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Cold and cough is caused by a viral infection, which can last for about two to four weeks. The symptoms include stuffy or a runny nose, coughing and sore throat. Many times, the infection may raise body temperature and the child may suffer from fever. Our body’s immune system naturally fights with such infections. Depending on the type of cough and the symptoms, the virus can stay active in the body for about 4 to 6 weeks. It is quite painful to see the child suffering from cold and cough. The symptoms of this infection are worse during the first two days.
The child will experience pain and irritation in the throat with difficulty in swallowing, frequent coughing with mucous, breathing difficulty and high fever. Most parents rush to over the counter drugs for cold and cough to ease of their child’s agony. However, most drugs/ cough syrups available over the counter only provide temporary relief. Medical evidence suggests that antibiotics do not kill viruses, thus, it is not advisable to treat cold and cough with antibiotics unless accompanied by another infection. So, what do parents do? Well, there is a lot that can be done.
Let’s first understand the type of a cough your child might be suffering from:
- Dry cough: Generally occurs due to infection in upper respiratory tract, cold or influenza. Children with asthma and allergies are also prone to this type of cough as dry cough is triggered by smoke or dust.
- Croup Cough: A harsh barking and dry cough with swelling beneath vocal cords.
- Wet Cough: Most commonly caused by cold. This is an infection of the lower respiratory tract characterised by mucous secretions.
- Whooping cough: Characterised by fast coughing, breathing difficulties and a whooping sound while breathing.
Apart from this, If coughing starts suddenly along with choking, the child may have inhaled a foreign body. Immediate help may be required. For babies less than 12 months of age, cold cough followed by breathing difficulties may indicate bronchiolitis and require a paediatric attention. A normal cold and cough generally subside with two to four weeks. However, it is important to understand when to consult a doctor.
- Chest pain or breathing problems
- Cough lasting for more than 6 weeks.
- A yellow, green or brown mucous indicating another infection.
- Swollen glands, persistent high fever, rashes.
- Body getting pale and symptoms getting worse.
- Temperature higher than 38 degrees in the case of infants.
Precautions and diet that should be taken care of
- Increase Intake of fluids especially hot liquids
- Never stop breastfeeding the baby
- Vapour rub applied on chest and back is an effective remedy
- Inhaling steam provides relief to a sore throat and nose
- Intake of crushed tulsi leaves with honey or hot turmeric milk is soothing and very helpful
There is little we can do to prevent viral infections. However, proper care and caution can ensure a smooth recovery. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.
My grand daughter 4 years old female baby affected by sight not clearance. While we check ,doctor told the sight is slowly vanishing. She also affected by heavy head ache. Please advise .
My daughter aged one and half year old,she just dont want to eat,i have to show vdo etc then she will eat half roti.Three months ago she was eating all the things but now adays she dont want to eat any thing.Rest is normal.She is active and normally she dont cry.
My baby is 2 months old she is struggling while nursing. During nursing she coughing ands she doing deep breath for 4 to 5 times after that. What to do doctor for overactive letdown. Now she vomits the milk.
My daughter is 4 years old. Tomorrow night she fell down and her lips got cut by teeth and her nose was bleeding. Please help me.
My child 1y 6m cries during passing of urine since 2 days ( she shows the genitals that she has pain there ) Is it urine infection? Please suggest the remedy or medicine.
My daughter is 6 years old. She doesnt want to eat food. She is very light in wt 17 kg. She got fever four times in last six months and during fever she felt like vomiting. Lab reports suggested three times nothing and once minor urinary track inf. For which she was treated accordingly. She clatters her teeth while sleeping. She was given two doses of albandazole six mths back. Kindly suggest
Hi. My baby girl will be 4 years next month. She has chest congestion and low immunity since she was one year. I give medicine. She feels better but again happens. Frequently gets sick. Please suggest.
I am breastfeeding the baby and there was some blood and pus below the nipple. Now I am applying the ointment, but the lumps are getting formed and I have to expel every 1 hr. How to prevent lumps? And can I use nipple shields from next time? As baby is getting teeth, I think because of sharp teeth I am facing this issue.
I'm breastfeeding my 3.5 months old baby. I used to bleed now and then for a month in first month after delivery. Later I didn't experience any kind of bleeding or spotting. However, on June 9th I had unprotected sex and took unwanted 62 within 72 hours. I experienced bleeding on 7th day of taking the pill and bleeding lasted for 3-4 days. Afterwich I have not got my periods. It's been 2 months now. Are there any chance of me being pregnant still?
Hello sir my daughter is now 4 month ND 6 days. She is very weak. Before 5 day I consult a doc he prefer a serap a to z. My daughter birth weight is 2 kg ND 600 GM. She drunk buffalo milk in 1/4 water quantity.
My son is suffering from urine infection. Doctor says his right kidney size is small due to infection and they suggest a MCS test to check the urine flow below or above, then please tell me a right way. Thanks.
My son is 1.5 months old. His belly button is swollen and popping out in relax mode also since last 10 days. When he is crying or straining then it is growing large. It is painless. It seems that it is umbilical hernia but it looks odd. Can it be cured? Should we worry about this? Please guide.
He is suffering from severe cough and cold for last 3 months. Symptoms are as follows: 1. Dry coughing with sound 2. Standard temperature of body is around 99 to 101 degrees at night and afternoon. 3. Shows unwillingness during food intake. 4. Getting weakness 5. Nasal blockages at intervals with nasal flow 6. Watering left eye with more residuals during sleep Look forward for your valued opinion and suggestions on this matter.
Asthma is an inflammatory disease, which affects the airways of your lungs (respiratory tract that pumps oxygen into the lungs). It is long term in nature. It is characterized by shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. It occurs few times a day or few times a week depending on the person it affects. Sometimes it worsens during the night.
What triggers Asthma?
- Airborne particles such as dust mites, mold spores, pollen and cockroach waste.
- Infections in the respiratory system such as common cold.
- Cold air can also trigger asthma.
- Physical or outdoor activities which make you pant such as running, skipping, jogging and jumping can cause shortness of breath, thus triggering asthma.
- Pollutants and irritants in air such as smoke.
- Some medications can also trigger asthma.
- Stress and nervous attacks (panic attacks) also trigger asthma.
How to manage asthma better by changing your lifestyle:
- Try to avoid keeping animals in your house such as dogs, cats and rabbits. Many times animal fur, waste, urine and saliva contains particles which can cause allergic reactions and make you cough uncontrollably. This in turn triggers asthma attacks. If you have pets try keeping them away from your bedroom.
- Dust mites also cause allergies which trigger asthma. So wash your carpets, rugs, bed-linen and pillowcases in hot water.
- Bugs and insects such as cockroaches are not only unhygienic, but can also trigger asthma. Cockroach droppings near your bed, kitchen and food are dangerous and you should call an exterminator to get rid of these bugs.
- Sometimes, heavy fragrance also aggravates your respiratory tract and triggers shortness of breath. Avoid using heavy perfumes, deodorants and room fresheners.
- Pollution also triggers asthma. Dust particles come out from the vehicles and mix with the air. If this air is inhaled, it might trigger uncontrollable asthma. So try to cover your mouth with a cloth when you step out of your house.
Asthma can be very severe and can bring many hurdles in your day to day activities. Changing your lifestyle and certain habits can reduce asthma to a great extent. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pulmonologist.