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My son age is 10 years suffering from cough and close nose from two days any medicine for him? Please advise.
Coughing is a common problem of the respiratory tract and often indicates a deeper problem. It can be very irritating and can affect eating habits and socialization. A cough which persists for more than 4 weeks is believed to be chronic in nature. Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of chronic cough in India. TB is an airborne bacterial infection caused by the organism, 'Mycobacterium tuberculosis', that primarily affects the lungs, although other organs and tissues may be involved. Cardinal features are:
- Chronic cough with or without sputum.
- Fever more in the night time.
- Poor appetite.
- Unintentional weight loss.
Read on to know about other common causes of chronic cough and how to manage them.
- Allergies: People with allergies usually have a chronic cough, which gets aggravated when exposed to the allergens such as pollen or environmental dust. Staying away from allergen provides relief. Antihistamines are also useful, which most people detected with allergies keep in handy. Inhalers might be required, if there is associated congestion or shortness of breath.
- Asthma: This is a very common chronic condition, caused by inflammation and swelling of the lungs, in addition to wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma patients often suffer from a chronic cough. An asthma attack usually happens during the night or early morning, and is triggered by colds, cigarette smoke, air pollutants or allergens, which can even include certain foods. Most asthmatics usually carry their steroids, inhalers, and bronchodilators, as the onset of attack can be unpredictable.
- Bronchitis: This condition of inflammation of the bronchial region is very common among smokers and among the elderly. There is excessive mucus accumulation, which the body tries to clear via coughing. The lungs are weakened and therefore, the coughing is painful.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): This is a problem of the digestive system, but regurgitation of food into the airway induces cough. GERD is a chronic issue and so most people also end up with a chronic cough. It is worse with sitting up than with sitting down. Treatment includes H2 blockers to suppress acid production and dietary changes including small, frequent meals and avoiding spicy food items.
- Upper airway cough syndrome: There could be multiple problems in the upper airway, which leads to a constant postnasal drip. Here, there is constant dripping of the sputum into the air passage, which can lead to a chronic cough whenever there is impaired air flow. This can be caused by various forms of chronic sinusitis and rhinitis. People diagnosed with this condition usually resort to antihistamines and decongestants for relief.
- Other causes: There are a number of other causes as noted below. Smoking, tuberculosis, congestive heart failure, pertussis or whooping cough, foreign body in the airway, cancer in the airway passage, chronic aspiration of foods, etc. can all lead to chronic cough.
The key is to identify the reason that is causing the chronic cough. Most people who are diagnosed are educated to handle it and carry the required medications including steroids, bronchodilators, and inhalers. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Giving a child medication can be a challenging job and one that many parents dread! Wrong dosage can create a havoc and lead to unnecessary complications or the problem not getting treated at all. So make sure you give your child the proper dose.
Here is a small guide that will help you understand more about dosage and administration of medicine for children:
- Dosage: Usually, most pharmaceutical companies print the dosage as per the age or the weight range of the child. This is true mainly for paediatric drugs. Yet, there are other ways of calculating dosage as well. You can divide the age of the child (in months) by 150 and multiply the sum with the average adult dosage to compute the dose that the child should get.
- Frequency: Also, always speak with a paediatrician to find out how often a medicine must be administered. The label will usually have this information, but it is always best to mention the exact symptoms and ask for the frequency.
- Instruments: Child medicine usually comes in liquid form for easy ingestion. You can use a wide mouthed calibrated syringe for administering the medicine, or you could use a spoon, or even the measuring cup that comes with the medicine. The baby's bottle or a dropper can be used for infants as well. Take care to watch for signs of choking and administer the medicine in one dose broken up into smaller doses to avoid the same.
- Storage: Ask your doctor about storing the medicine at room temperature or in the refrigerator as this will affect the efficacy of the medicine.
- Administration: Remember to find out if the medicine is to be administered before or after the child has had a feed or a meal. Then, wash your hands and prepare the child by ensuring that he or she lies still without any squirming. Make the child comfortable about the idea of taking medication and keep the head propped up. Talk to distract the child and if need be, practice sucking it in so that the child avoids choking. You can mask the unpleasant taste of certain medicines by keeping a glass of juice or candy nearby.
- Missed Doses: If your child throws up a dose, or you miss one, do not give a double dose. Instead skip and give it later.
Take due precautions when you are administering, storing and measuring the medicine for your child as this could have an impact on how the child reacts and heals.