Winter season is coming and it brings cough and flu. This is the month that can be depressive for your child.
Although cough and cold is normal but sometimes it can be dangerous for little ones as prolonged coughing can lead he severe lung infection as well as respiratory tract infection.
A common cold is a viral infection of your baby’s nose and throat. Nasal congestion and a runny nose are the main signs of a cold.
Babies are especially likely to get the common cold, in part because they’re often around older children. Also, they have not yet developed immunity to many common infections. Within the first year of life, most babies have six to eight colds. They may have even more if they’re in child care centers.
According to the reports;- A cough is the most common reason for visiting a primary care physician in world.
So it is important to understand the cough, it’s symptoms, certain possible causes that is responsible for cough, some home remedies to prevent them and in the we will discuss the some valuable tips that can be effective to prevent the cough infection in little ones.
What is cough
“A cough is a sudden expulsion of air through the large breathing passages that can help clear them of fluids, irritants, foreign particles and microbes”
A cough can be dry (no mucus comes up) or wet (with mucus discharge).
They are usually a result of an infection, but sometimes, they also have non-infectious causes, like asthma. If the cough is due to allergies or asthma, your baby won’t have a fever.
Just like adults, babies and children can develop different types of coughs that can clear up quickly or linger for longer. How long your little one’s cough lasts for can determine the cause and the treatment.
Understanding the different types of cough can help you know when to handle them at home and when to call your doctor.
So let’s know the different types of cough;-
- Barky cough:- When swelling occurs in the upper airway in the respiratory tract then barky cough happens. There are many bacterial infection that is responsible for barky cough.
Most of the time, a barky cough comes from croup.
What is croup:- A swelling of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).
Younger children have smaller airways that, if it swollen then it can make it hard to breathe. Kids younger than 3 are most at risk for croup because their airways are so narrow.
A cough from croup can start suddenly, often in the middle of the night. Most kids with croup will also have stridor, which is a noisy, harsh breathing that happens when the child inhales (breathes in).
- Whooping cough:- It is also an infection of airways that is caused by a bacteria name Bordetella pertussis.
That’s why whooping cough also called Pertussis.
Kids with pertussis spells of back-to-back coughs without breathing in between. At the end of the coughing, they’ll take a deep breath in that makes a “whooping” sound. Other symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and a low-grade fever.
Whooping cough can happen at any age, but is most severe in infants under 1 year old who did not get the pertussis vaccine, which is part of the DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis).
It’s is very contagious, so all kids should get the pertussis shot at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 4–6 years of age.
- Cough with wheezing:- Wheezing means whistle like sound. If your child makes whistle like sound when breathing out, then there are chances to have cough.
It occurs when lower airways in the lungs are swollen. This can happen with asthma or with the viral infection bronchiolitis. Wheezing also can happen if the lower airway is blocked by a foreign object. A child who starts to cough after inhaling something such as food or a small toy should see a doctor.
4.Persistent cough:- Coughs caused by colds due to viruses can last weeks, especially if a child has one cold right after another. Asthma, allergies, or a chronic infection in the sinuses or airways also might cause lasting coughs. If your child still has a cough after 3 weeks, call your doctor.
Symptoms of coughing in babies
The signs and symptoms of cough should raise the alarm for parents because it could be the cause of a serious illness as well. Cough can be a symptom of a number of different illnesses and conditions, each of which may produce additional symptoms.
The symptoms vary according to the cause of the cough. Some of the symptoms are given below;-
Allergies:- Allergies can produce a chronic cough, one that doesn’t go away for a long period of time. When the respiratory system is irritated by an allergen, mucus will drip down to the back of the throat, which can cause a cough that is dry and difficult to stop. Some coughs associated with allergies also bring up a clear mucus.
There are following symptoms of cough that is happen due to the certain Allergies;-
- Dry or hard-to-stop cough
- Red and itchy eyes
- Puffy eyes
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose, ears, mouth, and/or throat
- Nasal swelling or congestion
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath.
Asthma:- Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children. Though symptoms vary widely from child to child, a prominent symptom is wheezing, a whistling noise in the chest during breathing.
There are following symptoms of cough that is happen due to asthma;-
- Wheezing or coughing, mostly at night or early in the morning
- The wheeze or cough may get worse in response to allergens or irritants or because of rigorous movement or exercise
- Shortness of breath.
Bronchiolitis:- Bronchiolitis is an infection that affects the bronchioles, the small breathing tubes inside the lungs, and can cause a dry and persistent cough. It is a common disease in early childhood, mostly affecting children under 2 years of age. Bronchiolitis is usually caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes inflammation and swelling in the bronchioles. This inflammation can hinder air flow.
