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Is your child coughing persistently? This could be chronic cough, extremely common in children. With the decline in air quality, the toxins enter the body and settle in the lungs posing serious health risks to everyone especially kids.
If coughing continues, for example beyond a week, then it is called chronic and medical help must be sought. Chronic cough is one of the most common reasons for which children are taken to doctors.
Causes of Chronic Cough in Kids
One of the major reasons of coughing is air pollution. Numerous pollutants and irritants in the air can lead to persistent cough. Exposure to fumes like diesel exhaust can result in cough, phlegm, allergies and lung irritation. Researchers from Imperial College London have found that pollutants in air could also trigger coughing. Especially as the colder months arrive, the wind becomes cool and thus heavier, which means that it is not able to rise up and circulate easily. This leads to a higher concentration of pollutants in the air. Thus you would often observe that as the winter months approach, such episodes of chronic cough become more persistent. Click here to buy pollution masks to save your child from the dangers of Air Pollution.
One of the primary and the more persisting reasons of chronic cough. Symptoms include wheezing, sound in chests and constant coughing without respite.With asthma, the body’s levels of cortisol naturally decreases during night and that can trigger asthmatic bronchospasm, whence the air passage becomes inflamed and narrow.
It is an inflammation of the mucus lining of the nose and sinuses and makes the nose a breeding ground for bacteria. Symptoms include yellowish-green nasal discharge, bad breath, and dark circles around eyes.
The outbreak of cough in children as a result of allergies has increased in modern times. The air contain high amount of smoke, carbon-dioxide, sulphur, dust and other pollutants which the children inhale. They enter the body and the trigger the formation of allergen which in turn produces histamine that causes inflammation and bronchial congestion leading to chronic cough.
#5. Choked air passage
Often something can get stuck in the air pathway of child can block the air supply and cause irritation leading to chronic cough.
#6. Gastric issues
In people with already existing respiratory trouble, acidity may trigger a coughing bout.
#7. Mucus drip
Constant watery nose may lead the child to get choked by the mucus she is constantly inhaling, leading to coughing.
#8. Cold and flu
By all means the most common cause of cough in children. It occurs mainly during the change of seasons if the child is not adequately shielded from catching cold.
Symptoms of Chronic Cough in Kids
Along with prolonged coughing, chronic cough may be accompanied by other symptoms like sore throat, post-nasal drip, phlegm, runny or stuffed nose, etc.
Effects of chronic cough
For the children’s nascent immune system , a chronic cough can be pretty deadly. It irritates the child and doesn't let him sleep at night, resulting in fatigue. Prolonged coughing can also damage the bronchial pathway and lead to bronchial infections. Coughs can also be an indication of serious diseases, even ones that can cause mortal danger, like pneumonia and lung cancer.
Ways to prevent your kid from catching chronic cough:
Parents should ensure that their child stays away from people who smoke, and from environments that contain smoke and dust. Since most Indian metropolitan cities are laden with dust and air pollution today, it is advised that children should use Pollution masks like N95 when going outside. The Air Quality Index in cities like New Delhi goes as high as 400 on certain days which is hazardous. The Delhi air pollution had peaked 40 times the WHO’s safe levels in 2017 which makes the use of masks (especially for children and elderlies) a must.
Click here to buy pollution masks to save your child from the dangers of Air Pollution.
These masks are easily available in the market and provides protection and ensures that your child breathe fresh air, free of harmful pollutants.
- Also don't think you're safe just because you're inside. Children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most prone to pollution - both indoor and outdoor.
- The child is to be properly protected from catching cold during change of seasons.
- Studies show that eating diets rich in fruit fiber and flavonoids prevents chronic cough in kids.
- The child must get the whooping cough(pertussis) vaccine.
- Staying away from people with known cases of Bronchitis or pneumonia might be a wise option.
Treating chronic cough:
Some of the common medical and home-made remedies of chronic cough in kids are:
- The most common method to attain relief from chronic cough is gargling with warm water. Gargling three times a day, and adding a bit of salt into the water can provide excellent results.
- Honey is the best-known home remedy to cure cough. The ideal way to administer it is to mix it with hot water and a little fresh lemon juice. It works fast and has no side-effects.
- Clearing the nose with the help of a nasal drop will help if the cough is caused by cold and mucus accumulation
- Vapour rubs can be applied to the chest and back to alleviate cough. However, this is not to be tried in children less than 3 months old.
- When suffering from a bad cough, a warm shower can help to reduce it by soothing the throat, increase mucus drainage, and relaxing the sore muscles, thereby loosening up the bronchial passages.This can even help children with nasal congestion and sore throats.
- If the child has asthma, it is to be aggressively treated with anti-inflammatory medications and bronchodilators, such as inhaled corticosteroids. Inhalers and nebulizers are effective in treating asthma, and have little to no side effects.
- Mucus thinning agents like Guaifenesin and cough-suppressing medications like dextromethorphan can be tried.
- Cough syrups and antibiotics are to be resorted as a last resort, if all else fails. Children below three years should not be given antibiotics unless in the case of an emergency.
What’s most important is give your child care, make him attain proper rest, healthy food, and drink enough fluids. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may result in the cough going away on its own.