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Coughing : Overview

Teething cough

Babies commonly begin teething once they 
are 4 to 7 months old. By the time they're 3 years old, they presumably will have a full set of 20 baby teeth.

Teething can cause an excessive amount of drool to drip down the rear of your baby’s throat. This can sometimes cause your baby to cough. If there’s no sign of nasal congestion that could be the result of a cold or an allergy, this could be the case.

Typical symptoms of teething include:


Ø  Drooling

Ø  Fussiness

Ø  chewing or biting things

Ø  rubbing gums

Ø  turning down nursing or food

Ø  swollen, red, sore gums

However, your baby’s cough is typically 
caused by something aside from teething, like allergies, sinusitis, asthma, or in some cases a bacterial infection.


When to call your pediatrician

If your baby is younger than 4 months, any cough should be verified 
by a doctor. Although not every cough for a baby older than 4 months may be a reason for a doctor’s visit, call your baby’s doctor if the cough is amid symptoms such as:


Ø  any fever (if baby is 2 months or younger)

Ø  fever for more than 3 days in any age child

Ø  labored breathing (fast breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath)

Ø  blue lips

Ø  not drinking or eating (dehydration)

Ø  excessive sleepiness or crankiness

If you think that 
your baby may need pertussis , seek emergency medical aid directly.


Other coughs

The distinctive sound of your baby’s cough — barking, whooping, or wheezing — may assist you 
determine its cause.

Croup cough

Croup cough may be a 
barking cough that always occurs when your baby is trying to sleep. Croup is typically caused by a virus infection and sometimes clears up during a few days. If it doesn’t, call your pediatrician.
You should also see your pediatrician if the cough seems to affect your baby’s breathing or if your baby seems very sick or irritable.

Whooping cough

Pertussis (whooping cough) may be a 
severe cough marked by a “whoop” sound that happens between coughing fits. It’s often accompanied by difficulty breathing. It may be preceded by fever or cold symptoms, but these are often resolving or gone the time the cough starts.

Whooping cough can be very serious and in some cases deadly for infants and young children. If you think that 
your baby may need pertussis , seek immediate emergency medical aid.

Often a baby with pertussis 
is hospitalized so oxygen are often supplied during coughing fits. Sometimes an antibiotic such as erythromycin is prescribed.

When it involves 
pertussis , prevention is that the best course of action. The childhood vaccine for this cough is the DTaP. Older children and adults get the Tdap booster vaccine.

Wheezing cough

A wheezing cough could indicate bronchiolitis or asthma.
Bronchiolitis sometimes starts with what appears to be a basic cold, like 
a runny nose and cough. It’s usually accompanied by a loss of appetite and a slight fever. It’s most often encountered in the fall and winter.

Asthma is not common in children younger than 2 years old. A baby is at a higher risk of asthma if there is a family history or asthma and allergies and if the baby has eczema.



Notice: Please consult your doctor before following any instruction of

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