visit a paediatrician

Life becomes an ordeal when one’s munchkin suffers from a cough. It becomes even more worrisome when it persists unexpectedly to be addressed as ‘Persistent cough’. Apart from becoming increasingly uncomfortable, the baby develops restlessness and stops smiling. You must take special precautions if your baby is behaving differently than usual. Even when the signs are not that severe, your baby requires paediatric assistance. Though you know your child better than everyone else, your paediatrician will guide you more clearly. You may have to visit a paediatrician or Emergency Room (ER).

When to call the doctor?

  1. Call your paediatrician when the cough symptoms are too severe for your baby to eat.
  2. If your baby is making strange noises while breathing specifically at night.
  3. If the fever of 100.4 degrees or higher accompanies cough and your baby is 3 months or younger.
  4. If your baby is whooping with a cough that lasts longer than 72 hours.

Below are the other symptoms to look for if your baby is facing consistent cough:

  1. A cough in the new-borns within the first few weeks
  2. A cough that keeps getting worse especially within or after 3 weeks
  3. A cough that accompanies night perspiration or unusual weight loss
  4. A cough that may be wet or dry.
  5. If the bronchitis cough is accompanying rapid respiration, it shows something severe.
  6. A cough that persists even after 8 weeks

Here is the list of reasons behind persistent cough in babies:

  1. Reflux:
    Does your baby feel nauseous and spit up almost every time after you feed her? If weight loss accompanies the symptom and she is growing grumpier, it may be ‘Reflux’.If cough accompanies the reflux, it may be chronic. Reflux may become worse with time. The backward flow of acid leads to many health problems. Treatments may better the symptoms or cure reflux.
  2. Allergies:
    Babies develop allergies to certain substances or ingredients. Allergies may emerge from various factors. Seasonal allergies and those due to cold or flu are common. Cough may be an allergy symptom. But it may pose serious risks if sore throat and body pains accompany it. If you find the symptoms worsening day by day, consult the right paediatrician.
  3. Pertussis:
    Babies tend to develop fever and runny nose with cough. Pertussis or whooping cough shows something serious. The second stage may witness a persistent cough. If the cough is hoarse, your baby may require immediate hospitalization.
  4. Pneumonia:
    Seasonal cough and cold transitions into pneumonia. Babies may catch infections from others. If mucus accompanies cough, it may be painful and severe. Fever, doldrums, dysentery and nausea may develop soon with pneumonia. Consult the right paediatrician to administer the right antibiotics and fluids.
  5. Croup:
    Croup cough is a common symptom with a runny nose, loss of voice and fever. Stridor may be a common symptom while coughing. You may consider treating mild croup at home. Persistent to severe croup may call for ER or steroids. Paediatricians may treat croup more symptomatically using medications or steroids.
  6. Seasonal cold and flu:
    Babies commonly come into contact with more than 200 strains of cold viruses. Stuffy and runny nose, sneezes and fever are the most common symptoms of a seasonal cold.

Signs of flu in babies:

  1. Chills
  2. Body aches and headache
  3. Fever
  4. Sore throat
  5. Stuffy nose

Below are the symptoms accompanying Asthma:

  1. Rapid respiration
  2. Exhaustion
  3. Doldrums
  4. Pale skin
  5. Oesophageal dysfunction

Here’s what you can do if your child is showing persistent symptoms of cough:

  1. Check out for the environmental allergens:
    The environment at home plays one of the most crucial roles in shaping the baby’s respiratory health. Environmental irritants such as tobacco smoke, dust, mould and other exposures add to respiratory issues.
    Try to follow the guidelines given below:

    • Use mattresses, bedsheets, pillow covers and mattress covers which don’t contribute to allergens.
    • Don’t allow pets specifically if your baby is allergic to their hairy presence.
    • Make sure that the humidity level of the house is between 40% to 50%.
    • Use certified air purifiers.
  2. Use more pillows:
    Raising the baby’s head can be the best help on certain occasions. Use extra pillows and prop up the babies to improve the respiratory posture at night.
  3. Honey:
    Honey is a known medicine to help cure cough. Give droplets of honey while the baby’s about to take a nap. Honey helps relieve the symptoms of cough by soothing the throat. Studies denote that honey is as effective as Dextromethorphan. If you find your baby being at risk of Botulism, avoid using honey.
  4. Use humidifier:
    Moisture is one of the natural ways to relieve cough. Moisten the home using a humidifier. Some doctors may disagree holding that devices like humidifier are not enough to relieve cough. Pat the baby’s chest and back gently to soften the mucus.
  5. Use suction:
    Try to suck the mucus out of the baby’s nose before it complicates her throat and airway. Using suction along with the saline drops has remarkable gains. Once you are done with the procedure, squeeze it all using a bulb syringe and push the air out. You may consider using the procedure as many times as needed. It’s necessary to keep the materials clean. You may repeat the procedure throughout the day. However, stop when you feel that your baby is heaving a sigh of relief.
  6. Saline drops:
    Use over-the-counter saline drops if the symptoms persist. Your baby’s nose has a lot to do with how she coughs. The mucus in the baby’s nose travels back causing the postnasal drip. It may cause friction in the throat to produce a wet and barky cough. You may find this prevailing mostly when the baby wakes up. Use saline drops several times as needed. Most babies dislike the sensation as the drops get into their nose.
  7. Fluids:
    Hydration is the key to good paediatric health. Hydration is like a remedy when your baby suffers from a cold and cough. Most paediatricians accept that being overhydrated might be problematic. But it’s important to stay adequately hydrated. Dehydration tends to complicate various secretions in the body. It may dry up the cough and the cough may become hard to go away. Breast milk is a must for younger babies.

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