When a baby gets sick it can be worrisome so it is important to understand what causes an infant cough. Babies are prone to get diseases since immunity is low. This is another reason why even a common cold can hit a baby much harder than an older child or adult. Caring for a sick baby can be hard since most medicines are not advised for children of this age. Here is a look at common causes for a baby’s cough and ways to treat it.
Causes For A Baby’s Cough
- Common Cold: Colds are usually caused by viruses that attack the respiratory tract. When a cold starts a baby may feel irritation in the throat which leads to a cough. Eventually mucus may increase. After the cold clears the cough may remain for weeks.
- Reflux: GERD is a common gastrointestinal problem that affects infants. Stomach acid pushes up the esophagus which causes burning and irritation. This often causes a cough and pain as well.
- Irritants In The Air: Pollutants in the air like smoke or certain smells may lead to a dry cough in a baby. It is never wise to expose a baby to cigarette smoke.
- Whooping Cough: Since an infant has not had the chance to finish immunizations against many diseases one illness that can be contracted is whooping cough. It is quite contagious and causes a whooping sound as the baby inhales. Coughing can be so severe that the baby may turn blue or experience tears from the eyes.
- Croup: This viral infection is quite common. It begins like the common cold but coughing continues to get worse especially at night. Symptoms come on suddenly and the cough is very distinct. A child with croup will have a cough that sounds like a barking seal. Another symptom of croup is a stridor. A stridor is loud sound that a child makes when inhaling. This is triggered when airways become inflamed.
- RSV Disease: Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a major illness that affects the respiratory system of young children. It can be quite serious and is very contagious. It is often spread in daycare centers but is less severe in older children.
Treatment For Coughs In Infants
When most adults get a cough or cold the most common remedy is a cough medicine. However young children cannot take drugs like this. Here are some ways to keep a baby comfortable and able to breathe better when dealing with a cough.
- Vaporizer: Using a vaporizer will add moisture to the air which helps to open air passages. Menthol or eucalyptus are two items that can be rubbed on a baby’s chest to ease breathing as well. When airways are open a cough is less likely to occur.
- Steam: Using steam from a hot shower will also help in a pinch especially at night when breathing is hardest to control.
- Stay Hydrated: It is essential to keep a baby filled with liquids at this time. In addition to family it is smart to give water as well.
It is important to call the doctor is a baby’s cough is accompanied by a high fever the infant becomes listless or has extreme breathing difficulties.
Having a sick baby can cause concern especially when a cough is present. There are many causes of an infant’s cough. Since medicine is usually not recommended for children of this young age it is important to uncover the best treatment. Infant cough should go away with time but if it suddenly gets worse or hampers breathing it is essential to seek immediate medical attention.