Is It Just A Cold? When To Seek Medical Help For A Child's Cough

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Children often sick during the winter months, and one of the most common types of illnesses for kids is the common cold. Your child might have a runny nose, watery eyes, and trouble breathing through their nose. They also might develop a lingering cough. However, some parent might wonder when to worry if the coughing starts to sound rough or if it doesn't go away. When should you be concerned about a child's coughing? Here are some things that indicate if the coughing is more serious than just a cold. 

1. Your child cannot sleep because of coughing.

It's normal for a sick child to be awake more at night, but if your child is coughing so much they get no sleep for several nights in a row, you might consult your doctor. Sometimes, coughs are from the common cold, but they could also be caused by other infections that might be treatable. Coughing from a cold gets better after a few days and does not often cause sleep disturbance.

2. Coughing produces blood or other troubling discharge.

Coughing places some stress on the lungs, but it is usually the body's way of trying to get rid of an illness. However, sometimes coughing can mean a lung infection or another lung problem, and when a cough produces blood, even if it is just a little bit, your child needs emergency medical attention. 

3. The cough interferes with breathing. 

Your child should still be able to get enough air even with a cough. Some illnesses, however, cause coughing so severe that coughing prevents the child from getting enough oxygen. Coughing caused by pneumonia, for example, can make it hard to breathe, and your child might struggle to breathe even when they aren't coughing. Also, whooping cough, especially in unvaccinated children and babies, can be so hard on the body that it causes breathing to stop entirely. Even croup, which is usually a milder illness, can prevent children from getting the air they need and can require a trip to the hospital. 

4. The cough causes full-body fatigue. 

Finally, children might be tired from fighting illness, but if a cough persists to the point that your child is truly exhausted, you need to go to the doctor to make sure that the cold isn't something more, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. In the meantime, make sure your child spends the day resting, and provide plenty of fluids which can help ease the cough and help your child recover from their illness faster. 

For more information, contact a company like Port City Pediatrics today.

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3 December 2018

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