Pediatric Cough Treatment Doctor Q&A
If your little one is coughing with other symptoms like fever, dehydration or fast breathing, visit Columbia Clinic Urgent Care for a checkup by our in-house pediatricians, followed by comprehensive treatment. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in 82nd Avenue Portland OR, Division St Portland OR, Mall 205 Portland OR, Clackamas Happy Valley OR, and Tigard OR.
Table of Contents:
What is the most common cause of a cough in children?
When should you worry about a child’s cough?
Why do kids cough more at night?
How do you treat a pediatric cough?
If your child has a cough, it can be concerning. Most of the time, there is nothing to worry about and is usually caused by a common cold virus or possibly allergies and will go away without treatment.
There are times when you may want to consider seeing a doctor for your child’s cough. If they have a persistent fever with a cough, have breathing difficulty or wheezing, you may want to see a doctor. If there are other issues that coincide with a cough that doesn’t seem normal, then it is time to see a doctor.
A cough is the most common problem in children and is more common in preschoolers than in older children. Two-thirds of children under the age of four will visit a doctor at least once a year with an acute respiratory infection. Three-fourths of them will have coughs. Most coughs in children and adults are caused by undifferentiated viral infections. Between 7-12% of coughs are related to asthma. Most coughs in children are caused by undifferentiated acute respiratory infections. This is a cough that doesn’t conform to a clear diagnosis of something such as coup, pneumonia, whooping cough, or bronchitis.
You usually won’t need to worry about your child’s cough. A cough is just the body’s way of processing an illness. But there are times when you may need medical help to treat your child’s cough.
The following is a list of things that indicate you should see a doctor about your child’s cough:
– Your child’s cough is persistent and has lasted for more than a month
– Your child’s cough coincides with fast breathing
– Your child is unable to speak normally due to coughing
– Your child has a cough, and a high fever, but does not have a stuffy or runny nose
– Your child is 3 months old or younger and the cough has lasted for more than a few hours
– Your child is dehydrated. The signs of this include, drowsiness, dizziness, sunken eyes, dry mouth, crying without tears, and less urination than normal
If your child is having trouble breathing, is turning a bluish color, or is experiencing distress because of asthma, this is an emergency. This will require immediate evaluation at the nearest pediatric emergency department.
Children will cough more at night because congestion in the nose and sinuses will drain down into the throat and cause irritation while they are lying down. This is only a problem if they are unable to sleep because of their coughing.
Asthma can also cause nighttime coughs. The airways are more sensitive at night and are more easily irritated.
Over-the-counter medications for coughs and colds are not recommended for children younger than 6. It can be very difficult to deal with a child who is feeling uncomfortable, especially at night.
Here are some ways you can treat your child’s cough.
– Try to get your child to drink warm fluids that will loosen mucus and soothe their sore throat.
– Use a humidifier to ease their breathing.
– Let your child breathe warm water vapors in a shower or bath. This can loosen mucus and relax them before going to bed.
– Try cold treats like popsicles to ease a sore throat.
– Try using honey for children older than 1. This can reduce coughing.
– A nose spray or mist can help. It can loosen mucus in the nose. Get your child to blow their nose frequently.
These can all help to reduce coughing during the day and at night. Keeping them comfortable will help them sleep and they will get over this quickly.
If you need to see a doctor about your child’s cough, Columbia Clinic Urgent Care can help. We have staff trained to help people from birth to seniors. You can call to make an appointment, or you can walk in. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.