A dry cough when a child wakes up in the morning is typically triggered by mucus that has drained down the throat while the child is sleeping. Once the child changes position, he/she can cough in order to move the mucus out of his/her throat. Take note that children can cough up to four weeks, after a respiratory illness but allergies are more likely to cause a chronic morning cough.
What are the causes of dry cough?
Most causes of dry cough during the morning can be triggered by nasal allergies. It is important to note that these allergies can occur seasonally if the child is allergic to molds or pollen but many children suffer from year-round allergies triggered by exposure to house mold, pet dander or cigarette smoke. In some cases, dry cough during the morning can be instigated by asthma or an illness. If this is left untreated, nasal allergies can lead to a sinus infection.
Symptoms of dry cough
Aside from dry cough in the morning, you have to watch out for symptoms of nasal allergies such as watery eyes, runny nose, dark circles under the eyes, sneezing or mouth breathing. The indications of asthma can include wheezing and coughing throughout the day, especially after exercise or being exposed to dry, cold air. GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is oftentimes associated with asthma that is triggered by stomach acid that leaks into the esophagus. Take note that heartburn is the distinctive symptom of GERD but coughing can also occur as well.
Home treatments of dry cough
You have to keep the windows close at all times in order to prevent the entry of pollen and dust as well as vacuuming on a frequent basis. No one should smoke inside the house or whenever the child is around.
When sleeping at night, you have to elevate the child at night using two pillows in order to minimize the coughing as well as using a properly maintained humidifier to increase the humidity level that can help minimize the swelling and irritation in the nasal passages. Just make sure that the humidifier is cleaned every week to prevent the formation of mold and accumulation of bacteria. Saline nasal drops can be used several times in a day to moisturize the nasal passages. Additionally, you can provide the child with a warm drink to minimize the coughing. You can learn other measures to relieve coughing by taking part in a first aid class today.
When to consult a doctor
It is important to seek treatment for the child if the cough lasts for more than a week or if the child shows signs of serious illness such as wheezing, high fever, difficulty breathing or lethargy. The doctor will identify nasal allergies and rule out other possible causes. Antihistamine or nasal corticosteroids can be prescribed. If the child is diagnosed with asthma, the doctor will provide medications in order to minimize the inflammation and coughing.