8 Different Kinds Of Coughs You May Hear From Your Child
Doc Smitty on if a cough is dangerous or not
Trying to decide if a cough is dangerous or not? Requires a doctor’s visit or not? Requires treatment or not?
It can be really hard to determine the cause of a cough just because of the sound. But here are some different types of coughs and the clues that might help you or the doctor know what is going on.
- Short time period: Most coughs that last a few days are due to infection, most commonly viruses.
- Long time period: Coughs that last longer bring up other possibilities, including sinus infections, allergies, asthma, or reflux.
- Wet cough: Wet coughs with congestion can caused by a variety of reasons but are more commonly infections (most of which are viruses) or allergies. The presence of fever points towards infection while itchy or watery eyes suggest allergies.
- Tight cough: A tight sounding cough can often be a sign of asthma. If your child has a history of wheezing or the cough is associated with exercise or weather change, think asthma.
- Cough after eating: Yes, reflux can be a cause of chronic cough and it’s actually more common than you might think. Pay attention the timing and if certain foods might be triggers.
- Barky cough: Think like a dog or seal. Croup is the most common cause of this type of cough. Usually the child will have runny nose and they can have fever as well. Steam is a good way to treat this cough so use a humidifier or the bathroom with the shower going. If severe or difficulty breathing, the doctor can provide steroids and other treatments.
- Whooping cough: This cough is severe and comes in terrible spells that end in a whooping sound as the child breathes in. It requires a doctor’s visit and treatment so get it checked out soon.
- Annoying, chronic throat clearing cough: This can be caused by many reasons but an important one to think about is tics. Children can have vocal tics that sound like throat clearing or even a mild cough.
There are lots of reasons why a child might be coughing but hopefully some of these tips will help you determine what you need to do next.