In most cases, coughing is simply the body’s way of getting rid of mucus.
What to do?
Health Canada advises against giving cough and cold medications (syrups, suppositories, etc.) to children under the age of 6. They are not effective and can be dangerous for young children.
If your child has a cough, don’t give him cough syrup. Coughing is a defensive mechanism and cough syrups can actually be dangerous for young children.
Talk to your doctor if your child
- Has had a cough for more than 10 days
- Is coughing to the point of choking or vomiting
- Has a cough and is wheezing or breathing rapidly. This could be bronchiolitis or asthma. You should consult a doctor right away.
A hoarse voice or barking cough, like a barking dog, is usually a sign of laryngitis (previously referred to as “false croup”).
To relieve your child’s cough, have him breathe cold air: bundle him up warmly and take him outdoors or open the window. Cold air will calm the inflammation in his throat (larynx). You will likely notice an improvement within a few minutes. If it’s hot out, open your freezer door so he can breathe in the cold air. If he has trouble breathing, see a doctor right away.