways. It also opens up blocked nose and stuffy head.
- Nasal drops provide instant relief from blocked nose.
- If your toddler has symptoms like blue lips, signs of dehydration or difficulty in breathing, get medical help immediately.
[ Read: Dehydration In Children ]
When To Consult Doctor?
You should immediately seek help if you see the cough is longer than usual without any cold symptoms.
- Cough interfering daily at night hampering sleep.
- Cough causing difficulty in breathing.
- Cough accompanied by high fever.
- Changing of skin color, usually turning pale blue.
Most children do not require any test, but your doctor might suggest a chest X-ray or blood test in order to find out the reason behind the prolonged cough.