Cough

Disponible En Espanol


Definition:

  • A cough is the sound made when the cough reflex clears the lungs
  • A coughing fit or spell is over 5 minutes of nonstop coughing
  • Coughs can be dry (no mucus) or wet (with white, yellow or green mucus)

Causes

  • Most coughs are part of a cold. These symptoms are caused by a virus (called viral bronchitis).
  • Other common causes: croup, bronchiolitis, asthma, allergic cough, whooping cough.
  • Allergic cough. Some children get a cough from an inhaled substance they are allergic to. Examples are pollens or cats.

Phlegm or Sputum

  • Yellow or green phlegm is a normal part of the healing of viral bronchitis.
  • This means the lining of the trachea (windpipe) was damaged by the virus. It's part of the phlegm your child coughs up.
  • Bacteria do not cause bronchitis in healthy children. Antibiotics are not helpful for the yellow or green phlegm seen with colds.
  • The main treatment of a cough with phlegm is to drink lots of fluids. Also, if the air is dry, using a humidifier will help. Sipping warm clear fluids will also help coughing fits.

Return to School

  • Your child can go back to school after the fever is gone. Your child should also feel well enough to join in normal activities. For practical purposes, the spread of coughs and colds cannot be prevented.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

The search for nearby emergency and urgent care facilities is based upon Google search parameters. You will get results based on how facilities manage their website information.

By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither publishers nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any expressed or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.