There are following symptoms of cough that is happen due to Bronchiolitis;-
- Dry, persistent cough
- Slight fever
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Difficulties in swallowing and sucking
- Lips and fingertips turn bluish
- Skin is drawn in around the ribs and breastbone.
Choking:- If something is swallowed the wrong way,like food, liquid, or another object then your child may start to cough suddenly. This is the lungs’ way of trying to dislodge the item and clear the airways.
If your child or baby coughs for more than a few minutes or if she is having trouble breathing, then it is possible that your child has choking.
There are following symptoms of cough that is happen due to choking;-
- Sudden cough
- Trouble breathing
- Gasping or wheezing
- Skin turning bluish
- Appearing panicked
- Being unable to talk, cry, or make a noise
- Becoming limp or unconscious.
A cold:- Among the most common cough-producing illnesses is the common cold, which is an upper respiratory infection. Colds are caused by viruses, which can spread from one person to another via a sneeze or a cough, or from a contaminated surface or hand.
The symptoms tend to go away on their own in about 7 to 10 days, but it’s possible for cold-like symptoms to persist, and for an illness such as pneumonia to develop.
There are following symptoms of cough that is happen due to a common cold;-
- Either a wet-sounding cough or an irritating, dry cough
- Runny nose
- Reduced appetite
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands in the neck.
Pneumonia:- Pneumonia usually occurs when a viral respiratory tract infection spreads to the chest and lungs, but it can also be caused by a bacterial infection. The name literally means “infection of the lung,” and can cause a persistent cough among other symptoms.
There are following symptoms of cough that is happen due to the pneumonia;-
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin
- Crying more than normal
- Persistent cough
- Fast, labored breathing
- Chest pains
- Lips or nails turning bluish.
Causes of coughing in babies
Coughs are most often caused by the cold or flu virus, but not always.
The common cold is an infection of the nose and throat (upper respiratory tract infection) that can be caused by one of more than 200 viruses. Rhinoviruses are the most common.
Coughs and colds often go hand-in-hand, and while a cold can leave your little one out of sorts for a few days, the symptoms they cause such as a cough aren’t usually anything to worry about. Other symptoms that could indicate your child’s cough is caused by a cold are a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, tiredness, a raised temperature and sore throat.
A dry cough is symptomatic of the flu. Symptoms can resemble those of a cold, but develop much more rapidly and affect more than the nose and throat. Children can develop ear pain and often become less active.
Allergens and irritants such as food, dust, pet dander and pollen can cause a lingering cough in your child, as well as give them watery or stinging eyes, runny nose, sore and/or itchy throat, rash and sneezing. Allergies are unlikely to be accompanied by fever.
A chesty cough can be a symptom of a chest infection, which can develop following a cold. Mucus is likely to be yellow or green, due to the infection. Other signs your child may have developed a chest infection include wheezing, shortness of breath, a fever of 38°C or over or chest pain.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the airways. As the name suggests, your child will make a ‘whoop’ sound between normal-sounding coughs if this is what’s causing it. Bouts of coughing can last for several minutes and are usually worse at night. Your little one might cough up thick mucus that can also make them sick.
Whooping cough can be serious, particularly if your baby is under six months old. Older children are less likely to have a severe reaction.
A cause of cough that’s more common in children than adults, bronchiolitis is a mild infection of the airways that can cause a cough.
Asthma could cause your child to wheeze, have a tight chest that can cause breathlessness and develop a dry cough that doesn’t produce mucus. A cough caused by asthma will usually be worse at night or with physical activity.
Home remedies for coughing in babies
There are very limited home remedies for coughing in babies, however I am going to tell you some remedies that will be definitely effective in coughing;-
- Honey:- It is a well known remedy for cough and cold and it is also suitable for little ones.
It has antibacterial and soothing properties that can be really useful in coughing.
You have to do just few steps;-
- Dip your finger in honey and let your baby lick it two three times in a day.
If your child is older than five years, mix a spoonful with cinnamon powder and ask him/her to have it.
2.Carrom seed:- Carrom seed has a warming effect. And also it has anti-inflammatory property that can be effective to get rid of the coughing in children.
You have to do just few steps;-
- Boil water along with carom seeds (ajwain) and add some tulsi leaves to it.
3.Gargle with salt water:- It can be useful in sore throat. Sore throat is a common during coughing and cold. If your child have sore throat then you can definitely use that remedy.
You have to do just few steps
- A glass of hot water with a teaspoon of salt can be useful to ease a sore throat. Ask your kid to gargle with salt water twice a day.