7 types of cough in your child that you need to pay attention to
When it comes to your child's health, you shouldn't take any chances.
Not all coughs appear the same. Some coughs can be due to the common cold, while other coughs can be a sign of something more serious. Knowing the different types of cough and what causes them can better help you understand what type of ailment your child might have.
1. Barking cough
If your child's cough sounds like a dog's bark, and if you see that he's struggling to breathe, then it can be a sign of croup.
Croup is a viral illness in your child's throat and voicebox that can happen if your child has a cold. Make sure to let your child drink lots of liquids and it should clear up on its own. However, it's still best to take your child to a doctor if you suspect that they have croup.
2. Cough with phlegm
If your child's cough sounds like there's a lot of phlegm, then it could be caused by the common cold.
As with croup, make sure to let your child drink lots of liquids to help with the cough. You can also give them a warm bath to make them feel better and help ease the coughing. Colds usually last for 1-2 weeks, so if your child has a cold that's longer than that, it's best to take them to a doctor.
3. Dry, nighttime cough
If your child has coughing fits during nighttime or cold weather, or whenever your child does any physical activity, then it might be a sign of asthma.
Asthma is a condition in which the airways become inflamed and narrowed and they produce excess mucus. If you suspect asthma, take your child to a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. The sooner it can be diagnosed, the better, since the doctor can prescribe medicine to deal with asthma attacks as well as prevent it.
4. The miserable cough
If your child has a hoarse cough, muscle aches, sniffles, as well as a high fever, it can possibly be a sign of the flu.
Influenza, or the flu as it's most commonly called, is a viral illness that affects the respiratory system. Handling the flu is pretty straightforward; make sure to give your child a lot of fluids as well as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You should also make sure to let your child get the flu vaccine as soon as they are able to.
5. Wheezing cough
If your child's cough has a raspy, gurgling, or whistling sound, and if he's also breathing rapidly, then it can be a sign of bronchiolitis.
Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the bronchioles, which are the tiniest airways in the lungs. It usually happens to babies during cold months. If you think that your child has bronchiolitis, you can take them to a doctor to get a diagnosis. That way it can be addressed as early as possible before it becomes worse.
6. Whooping cough
If your child has a lot of coughing fits or coughs more than 20 times in a single breath and their cough has a "whooping" sound, then it might be whooping cough.
Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria called pertussis which attacks the lining of the air passages and inflames and sometimes even blocks the airways. Make sure to immunise your child against whooping cough as soon as they're able to. Babies under 6 months should also be hospitalised if they're diagnosed with whooping cough.
7. The gross-sounding cough
If your child has a cold for a week and his or her cough sounds wet and phlegmy, then it can possible be a sign of pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a dangerous condition that can cause your child's lungs to fill up with liquid. If you suspect pneumonia, make sure to take your child to the doctor as soon as possible so that they can conduct an Xray to check if it is indeed pneumonia. For the most part, pneumonia can be treated at home with prescription medicine, but more severe cases might require your child to stay in the hospital.
Parents, if your child's condition still doesn't seem to improve, it would be best to bring him/her to visit the doctor just to be on the safe side. And a reminder for self-medication, do always check the labels and seek a doctor's advice on the recommended dosage.