How to decode your baby’s cough

Posted in Baby Health.

When your little one has a cough, it’s upsetting for everyone in the family, but especially so for your unwell baby.

Just a cough … or something more?

It’s good to note that those upsetting coughs – which are most often caused by respiratory tract infections – are very common in children. In fact most children endure between six and 12 of these viral respiratory tract infections each year.

This can leave parents feeling that their child always seems to have a runny nose or splutter, especially during the cooler months.

Thankfully, most coughs will get better on their own and don’t require special treatment (apart from some TLC from mum or dad!). If you’re concerned about your child’s cough, head to your family doctor or maternal child health nurse to talk it over.

Speaking of talking it over, let’s talk about some of the most common coughs kids are likely to have.

A wheeze

Wheezing can be a result of a cold but is also a common sign of asthma in both children and adults. So it’s important to seek advice from your GP if your child is presenting with a wheezy chest, to discuss possible causes and a treatment plan.

A sick toddler

A wet cough

A wet cough is sometimes called a ‘productive cough’ and it produces mucus from the sinuses or the lungs. The cough sounds ‘wet’ and a child with this sort of cough might also be wheezy. This sort of cough often accompanies a cold and can be eased by a vaporiser like the Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer. The steady flow of warm steam helps to liquefy mucus secretions and ease congestion.

A dry cough

This sort of cough doesn’t result in mucus or sputum (a mix of mucus and saliva). It can sometimes be a reaction to something irritating the throat, such as an allergen or smoke. A dry cough can also be a sign of asthma or a reaction to medication or food.

Sick child with dad

A persistent night time cough

There are lots of reasons your child might be coughing at night, ranging from a viral infection to asthma. Coughing often becomes worse at night because your child is lying flat and mucous gathers at the back of their throat, causing them to cough. It may also be that your child is coughing the same amount, but you notice it more in the quiet of the night.

A barking cough

This cough sounds just like a seal barking and in kids this sort of cough can signal croup.  A  Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer can help to relieve the distressing symptoms of croup by emitting warm, pure steam vapour into the air.

Sick baby and mum

A cough that leaves a child breathless

Whooping cough or pertussis causes children to cough for prolonged periods and run out of breath. When they are able to gasp for air they make the “whooping” sound the cough is named after. This is an extremely serious cough and medical attention should be sought immediately.

When should parents be concerned?

If your child seems a bit unwell and has a cough, keep a close eye on them, note down their symptoms and behaviour, and consider a quick trip to the GP if you’re concerned.

If your child seems very unwell, has a high fever, is having trouble breathing, is not eating or drinking very much and/or has fewer wet nappies than usual, seek medical advice.

This is a sponsored post for Vicks.


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