To help moisten the respiratory tract and thin mucus, use a cool mist humidifier in your child's room. Be sure to keep this equipment scrupulously clean so that bacteria do not collect in it.
See also Fever and/or Sore Throat if your child's cough is accompanied by either of these symptoms.
Coughing is not so much an
illness as a symptom of illness. Many coughs are caused by allergies, colds,
and the flu (see Allergies;
Influenza). Less frequently, a cough
maybe a sign of a more serious problem. A cough that comes on rapidly and is
accompanied by wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest, and difficulty
breathing may be caused by asthma (see Asthma). A persistent, lingering cough
may be a sign of bronchitis. A child whose cough has a
"barking" sound may be suffering from croup. A harsh cough
that comes on after a cold and is accompanied by fever, fatigue, and
difficulty breathing may be a sign of bronchiolitis or pneumonia. In very
rare cases, a chronic cough may be a sign of tuberculosis.
Help your child avoid respiratory irritants and allergens, including environmental pollutants and foods to which she is sensitive. Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves can also be a source of lung irritation.
Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke. Teach your child at an early age about the dangers of smoking.
From Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, N.D., L.Ac., Robert Rountree, MD, Rachel Walton, RN, ©1994. Published by Avery Publishing, New York. For personal use only; neither the digital nor printed copy may be copied or sold. Reproduced by permission.