Sometimes a cough is a symptom of the common cold, but in other cases, it can indicate a more serious health problem such as asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia. At Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics in Atlanta, Georgia, experienced pediatricians help diagnose the cause of severe or chronic coughs in children and offer treatments that can calm the cough and treat the underlying condition. Schedule an appointment with Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics over the phone or online to learn more.
Coughing is the body’s reflex that helps keep your airway clear. It allows your body protect itself and help it heal from colds and other illnesses. Acute coughs are short-lived, while chronic coughs usually linger longer than three weeks.
If your child has a cough, possible causes might include:
Some medications can also cause a cough. While coughs generally aren’t cause for concern, see your doctor if your child’s cough is severe or long-lasting.
Coughs resulting from asthma or allergies aren’t contagious. However, many illnesses associated with coughs are contagious and are spread through person-to-person contact or through the air. Colds and flu are spread through air droplets when an infected person sneezes, talks, or coughs.
Viruses associated with coughs are also spread through the air or by contact with shared surfaces, such as desks and tables at school, towels, and shared toys or utensils. Frequent hand washing or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help prevent your child from becoming sick.
The first step in treating a cough is determining its cause. Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics practitioners perform a physical exam to help them determine what’s causing your child’s cough. The practice also offers pulmonary function testing, which is something specialists usually perform.
The treatment for a cough depends on its cause and severity. Many times coughs go away on their own within a week or two. In the case of a severe cold, flu, bronchitis, or mild forms of pneumonia, your practitioner might recommend at-home remedies such as drinking a lot of fluids, getting plenty of rest, taking over-the-counter medicines, or using a cool-mist humidifier. They may also offer prescription medicines.
If your child has asthma or allergies, your doctor might suggest using an inhaler, taking seasonal allergy medicines, or getting allergy shots to reduce symptoms and restore their quality of life.
Don’t let a cough progress to a serious medical problem. If your child has a severe or long-lasting cough, schedule an appointment with Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics by calling the office or using the online booking tool today.