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Quick guide to kids coughs

 
Check out our quick guide to kids coughs & coughing - common types of coughs you might come across this winter. Kids coughing is not uncommon at this time of year, but would you be able to recognise what sort of cough it is and how to treat it? Here are some of the more common types of coughs, symptoms and how you can help your little one.
Check out our quick guide to kids coughs & coughing - common types of coughs you might come across this winter.

Kids coughing is not uncommon at this time of year, but would you be able to recognise what sort of cough it is and how to treat it?

Here are some of the more common types of coughs, symptoms and how you can help your little one.
 

5 Common kids coughs & how to treat them

 

1. The cold cough


If your little one is snuffly and bunged up with a cold, they may also develop a cough. The cold cough is caused by infections in the upper respiratory tract, the nose, sinuses and throat, and can cause a wet, phlegmy cough or a dry cough.

Most mild coughs caused by colds can be treated at home. Make sure your little one gets plenty of rest and offer extra breastfeeds, bottle feeds or water to ensure they get enough fluid to fight off the infection.

If your little one also has a temperature, you can treat it with infant paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring it down.

See your doctor or talk to a pharmacist about using cough medicines and what’s right for your child.

Not all cough medicines are effective and can often be high in sugar which is not good for your little one's teeth.
 

2. Bronchiolitis


This is a more serious cough. Look out for a hacking cough and whether your little one is looking very unwell, floppy and feverish and perhaps off their food.

With bronchiolitis the smallest airways of the lungs get infected, become swollen and fill with mucus. This blocks the flow of air, making it harder for your little one to breathe.

Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus and cannot be treated by antibiotics as they only work on bacterial infections. It should clear up in a few weeks, but if you have any concerns contact your doctor.

To help ease the cough you could sit with your little one in a steamy bathroom to help relax their airways and ease any coughing symptoms.
 

3. Croup


This cough has a very distinctive sound like a barking seal. It usually affects babies from the age of six months and your little one may wake up in the night coughing.

They may also sound like their struggling to breathe, which can be quite scary for parents.

If your little one is struggling to breathe, take them straight to your doctor or A&E if it happens in the night.

Sometimes taking your little one out into the cold air can help to alleviate breathing problems.

Your GP may prescribe steroids and as croup is often accompanied by typical cold symptoms, your child maybe treated for this too.
 

4. Whooping cough (pertussis)


As the name suggests, you should listen out for a distinctive “whooping” sound.

It’s characterised by bouts of intensive coughing and a whoop sound as your little one takes a quick breath between coughs.

It can be a very serious condition in very young babies so it’s important that you take them to your GP if you’re concerned, and to A&E immediately if they’re really struggling to breathe.

Young babies (usually those under 12 months) are usually admitted to hospital and given antibiotics and steroid medication to reduce inflammation in the airways.
 

5. Important 


Always consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your child’s coughing or take them to A&E immediately if they are struggling to breathe properly.


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