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10 myths about children’s cough

10 myths about children's cough

NOT TRUE. “Well, our sick again is coughing,” you can hear from parents. Often they perceive cough as an independent disease, forgetting that it is just a symptom.

Freedom from coughing (sometimes by any means) is tantamount to recovery for moms and dads. Unfortunately, this is not the case! Cough is a natural defense mechanism.

For example, it is necessary in order to get rid of a piece of food, an allergen or a microbe that has got into the respiratory tract. The physiological reflex of clearing the respiratory tract occurs when the mucous membranes of the respiratory organs (larynx, trachea, bronchi) are irritated, inflamed or infected. The “elimination” of cough with special preparations is generally shown only in some cases: for example, in whooping cough, when the attacks of dry cough are so strong that the child cannot sleep or eat normally.

RIGHT. The immune system of babies (especially babies) is still very imperfect, and the cough accompanies any viral or bacterial infections of the respiratory tract. In children of the first year of life, the cough may continue for 3-4 weeks after suffering ARVI.

But the baby can carry a respiratory infection, accompanied by coughing, up to 7-10 times a year! Cough in young children can also be caused by inflammation of the bronchi in asthma or due to contact with an allergen, and sometimes – accompanied by “childhood” disease (measles or whooping cough).

A baby may cough if it inhales a tiny foreign body or when eating a piece of food in its neck. Do not forget that many babies cough just from belching (gastro-esophageal reflux).

10 myths about children's cough

RIGHT. Indeed, there are many cases when a child coughs, but it is not worth sounding the alarm:
– physiological cough of infants: occurs very often and is due to the fact that during feeding a certain amount of food gets into the trachea and provokes a cough reflex. Also, babies can often cough while crying (especially intense).
– teething cough. Wet in nature, it is associated with excessive saliva secretion and does not require treatment.
– morning cough can be completely normal for a healthy child (especially often this physiological cough is observed in the morning). Remember that it is absolutely normal for children to cough up to 15–20 times a day!

This is due to the need to free the bronchi from the natural mucus accumulated in them overnight.
– cough simulation. Older children (and some, even from 4–5 months of age) may use a cough to attract adults. Noticing such a trick (if there is no real cause for concern), react calmly to coughing: excessive worry and attention can reinforce this habit of the child.

RIGHT. Allowing children’s immunity to cope with the virus on their own is wonderful. And yet you need to be on your guard: you can not joke with a cough.

When coughing the baby, it is better to show the doctor in any case, but if the cough accompanying SARS does not go away even after 10-14 days, it is necessary to do so. Examination of the doctor will make sure that the cough is not caused by a complication of the disease (or determine which one) and does not need special treatment.

Pay special attention, if within a few days the cough increases, the coughing attacks are very long, if the child has fever, rash or diarrhea, there is general weakness, difficulty breathing or eating, nausea or belching – the first appearance of these signs immediately go to the doctor.

10 myths about children's cough

RIGHT. Depending on the cause, which prompted it, and the stage of development, the cough may be different.

First of all, cough is distinguished by its nature – dry or wet. The first is easily recognized by brief, intermittent and repetitive seizures. It is exhausting and rather painful for a child, as it irritates the delicate mucous nasopharynx.

A dry cough is not accompanied by sputum production and is manifested at any time of the day. A wet cough (also called a productive cough) is recognizable by the raucous noise and expectoration of sputum.

Should take into account the duration of cough. There are:
– acute cough. It lasts 1-2 weeks. May occur as a result of falling into the airways of a foreign body (food debris, small parts of toys) or due to the development of ARD (characteristic of pharyngitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia).
– protracted. Lasts from two to six weeks. In most cases, it is not so much a symptom of the disease, as evidence of the healing process.

The cause of a protracted cough is no longer the actual infection, but the increased sensitivity of the cough receptors and good sputum discharge. Also, a prolonged cough can be caused by rhinitis, sinusitis, adenoitis, sinusitis – diseases in which the outgoing sputum flows down the back of the nasopharynx and irritates the cough receptors. In this case, the cough is accompanied by nasal congestion and discharge from it.

A prolonged cough can also be characteristic of obstructive bronchitis and bronchial asthma (in babies, bouts of prolonged cough remain its only manifestation for a long time). Often such a cough torments the child at night and in the morning.
– chronic cough lasts more than 1.5 months. It is characteristic of some chronic lung and pulmonary diseases.

Such a cough may occasionally intensify and weaken, but, in fact, it never stops. Persistent cough is characteristic of very serious diseases: dry – papillomatosis of the larynx, fibrosing alveolitis, wet – for bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis.

Cough also differs by type of manifestation (powerful and sharp or growing gradually), by the time of appearance (day, morning, while eating or by night), by timbre (barking, whistling, with attacks).

WRONG. Just the opposite. Too hot air does not help relieve coughing fits.

Remember that the air temperature in the room where the child sleeps should not be above 19 degrees! Humidity is also important: too dry air causes additional irritation of the throat.

Therefore, if the humidity level in the room is below 40%, it is best to put a humidifier (or use one of the “grandmother’s methods”: hang a damp cloth on the battery, put a basin of water next to it). Be sure to air the rooms and make sure that the child drank enough water during the day!

RIGHT . Often an agonizing cough attacks precisely at night. To make it easier for your child to sleep, lift his head slightly. Act carefully: do not put any extra pillows in the bed (especially when it comes to babies)!

To raise the bed a little, put a pillow or a blanket folded four times right under the mattress.

10 myths about children's cough

WRONG. The main function of wet cough is the natural “removal” of pathogens from the body. This does not need to interfere, but should not be artificially stimulated. For example, the French Sanitary Safety Agency categorically does not recommend giving mucolytics, mucofluids and helicicidin to children under two years old at all.

These funds, thinning mucus, are dangerous for small children: the bronchi can clog up completely, because babies have much less power than adults to cough up sputum intensively. Be sure to consult with the district pediatrician before you give the crumbs the first spoonful of any “cough syrup”.

WRONG. Such “universal” cough suppressants are ineffective at best (the concentration of active substances in them is too low) and, at worst, potentially dangerous for babies. Coughing is a symptom. It can neither be masked nor weakened!

If the cause of coughing is a banal runny nose, it will pass by itself, without the help of drugs. But when a cough is caused by a more serious illness, only a pediatrician will be able to select the appropriate treatment.

RIGHT . Even if it seems to you that the cold has already stopped, and the sinuses are free, it is better to continue washing the nose three times a day until the child is completely cured. First, it makes breathing easier, and second, it prevents the nasopharyngeal mucosa from drying out, thus preventing the development of infection in the respiratory tract.

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