My child has a cough. What should I do?!

If you read my posting a few weeks ago, my children were very sick. They all had a cold, a short time with the stomach bug, and now they have a very stubborn cough. The doctor said it’ll go away on it’s own, and to just try to make the children as comfortable as possible. Easier said than done. With all these stories of Whooping Cough and Croup, it’s easy to become paranoid every time your child starts to cough. This is why I decided, it would be a good idea to write a blog post with more information for concerned parents. Please, take into consideration that this post is not intended to replace a doctor’s opinion, it is only meant to inform you on these serious illnesses. If your child is sick, you should always take them to see a doctor.

Whooping Cough / Pertussis

What is Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that’s highly contagious, and it’s also vaccine preventable. Especially in young kids and unvaccinated people, it causes a severe cough, which is the reason for the name, “whooping cough.” (WebMD)

How can my child catch it?

It spreads through close contact with oral secretions or respiratory droplets. So it’s easily spread through the cough, especially when people are in close contact, like living in the same house with a person who has whooping cough. It can also be spread through sneezes – anything that spreads respiratory secretions. (WebMD)


(My husband and I were vaccinated this fall for Pertussis. Please make sure you are vaccinated as well.)

Croup:

What is Croup?

Croup is a common respiratory problem in young children. It tends to occur in the fall and winter. Its main symptom is a harsh, barking cough. Croup causes swelling and narrowing in the voice box, windpipe, and breathing tubes that lead to the lungs. This can make it hard for your child to breathe. An attack of croup can be scary, but it is rarely serious. Children usually get better in several days with rest and care at home. (WebMD)

How can my child catch Croup?

Croup usually occurs a few days after the start of a cold and is usually caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold. Croup is contagious. The germs that cause it can be passed from one person to another through coughing and sneezing and through close contact. Regular hand-washing and limiting contact with others can help prevent spreading croup to others.

As children grow older and their lungs and windpipes mature, they are less likely to get croup. Getting a flu shot each year may help your child fight off some of the viruses that can lead to croup. (WebMD)


Below is a link where you can listen to Whooping Cough & Croup sounds, in comparison with other kinds of coughs. I thought this was a great resource, since it allowed me to actually hear each cough. This is wonderful because if one day I do hear my children coughing in a similar matter I can know, it’s not just a simple cough. Again, this should never replace a doctor’s diagnosis, and if your child has a cough always seek medical care.

http://children.webmd.com/pertussis-whooping-cough-10/coughing-sounds

Sources:

http://children.webmd.com/features/whooping-cough-what-you-need-to-know

http://children.webmd.com/tc/croup-topic-overview

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