Toddlers and small kids may not be able to describe the breathing or swallowing difficulty that they experience due to cough and cold. They often catch cold. Bronchitis, pneumonia, common cold, infection and fever are quite common in children. It is the duty of the parents to check whether the child is finding it difficult to swallow food and drinks, whether the cough is dry or wet, whether it is followed by mild or high fever, etc. Children may suffer from cough and fever during various illnesses. Some of them are described below.
Cough and Fever in Children
Teething: Teething is one of the most common causes of cough and fever in small babies. Excess salivation during teething gives rise to cough. This is generally followed by a low-grade fever. Since teething is a normal phenomenon, parents should not worry about these symptoms. With the help of medications prescribed by the doctor, symptoms can be easily lowered.
Asthma: Asthma can be experienced by adults as well as children. It is a disorder of the airways and it can lead to chronic cough in children. Wheezing, constant coughing, breathlessness are the main symptoms of asthma. Increased weakness leads to increased possibility of infections leading to fever.
Allergy: If a child has certain type of food allergy, pollen allergy, or any other allergy, contact with these allergens (especially air borne allergens) can result in cough and fever. Skin rashes, breathlessness are some other symptoms of allergies. Weak immune system of the developing children leads to allergic reactions.
Respiratory Infections: Viral or bacterial lung infections, respiratory tract infections lead to bronchitis or pneumonia. Persistent cough and fever in children can weaken the immune system and can affect the overall health significantly. Prompt medication can avoid chest congestion, breathlessness, high fever and the serious consequences. Blood stained mucus can be a symptom of serious underlying condition like tuberculosis or cancer.
Common Cold/Influenza: Common cold or influenza is the most common cause of dry/wet cough and fever. Infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) leads to common cold and influenza. Drinking herbal teas, hot soups, gargling with warm salty water can help relieve the symptoms like soreness and irritation in the throat and chest. Hot liquids can loosen mucus as well.
Contagious Infections: Breathing in the infected droplet can lead to croup cough. The respiratory adenovirus, measles, influenza or syncytial virus can cause croup. Touching the toys exposed to viruses or use of contaminated objects can result in barking cough.
Depending upon the cause and severity of the condition, you can opt for simple home remedies that can help lower the fever and irritation due to cough. Spitting out the mucus helps lower the symptoms, but children usually tend to swallow the mucus. This leads to vomiting or upset stomach. Use of steam and vaporizers is the best way of lowering chest congestion, nasal congestion and irritation in the throat. You can add a pinch of turmeric and salt to warm water and ask the child to gargle 2-3 times a day. This offers great relief.
Taking rest, avoiding playing or physical activities, is essential if the child has fever along with cough. Proper medications should be given to lower the fever. A sponge bath, applying pads of egg white, onions, potatoes or garlic help reduce fever fast. If cough and fever do not go away within a day or two, parents should consult the doctor.
Coughing is body's natural response that helps remove the accumulated fluid from the lower and upper respiratory tract. Whooping cough, croup cough need to be treated with proper medications. Rapid cough can give rise to breathing difficulty. Exposure to cigarette smoke can worsen the situation. So parents should take proper care while treating cough and fever in children. To avoid complications, it is better to consult the doctor immediately. Never use over the counter medicines, or unknown medicines. Medications prescribed to adults should never be used for toddlers and kids.