A cough is quite noticeable if a child is in a lying position and triggered by mucus flowing down the rear of the throat due to an upper respiratory infection. The child usually has a stuffed or runny nose, fever or even irritable. Treatment at home is usually enough to provide relief for this form of cough.
Cough that occurs during night that is bark-like might be an indication of croup. In such cases, the child might sound hoarse with a high-pitched sound during inhalation. Treatment at home is enough in most cases. On the other hand, if barking cough persists through the day or accompanied by difficulty breathing, it might be a serious condition.
Cough in young children
Any cough among children younger than 3 months old even without other symptoms should be taken seriously. In case the cough manifests along with changes in the feeding habits or diminished level of activity, he/she must be assessed by a doctor. If the child is acting normally in other ways, monitor him/her closely for 24 hours.
When is it serious?
A cough that is persistent, disrupts sleep or slows down the child, he/she must be closely monitored. A cough might be serious if it:
- Accompanied by difficulty breathing
- Persists after a choking episode and even vomiting can also occur
- Persistent particularly if it disrupts with sleep or other daily activities
- Generates mucus from the lungs or blood-streaked sputum
- Occurs in spasms especially if the child could not catch his/her breath
If it lasts longer than 3 weeks, it is an indication of an allergy, asthma, sinus infection or reflux. On the other hand, it might be a serious issue which is why a doctor must be consulted for proper assessment.