What Does Your Child’s Cough Mean?

Little girl with the flu - isolated

When treating your child’s cough, remember that medical experts recommend you don’t give cough and cold medicine to children under six years old.

Sometimes cold and flu season can seem like an endless stream of coughs, whether wheezing, hacking, or whooping. Just as every cough does not sound the same, every cough does not mean the same thing. So what does your child’s cough mean?

Dry cough: A dry cough, or a cough that does not produce mucus, is usually a symptom of something minor, such as a cold, allergies, or environmental irritants. A stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat may also accompany the cough if it is a symptom of a common cold or flu. To help your child recover from a dry cough, simply make sure your child receives plenty of sleep and fluids.

Wet cough: A wet cough, also called a “productive cough,” produces phlegm or mucus and can be a symptom of bronchitis, pneumonia, a cold, or the flu. If your child has a wet cough, try over-the-counter cough syrup first. However, if the cough persists, take your child to his or her doctor.

MORE:  Your Guide to Cold and Allergy Symptoms }

Barking cough: This type of cough is a symptom of croup, a viral infection that causes swelling in the vocal chords and throat. Damp air should help ease the symptoms of croup.

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What Does Your Child’s Cough Mean?

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  1. Profile photo of Missy Missy says:

    very useful info

  2. Profile photo of EbyMom EbyMom says:

    Wow my baby came down with cough and runny nose but she is getting better now. No fever I thank God for that.

  3. Profile photo of Ashley Ashley says:

    Hmm my child only does one cough and that’s the “let me get your attention so you can come pick me up.” 🙂 But it’s nice to know about the rest.


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