Baby cough is a common and important topic young parents must pay attention to as well as clarify the problems related to it. So, let’s understand first how a cough is important in every person’s life and what it is necessary for.
Any normal person must cough, at least occasionally. The body thus cleans out the lungs of mucus accumulated in them. It can’t be other way, because one does not breathe the cleanest air. When any disease of lungs and upper respiratory tract appears, the amount of mucus increases, and it is necessary to clean out the bronchi and neutralize viruses and bacteria. And the body removes the accumulated mucus (called sputum) by coughing.
As in case with the nose, the main thing is to prevent drying up of sputum – a cool air and excessive drinking are used again.
You must not give any medication that suppresses cough (glaucine, libeksin, tusupreks, bronholitin) without a doctor’s prescription! These medications are good to treat only one childhood infection – whooping cough – and under the constant doctor’s supervision only. In all other cases, if it is too unbearable, medicines that affect the mucus (make it less dense) and strengthen the bronchi contraction can be used. Cough, whatever it can be, always allows waiting and consulting a pediatrician. Ammonia-anise drops, potassium iodide, bromhexine, acetylcysteine are the most harmless and quite effective medications. It’s good to have them at home, but it’s better to ask a doctor about the dosage and feasibility of usage in every special case.
A hacking cough happens quite often when the mucus is dry or different substances irritate the bronchial mucosa – carpets (dust), warm and dry air, cigarette smoke, allergy (citrus, chocolate, pets) . Naturally, one must not treat a cough but eliminate the causing factors causing.
You must respond and involve medical professionals immediately.
If the child wakes up at night and he cannot inhale, the voice is hoarse, he has a rough (barking) cough – these are the manifestations of croup (inflammation of the larynx) caused usually by a viral infection. While awaiting the doctor’s arrival, you should quickly let the baby breathe the cool air (bring him to the window or to the balcony), give him warm drink and warm clothes.
Cough in a horizontal position
What is the reason? To begin with let’s understand that rear rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucosa) is the most common cause in such a situation. Rear rhinitis is an inflammation of back parts of the nose membranes. The child has a runny nose, a large amount of mucus is secreted, but this mucus flows not forward but backward as if flowing down the rare pharyngeal wall. When a child is in an upright position, he certainly easily swallows this mucus and it doesn’t manifest itself anyhow. But once he has lied down in a horizontal position, the mucus accumulates in the throat and irritates it thus causes coughing.
What to do? First, you must diagnose. The word “rear rhinitis” means the place where an inflammatory process takes place. It can be caused by a viral infection, but then there must be common symptoms as well as allergy or an irritation of the rare parts of the nose with dust or some substances in the air. In any case, the treatment should be started with humidification and ventilation of the room, going out for a walk as long as possible, and washing the nasal passages with the saline solutions.
And right before the bedtime you should moisturize, ventilate the room and take an additional pillow. But put it not under the child’s head but under the mattress to raise the head of the bed. This will greatly facilitate swallowing during sleep.
Cough in a horizontal position requires three steps:
1. to raise the head of the bed;
2. to wash the mucous membranes with salt solutions;
3. a pure cool humid air in the bedroom.
And the most important step is to find a doctor who will help diagnose correctly and understand the reason of cough at night.
Cough and taking a walk
Taking a walk in a pure air is healthy, but what if a baby has a cough or bronchitis, for instance, and grandmothers say that it is undesirable?
If you keep on staying at home, bronchitis will never disappear. In fact, a pure fresh air is much more important for a child who has bronchitis or other respiratory tract mucosae problems than for an entirely healthy child. It is clear that there is an acute period of a disease when a child feels really bad – when he has troubles breathing, a high temperature, no appetite, when everybody worries about that. But a period of recovery starts afterwards. Of course a child can behave outdoors in different ways, but he definitely needs some fresh air. What does the phrase “different ways” mean? It is clear that if the child runs outdoors, sweats heavily, his oral cavity will be dried up, this will cause thickening of mucus and he will start coughing even more intensely. But it is possible to sit quietly on a bench with the grandmother, to read a book, to peacefully walk in the park holding hands, or to sit the baby in the stroller and to take a walk in the fresh air.
So, every time the child has a cough, fresh air is vital for him. If he has a high temperature, you always stay at home. But the faster you go out afterwards, the faster the child recovers. It is clear that really fresh air is meant. If you live near a chemical factory, it will be possibly worse to stay in the open air. Or if the temperature outdoors is 40 degree Celsius above zero or 30 degrees below zero, you will likely stay at home. Nevertheless, cough is not a direct contraindication but an indication to spend time in a fresh air. The main thing is to avoid excessive sweating that will naturally make the work of mucous membranes worse. So, if to take a walk while coughing, the child will cough less then and he will feel better very soon.
How to choose a cough medicine
So, what cough medicine to choose if there are lots of them in the pharmacies? First of all you need to know that there are two groups of cough medications:
1. a medication that directly suppresses cough;
2. so-called expectorants – medication that affects the mucus, phlegm and eases its expectoration.
Let’s note firstly that the cough, in most cases, is vital for the body. This is the most effective way to purify the respiratory tract. And there are very few diseases when cough hurts, is not useful, is not of benefit to the body. In any case the cough remedies (the ones that eliminate cough) can be prescribed by a doctor only. These remedies are very serious and they are used in rather non-standard situations. Parents willing to cure the child’s cough by themselves are not eligible to treat it with this kind of cough medications.
As for the expectorants it should be noted that expectorants affect primarily the lower respiratory tract – the bronchi, the lung tissue, i.e. it makes no sense to use expectorants to treat the diseases of the upper respiratory tract (acute respiratory viral infections). Therefore, the most effective expectorants you can use to cure the child by yourself are always a plenty of drink and pure cool humid air.