Cough is one of the common childhood illnesses. Read on to learn more about the causes and symptoms of cough. Find some tips and home remedies for dealing with it.
Cough is a helpful phenomenon - it is the body's natural reflex to irritation in the throat. There are two kinds of cough - one which is wet and associated with mucus (productive cough); and the other which is dry and there is no mucus (unproductive cough). It is important to differentiate between the two, because the treatments are entirely different.
In the case of productive cough, coughing helps in removing excess mucus or phlegm which has come up in the back of the throat from the lungs or the nose and sinuses. A common cause of coughing in the night is mucus dripping from the nose into the back of the throat. Expectorant syrups as prescribed by a doctor can be given to the child to help get rid of the phlegm. Note that productive coughs should never be suppressed since they serve a very useful purpose. Night-time irritation can be eased by turning the child on his side or his front. A doctor should be consulted in case the cough lasts for more than 48 hours.
Unproductive coughs on the other hand serve no useful purpose, and can be very irritating to a small child, sometimes to the extent of preventing sleep. In this case, cough suppressants can help ease the discomfort.
What are the causes of coughs in children?
Infections like flu, cold and croup can cause the symptoms of cough to develop in children. It can also be caused due to allergies to certain foods, dust, pollen, pet dander etc. Some children may also get affected with cough due to the exposure to cigarette smoke, smoke of crackers etc. Illnesses like sinusitis or asthma can also give rise to the symptoms of cough in children. But getting affected with cough does not necessarily mean that the child must be coping with these illnesses. Right diagnosis is a must.
What are the other discomforts that accompany cough?
The bouts of coughs are accompanied with the following discomforts.
Vomiting sensation after coughing
What are some of the alarming symptoms?
If your child is coping with cough, you must watch-out for the following symptoms and report to your doctor immediately.
Discharge of green, yellow or brown mucus or phlegm
What are some home remedies for treating mild cough?
If cough is not very severe, it can be easily treated with home remedies. However, if the symptoms are persistent you must immediately seek help from your doctor.
Tulsi or Holy Basil Leaves
Tulsi or holy basil leaves are very effective for coping with cold. You can give juice of Tulsi leaves to your child 3 times a day for two to three days. You will notice that the symptoms will reduce gradually. You can also add honey to it in order to reduce the bitterness of Tulsi leaves. Tulsi leaves and honey are together are known to cure cough along with other symptoms like cold, sore throat etc.
Ginger and Honey
Giving juice of ginger mixed with honey can also prove effective for dealing with cough in children. This remedy is also useful for dealing with cold and sore throat.
Boiling raw turmeric in milk and giving this concoction to your child can help to relive symptoms of cough, cold and sore throat. Let your child drink this concoction when it is a little warm for better results. Also make sure that the drink is not too hot so that your child does not burn her mouth.
Consult your doctor before trying these home remedies on your child. If the symptoms do not fade away even after trying home remedies, you must immediately consult your doctor.
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- The Indiaparenting Team