When a parent first has an inclination their toddler is getting a cough, they try to do whatever is necessary to bring their sick child relief. Studies have shown that treating toddlers who suffer from colds and coughs should not be given OTC medications due to many of the dangerous side effects. The toddler cough can be intimidating but highly-treatable.
The Toddler Cough: Mucus-Filled Coughing
We all know what this sounds like. A phlegmy cough sounds like mucus is rattling of the back of your child’s throat. Your child could have a runny nose and mild fever. A cold in most cases starts off with a cough or a runny nose.
What to Do: Give lots of liquids during this time such as water, juice or warm tea. Natural honey has a healing effect and helps coat the throat. Give a spoonful of honey throughout the day, most importantly before bed. Use nasal drops, an aspirator and a humidifier.
The Toddler Cough: Barking Coughing
This toddler cough is accompanied by a cough and then a high pitch squeak when inhaling. Your child could be suffering from croup which affects the voice box and windpipe due to it being inflamed, which causes the airways to swell.
What to Do: Start a hot shower with the doors closed. Stay in the steamy bathroom for 15-20 minutes. It also helps to lay child on knees and pat the back gently. This should help to break up any mucus.
The Toddler Cough: Wheezy Coughing
This phlegmy cough is accompanied by a high-pitch-whistling sound when breathing in. Your child could have signs of vomiting and a fever, while also feeling very lethargic. This could be bronchitis in most cases which is an infection that causes swelling and inflammation in their tiny airways (bronchioles). RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis, while the cold and flu can also cause this.
What to Do: Offer lots of liquids (water, juice, warm tea) to soothe throat and to prevent dehydration. Using a nasal aspirator and humidifier will also help.
The Toddler Cough: Continuous Coughing
This is the cough that just won’t stop night after night without any other symptoms. Your child could have a chronic lung condition in which their airways swell, spasm, and become clogged with mucus.
What to Do: Evaluate first and if it persists longer than three days, contact the physician to evaluate your child. There might be nothing wrong with your child, so try not to panic.