Call 911 if your child:
- Is unconscious or not breathing
- Is gasping for breath
- Has trouble breathing or is breathing very fast when not coughing
- Has severe coughing attacks or continuous coughing
- Can't cry or talk because of breathing trouble
- Grunts when breathing
- Has blue lips
- May have a small object caught in their throat
- Is breathing very fast (this is also a symptom of fever)
- Looks very sick
Coughs in young children can be due to a number of illnesses. Most often, a cough gets better on its own and doesn't need to be a cause for concern, but you may want to try something to get relief and help reduce the inflammation caused by cough or sore throat. Many over-the-counter cough medicines contain honey, aloe or menthol. These help reduce the inflammation of the upper airways.
Keep in mind that honey should never be given to children under 1 and it's not recommended for children under 2 years old.
Call Doctor If Your Child:
- Is younger than 1 year old and still has trouble breathing after you cleaned out their nose
- May have a lung infection or a reactive airways disease episode
- Is wheezing or making a high-pitched whistle sound when breathing out or in
- Can't take a deep breath because of chest pain or coughed-up blood
- Has a fever that lasts longer than 72 hours
1. Prevent Dehydration
- Give babies plenty of breast milk or formula.
- Give older children water or juice mixed with water.
2. Relieve Congestion
- Thin mucus in a stuffy nose with saline nose drops.
- Remove mucus from a baby's nose with a suction bulb.
- Use a humidifier in your child's room or take your child into the bathroom with a steamy shower running.
3. Ease Breathing
- Use a cool-mist humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- Sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running and have your child breathe in the steam.
4. Make the Child Comfortable
- Let the child rest.
- Avoid irritants, such as cigarette smoke.
- Don't give cough medicine to a child under age 4 unless your pediatrician suggests it.