What to look out for
Coughing is part of your child’s natural immune system. Most coughs are caused by viral infections such as the common cold, flu or bronchitis. Coughs often come with other symptoms such as a runny nose, fever, sore throat, earache or general aches and pains.
On average, children get six to seven viral infections every year and a cough is often one of the symptoms of these infections. Most of these coughs will clear up by themselves. As long as your child is drinking plenty of liquids, eating and in reasonably good form, there is no need to worry.
What can you do
If your child has a cough but is in reasonably good form and is drinking well, there is often no need to do anything. Your child’s immune system will fight the bug that is causing the cough. Talk to your pharmacist. Paracetamol or ibuprofen will relieve pain or fever. If your child is over 6 years of age, they can also take over-the-counter cough remedies. Saline nose sprays can help to clear the nasal passages.
Coughing spreads the germs that caused your child’s cough in the first place so it is important not to pass the germs on to others. Get your child to cough into a tissue, bin the tissue immediately and wash your hands.
When to seek help
If your child’s cough lasts more than three weeks, bring them to your doctor for a check-up. There are other conditions which can cause a long-term cough.