How Young Can You Send A Kid To Military School – Cough is better. They are the body’s built-in mechanism for protecting the airways and fighting off infection – it’s a sign that your child is sick, but also a part of getting better. But they can be annoying, and sometimes they can be a sign of more related problems. how can you tell?
When a highly contagious virus is circulating around, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents’ ears perk up at the slightest sound of a hack, and for good reason: the most common cause of a new cough in a child. A viral infection. While there are many different viruses that can cause your child to cough, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is one of them. (Remember, getting your child vaccinated as soon as possible and wearing a mask indoors is the best way to protect him from the virus and possible complications.)
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When the new coronavirus is spreading in your community (read: almost everywhere in the U.S. right now), it’s a good idea to check in with your pediatrician at the first sign of a cough or other symptoms of COVID-19 in children. The doctor can ask about your child’s symptoms and help you get a COVID test to determine if they have COVID, a different bug, or something else entirely.
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It is especially important to follow up with your doctor to get tested if your child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if they have an underlying condition that could make COVID infection more severe. Their pediatrician can also determine whether your child should be seen by a medical professional or cared for at home while they are quarantined or isolated from others.
In general, says pediatrician Mark Brown, MD, coughs fall into two categories: wet and dry. A dry cough is usually the result of irritation in the upper airways – the sinuses, throat and vocal cords. Irritation in the airways below the trachea can also cause a dry cough, but usually, the lower airways produce mucus in response to the irritation—which leads to the other type: a wet cough.
Both types tend to get worse at bedtime (causing what doctors roughly call “discharge” when babies go straight to lie down), and both are most present in the winter, when viruses are making the rounds. But there are many non-seasonal reasons that can cause a cough in children.
As it turns out, the sound of a cough can tell a lot to medical professionals like Dr. Brown, from type to severity. Here he is searching.
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Croup is characterized by a dry, barking, brassy cough, but what really gives it away is stridor, a distinctive, high-pitched whistle when breathing in. A possible result of many different viruses, croup is basically an inflammation of the area. down the vocal cords, making it difficult for air to get where it needs to go – hence the whistling sound.
When you hear that strider, it’s time to make an appointment. A same-day primary or urgent care visit should be fine — unless your child is struggling to get enough air, in which case, go straight to the emergency department. Treatment is usually a steroid, which reduces inflammation. The sooner they get it, the less they’ll need and the better they’ll feel.
Wheezing with dry cough is a symptom of asthma. “People use the word wheezing for many different sounds,” says Dr. Brown, “but in asthma it’s a whistling sound coming from inside the chest, more often when breathing in than when exhaling, but sometimes Both.
Unlike your typical viral cough, which gets worse when you sleep but gets better after a while, an asthma cough can actually go on in the middle of the night, and it doesn’t go away. “It’s not just a few coughs here and there,” says Dr. Brown. “It’s 20 to 30 minutes of continuous coughing.”
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Wheezing is your call to action. If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, you may already have an asthma action plan. (If you don’t, ask your doctor.) If not, have them checked by your primary care provider. And as always, if your child is having trouble breathing, seek emergency care right away.
When you think of choking, you might think of a child with a blocked trachea, unable to breathe, but sometimes it’s more subtle. If a child has a choking episode and then an initially dry cough that later hangs around, they may still have part of the object (or another object entirely) lodged in their lungs. . A cough that goes along with a runny nose or other cold symptoms can be a telltale sign.
If a child has something in their lungs, it needs to get out. A medical provider may listen with a stethoscope for changes in breath sounds in different parts of the lungs, which may indicate a foreign object. Specialists can confirm this by looking for areas of air entrapment with X-rays. If there is anything, the pediatric surgical team can remove it under anesthesia, usually with a bronchoscope. “As you can imagine,” says Dr. Brown, “we have extensive experience in removing material from children’s lungs.”
If it is during the winter, a wet cough is usually the result of a virus, although it can also be caused by cigarette smoke or other irritants. Wet coughs can feel bad, so sometimes they can trigger the gag reflex and a child may vomit. Surprisingly, though, Dr. According to Brown, this isn’t necessarily a big deal in itself. “Until it stops,” he says. “Then you might be looking at GI disease as well.”
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A wet cough accompanied by a high fever (greater than 102°F) may point to a more serious infection that requires medical attention. Also note an increased breathing rate, as this can be a sign of airway obstruction. This will be more obvious when the baby is sleeping, as this is not usually the time when they are breathing rapidly. If they aren’t struggling, it’s fine to wait until the next morning to pick them up.
A typical viral infection lasts about 7 to 10 days, but at the height of cold weather, there are dozens of them circulating. “There’s influenza A and B and rhinovirus A and B and C and practically the whole alphabet is going on,” Dr. Brown says. “A virus evolves very quickly, and relatively subtle changes mean your immune system doesn’t recognize it and can’t fight it.”
That’s why you need a new flu vaccine every year: The shot you get is actually a mix of vaccinations against the forms of influenza virus experts believe will be most prevalent in the coming season. . (This is why it’s possible, although very unlikely, to get the vaccine and then get the flu anyway. Experts are still learning about whether this will be the case for COVID-19 as well.)
“They get one virus that lasts for 7 to 10 days, and then they catch a different virus,” says Dr. Brown. “It’s a string of non-serious viral infections that can leave a child coughing for weeks, even months.”
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For the most part, Dr. Brown says, it’s just like your grandmother did: Stay hydrated, eat well and get plenty of rest. Dr. Brown also recommends keeping the nasal passages moist with saline nose drops or gel. Using a humidifier at night can reduce dry air and airway irritation, but to use one safely you have to be sure to clean it: “Empty it and let it dry every day,” he says. “And wash it every week.”
What not to use: Over-the-counter cough medicines. Doctor. “There’s not much evidence that they help anyone,” says Brown, “and they can cause adverse reactions in young children.” If you have questions about this, ask your child’s doctor.
Without proper cleaning, mold and bacteria can build up in the humidifier and make matters worse. Every week, Dr. Brown recommends filling the tank with enough distilled white vinegar to cover any parts in contact with water. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Then use a toothbrush to scrub the crevices and corners, wash it thoroughly and let it air dry.
In general, Dr. Brown says, the younger the child, the more likely it is to have breathing problems. Because their airways are smaller, constriction or inflammation can cause a cough in an older child and render a baby or toddler unable to breathe.
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