May 17, 2021
Coughs are one of the most frequent symptoms of childhood illness but sometimes a cough can be troublesome. Parents are particularly anxious about cough, given current pandemic situation.
There are many types of coughs which can signify different things. For example, barking or harsh cough is often due to Croup and wet cough may be a sign of pneumonia.
The majority of children have brief repeated periods of coughing due to viral upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and it usually disappears in one to two weeks. There are a small group of children who develop chronic cough (daily cough that lasts longer than 4 weeks) and they often warrant a Paediatric review.
The key factors in assessment of child’s chronic cough include a detailed history establishing the severity, duration and type of cough (for example dry, moist, barking). Other relevant factors include persistent nasal discharge, choking, vomiting, sputum production and possible allergies.
Some of the ‘red flag signs ‘associated with cough are:
• Recurrent cough lingering forweeks
• Breathing difficulty
• Stridor (noisy breathing)
• Coughing upblood
• “Whooping” sound after coughing
• Blue or duskycolor to the lips, face, or tongue
• High fever
• listless or irritable
Other worrying signs in children with on-going coughs include poor growth, abnormal chest shape and respiratory signs such as wheeze.
The management of cough depends on the likely cause and often some children may warrant further investigations which could include chest X-ray and various blood tests.
Dr Sunilla Jog, Consultant Paediatrician offers comprehensive assessment for children with respiratory problems at Candover Clinic. Call our enquiry team for further information on 01256 315010.