A chesty cough can cause a runny nose, sore throat, mild fever, and productive mucus or phlegm in your child. The cough is the body's natural process to evacuate the irritant or build-up formed in the throat. It can be difficult to see your little one experiencing the symptoms of a chesty cough. However, by understanding the underlying causes of your baby's chesty cough, you can help your child get relief from the irritating symptoms.
Common causes of a baby chesty cough
There are various factors that can contribute to your child's cough. The most probable reasons include the following:
Cold and other viruses - This is the most common reason for your child's cough. A viral infection can lead to chesty coughs.
Croup - The most common sign of croup is a high-pitched cough sound that sounds like a bark. It, usually, gets worse in the night and can also cause a whistling sound when your baby breathes.
Bronchiolitis - It is an infection of the chest and can cause wheezing and coughing.
Smoke - If your child is exposed to smoking, it can cause the symptoms of a cough.
Hay fever- It can be triggered by animal hair, moulds or dust mites, and can cause sneezing and a runny nose in addition to a chesty cough.
Allergy - If your baby is allergic to any allergens, it can result in cough symptoms in your child. Under such an event, it is advisable that you visit a doctor.
Asthma - It is a chronic symptom and can result in periodic attacks of coughing in response to an allergic reaction, exercise, or exposure to cold air.
When to consult a doctor?
Babies often cough when they have a cold and there is accumulating mucus, down the back of the throat. If your baby is drinking, feeding, eating, and breathing properly, it is usually, not a serious condition. However, you should consult a doctor under the following circumstances:
- If your child's cough does not wear off after a week
- High temperature during cough can be a sign of a chest infection. A bacterial infection will need antibiotics to clear up the infection.
- If your child is coughing the entire night and is not able to sleep properly.
- If your child experiences breathlessness at any point in time, you should immediately consult a doctor because it can be a sign of asthma.
- If your child's mucus turns yellow or green, or have bloodstains in it.
- If your child coughs very hard and it results in vomiting
- If your child becomes pale due to excessive coughing
How can you help your child?
- It is important that your child stays hydrated. For babies less than six months old, it is advisable that you stick to formula milk or breast milk. For younger kids, you can try giving them an electrolyte solution, diluted juice, or milk.
- Give your child organic honey to soothe their sore throat and calm a cough. Babies under 1 year old should not be given honey.
- You can also try herbal teas such as green tea or thyme tea to provide relief to your child.
- Steamy showers can do wonders for your child chesty coughs. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or sage in the bathtub to clear a congested chest.
- Your child can also be benefitted by taking dedicated cough medicines. Nelsons Sootha Children's Cough Syrup, which is sugar-free and alcohol-free, may help you to get rid of cough symptoms. You can also try giving Benylin Children's Night Coughs to relieve the symptoms and give your child a restful sleep.
It is important that you consult a doctor before trying any treatment or medication. Also, if you see any severe symptoms, you should take your child to an expert immediately.