How to Stop a constant cough in a Child?

June 23, 2023

How to Stop a constant cough in a Child?
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A constant cough refers to a cough that persists over an extended period without significant improvement or resolution. It is characterized by frequent coughing spells that occur throughout the day and may also continue during the night, disrupting sleep. Unlike occasional or temporary coughing associated with a common cold or respiratory infection, a constant cough typically lasts for several weeks or even longer.

Understanding the Causes

Before delving into the remedies, it’s crucial to identify the possible causes of a constant cough in children. Common triggers include respiratory infections (such as colds, flu, or bronchitis), allergies, asthma, postnasal drip, environmental irritants (like smoke or pollutants), and even acid reflux.

Home Remedies to Stop a Constant Cough:

  • Hydration: Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids like water, warm herbal teas, or diluted fruit juices. Staying hydrated helps thin the mucus in the airways, making it easier to expel and reducing the frequency of coughing.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural cough suppressant and has antimicrobial properties. For children above the age of one, mix a teaspoon of honey with warm water or herbal tea. You can also add a dash of lemon juice. Give this mixture to your child before bedtime to soothe the cough.
  • Steam Inhalation: Steam inhalation can provide immediate relief from a constant cough. Create a steam bath by running a hot shower and allowing your child to sit in the bathroom for about 10 minutes, taking deep breaths. Alternatively, you can use a humidifier in their bedroom to keep the air moist, easing coughing symptoms.
  • Saline Nasal Drops: If your child’s cough is caused by postnasal drip or nasal congestion, saline nasal drops can help relieve the symptoms. Instil a few drops of saline solution in each nostril to clear the nasal passages. This will minimize the irritation that triggers coughing.
  • Elevate the Head: Elevating your child’s head while sleeping can help reduce nighttime coughing. Use an extra pillow or elevate the head end of their bed slightly to promote better drainage of mucus and alleviate coughing.
  • Warm Fluids: Warm fluids like soup or broth can provide soothing relief to a constant cough. They help to moisturize the throat and alleviate irritation. Opt for warm chicken soup or vegetable broth to provide additional nutrients and comfort.
  • Gargling with Saltwater: For older children who can gargle, saltwater gargles can effectively reduce throat inflammation and relieve coughing. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and encourage your child to gargle with it for 30 seconds before spitting it out. This remedy should be supervised for younger children to prevent swallowing the solution.
  • Rest and Sleep: Adequate rest and sleep are crucial for the body to heal. Ensure your child gets enough sleep to support their immune system and aid recovery. Avoid exposure to cold air or harsh environmental conditions that can worsen the cough.

When to Seek Medical Advice:

While home remedies can often help alleviate a constant cough in children, it’s important to know when to consult a healthcare professional. You should seek medical advice under the following circumstances:

  • Persistent Cough: If your child’s cough persists for more than a week despite trying home remedies and shows no signs of improvement.
  • Severe Symptoms: If the cough is accompanied by high fever, severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, or wheezing.
  • Underlying Health Conditions: If your child has a pre-existing respiratory condition such as asthma, or if they have a weakened immune system due to other health conditions.
  • Young Age: If your child is under the age of one, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.
  • Concerning Signs: If you notice any worrisome symptoms or signs that indicate a more serious condition, such as rapid breathing, bluish discolouration of lips or face, extreme fatigue, or dehydration.

Who to Consult:

When seeking medical advice for your child’s constant cough, you can consider consulting the following healthcare professionals:

  • Paediatrician: A paediatrician specializes in the health and well-being of children and can provide expert guidance and treatment options.
  • Allergist: If you suspect that allergies might be contributing to your child’s cough, an allergist can conduct specific tests to identify triggers and provide appropriate treatment options.
  • Pulmonologist: If the cough is persistent and related to a respiratory condition, a pulmonologist, or lung specialist, can provide further evaluation and specialized care.

People also ask

1. What is the reason for continuous cough in a child? A continuous cough in a child can have various causes, including:

  • Respiratory infections: Common cold, flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia.
  • Allergies: Exposure to allergens like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mold.
  • Asthma: Chronic inflammation of the airways leading to coughing episodes.
  • Postnasal drip: Excess mucus dripping down the throat from the nasal passages.
  • Environmental irritants: Smoke, air pollution, strong odors, or chemical fumes.
  • GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing coughing.
  • Chronic conditions: Conditions like cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, or immune disorders can lead to persistent coughing.

2. How do you stop a continuous cough at night for kids? 

To help stop a continuous cough at night for kids, you can try the following:

  • Keep the bedroom environment clean and free of irritants like dust and allergens.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and soothe the airways.
  • Elevate the head of the child’s bed slightly to promote better drainage.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep the airways hydrated.
  • Use a saline nasal spray or drops before bedtime to relieve nasal congestion.
  • Provide a teaspoon of honey (for children over one year old) before bedtime to soothe the cough.

3. What is a natural remedy for a persistent cough in children? A natural remedy for a persistent cough in children can include:

  • Honey: Honey has soothing properties. For children over one year old, you can give them a teaspoon of honey or mix it with warm water or herbal tea.
  • Warm fluids: Warm liquids like herbal teas, warm water, or warm broths can help soothe the throat and reduce coughing.
  • Steam inhalation: Encourage your child to inhale steam from a hot shower or use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  • Saline nasal drops: Use saline drops to relieve nasal congestion and reduce postnasal drip.
  • Rest and sleep: Ensure your child gets enough rest and sleep to support their immune system and aid in recovery.

4. Why won’t my child stop coughing constantly? 

There could be several reasons why a child won’t stop coughing constantly. It’s essential to consider factors such as underlying medical conditions, allergies, environmental triggers, or exposure to irritants. It’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional to evaluate the cause of the continuous coughing and determine the appropriate treatment. They can conduct a thorough examination, review the child’s medical history, and perform any necessary tests to identify the underlying cause and provide targeted treatment options.

Disclaimer: While the home remedies mentioned in the above blog may seem effective and practical, it is important to note that no scientific evidence supports their efficacy. Therefore, consulting with an expert in the field is highly recommended.



General Paediatrics

General Paediatrics

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