Cough

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Should I CAll?

Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If

  • Severe trouble breathing (struggling for each breath, can barely speak or cry)
  • Passed out or stopped breathing
  • Lips or face are bluish when not coughing
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • Choked on a small object that could be caught in the throat
  • Trouble breathing (Exception: present only when coughing)
  • Lips or face have turned bluish during coughing
  • Ribs are pulling in with each breath (called retractions)
  • Can't take a deep breath because of chest pain
  • Harsh sound with breathing in (called stridor)
  • Wheezing (purring or whistling sound during breathing out)
  • Severe chest pain OR coughed up blood
  • Weak immune system. (Such as sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, organ transplant, taking oral steroids)
  • Age under 12 weeks old with fever. (Caution: Do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.)
  • Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  • You think your child needs to be seen urgently

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If

  • You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
  • Nonstop coughing spells
  • Age under 3 months old
  • Earache or sinus pain (not just congestion)
  • Fever lasts more than 3 days
  • Fever returns after gone for more than 24 hours
  • Chest pain even when not coughing

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns
  • Coughing causes vomiting 3 or more times
  • Coughing has kept home from school for 3 or more days
  • Allergy symptoms (such as runny nose and itchy eyes) also present
  • Runny nose lasts more than 14 days
  • Cough lasts more than 3 weeks

Parent Care at Home If

  • Cough with no complications

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.