Cough: There are seven types of cough in children

Barking, whistling, rattling

There are seven types of cough in children

31.08.2016, 14:44 hrs | mmh,

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It is rattling, barking, dry, slimy – and usually associated with sleepless nights: Coughing in children. Coughing is a protective reaction of the body and often the symptom of a disease that can be harmless but also life-threatening. This is how parents interpret the seven most common types of cough.

Tired, exhausted, with a snot nose, the little ones go to bed, fall asleep peacefully and suddenly it starts: Barking like from a little sea lion penetrates from the children’s room. The little body fights against cough attacks. Parents then know that it has happened around their night’s rest.

With this cough right to the doctor

Coughing is not a disease, but a protective reaction of the body, which ejects foreign bodies and mucus. Coughing is a symptom of something irritating the respiratory tract, be it mucus or a pathogen.

If the child is struggling with shortness of breath at the same time, as with pseudo-croup or a swallowed foreign body, it coughs very strongly and the breathing noises are very loud and conspicuous, a doctor should absolutely be consulted. Even if the cough has not subsided after a few days, at the latest one week, and keeps returning, you should seek medical advice. It should then be clarified whether the cough is chronic and related to an allergy, asthma or immune deficiency.

Different types of coughs

Depending on how the cough sounds, one can already draw conclusions about the trigger. Basically, these types of cough can be distinguished:

  • Dry cough. Possible cause: Allergy, incipient infection.
  • Barking, rough cough. Possible cause: Krupp cough, pseudocroup, especially if the cough occurs at night.
  • Rattling, wet cough. Possible cause: There is a lot of secretion stuck in the respiratory tract. This phlegm must be coughed up. But beware! Too much phlegm solvent can intensify the cough.
  • Cough with pain in the lungs or abdomen. Possible cause: pneumonia (pneumonia)
  • Doctors also distinguish between productive cough and unproductive cough. Productive in this case means producing mucus that has to be coughed up.

Usually the cough subsides by itself after a few days, but one should observe the course in any case. If it is not caused by an infection, the cough disappears after about three days, an acute infection of the upper respiratory tract is behind the symptoms, which are accompanied by other symptoms (glassy eyes, loss of appetite, cold, fever, aching limbs, headaches), the cough lasts about a week. However, if the same type of cough persists for several weeks, it can be a chronic cough, indicating other triggers such as bronchial asthma, allergies, general immune deficiency.

Cough cleanses and protects the respiratory tract

In addition to viruses and bacteria, other triggers can also irritate the respiratory tract, smoke, cigarette smoke, gases or swallowed and inhaled objects. Our body is smart: the airways can be imagined as an un-mown meadow. Instead of long blades of grass in the wind, cilia sway in the air we breathe in and out. A thin layer of slime covers these cilia, this layer forms a barrier for pathogens. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, dust, pollen and small particles get stuck in it and are carried back to the pharynx by the movement of the cilia with the phlegm. From here the phlegm is either swallowed or coughed up.

Any infection of the respiratory tract is a disruptive factor in this self-cleaning system, it produces a greater amount of thick mucus. The mucus accumulates, the body tries to get rid of it by coughing.

These household remedies alleviate coughing.

– Drink a lot. Mucolytics are mainly warm drinks, but if you have a dry cough, still water or diluted fruit juice is also good and cools the inflamed area.

– It is even easier to keep the air in the room humid, the easiest way to do this is to hang a damp cloth over or next to the bed, or to put a clothes horse with damp laundry in the room. This makes the child’s breathing air more humid, which helps to liquefy viscous mucus in the bronchi, which is particularly important for dry chesty cough, whooping cough and pseudocroup.

– Airing and cool room temperature

– Warm soup, especially chicken broth

– Cough teas: sage is the classic for respiratory infections. Simply blanch sage leaves (fresh or dried) with boiling water and let them steep. If you like, you can also place a sage leaf in your mouth. Thyme, fennel seeds, ribwort plantain herb and liquorice root also help.

– Make your own cough syrup: Here the onion is the natural remedy. Quick and easy: chop an onion, put it in a jar with a tablespoon of solid honey, close the jar. After some time a juice forms, that is the cough juice, which can be given harmlessly and reproduces itself again and again.

The encyclopedia of childhood diseases provides an overview of the most common childhood diseases. The articles explain the symptoms, treatment and possible consequences of childhood diseases. Parents are informed about the signs when the child has to go to the doctor quickly and the diseases for which household remedies can help. You will also find information on whether and for how long childhood diseases are contagious. Some childhood diseases can be prevented by vaccination. An overview of the vaccinations recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission can be found in our vaccination calendar.

Important note: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognised doctors. The contents of cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

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