Cough In Children
Coughing is a common occurrence in children and is usually caused by a virus such as the cold or influenza. It is often accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, runny nose, and sore throat. Cough is one of the most common complaints for which parents bring their children to a health care practitioner.
Causes of Cough
Causes of cough differ depending on whether the symptoms are acute (< 4 weeks) or chronic (> 4 weeks).
The most common cause of acute cough is
- Viral upper respiratory infection
The most common causes of chronic cough are:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- Postnasal drip
- Asthma (most common)
When do I Seek Medical Attention?
- Difficulty breathing (i.e. wheezing, panting, noisy breathing)
- Chest pains when breathing, in an older child
- Drooling or trouble swallowing
- Coughing up blood
- Child appears distressed and has persistent crying
- Persistent high fever (especially if your infant is less than 3 months)
- Persistent vomiting associated with coughing
- Depressions below the rib cage when breathing. This may indicate the child is breathless
- Change in colour or sensorium in the child
- In an older child, inability to speak in full sentences also may indicate breathlessness