Tag Archive: coughing

  1. How to Know When Your Newborn Has Whooping Cough

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    It is important for parents and doctors alike to keep a close eye out for whooping cough symptoms in newborns and infants. Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is named for the high-pitched sound of sharp inhales from victims of the disease; however, the “whooping” noise is not usually made by infants. Therefore, the symptoms can sometimes be difficult to recognize, and failure to do so can result in some serious repercussions. Thankfully, if on alert, they are noticeable and treatable. These are some telltale signs and symptoms to be aware of when identifying whooping cough:

    • The whooping cough often begins with common cold or flu symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, a mild fever, and a mild cough. There is no need to panic each time your child gets a cold, but it is important to pay close attention.
    • After a week or two, if the coughing persists and turns into longer, dry coughing fits, that is a strong indication of whooping cough.
    • For infants under six months, it can be common for them not to cough at all, but instead gag or gasp for air. This may result in vomiting or turning purple from respiratory distress. Also, the lips and fingertips often become blue-ish.
    • A pause in the baby’s breathing, or short intakes of breath, is called apnea and warrants immediate physician or hospital care.
    • Exhaustion is another symptom, which contributes to the infant’s susceptibility to other infections, pneumonia, and seizures. Be sure that your child sleeps often and is in a constant state of rest throughout their illness to help prevent these possibilities.

    Recognizing whooping cough symptoms in newborns is critically important. Whooping cough is most dangerous in infants, for it can have very serious consequences, is harder to diagnose, and requires immediate treatment. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it is best to immediately seek hospital care to place them on a safe road to recovery.

    Calling for any kind of assistance is never discouraged at Pediatric Partners. For a deeper, medical description of whooping cough, information on prevention and treatment, or diagnosing assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    To see a video of an infant with whooping cough, look here.

  2. Recognizing The Symptoms Of Croupy Cough In Toddlers

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    Croupy Cough In Toddlers

    Croupy cough is in fact a viral infection caused by the parainfluenza virus. It causes the voice box to get inflamed, resulting in the swelling and narrowing of the airways that lie just below the vocal cords. When this happens, breathing becomes more difficult and when the person breathes it can sound like a harsh, barking cough that as often been compared to the barking sounds that a young seal pup makes.

    If your child is suffering from croupy cough, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with the pediatrician for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. At Pediatric Partners, our doctors have had several years of experience treating croupy cough. Call us today.

    Croupy cough in toddlers is so common because children under the age of 5 years have smaller airways. Babies and toddlers are more susceptible to croup starting in late fall and right through the cold winter months.

    Adults can also suffer from croup but it not as commonly seen as croup in toddlers or croup in babies.

    Symptoms Of Croup

    The telltale symptom of croup is the seal bark cough that is usually more pronounced at night and may be accompanied by noisy breathing. Sometimes, you may also hear a high-pitched sound during inhalation. This is known as stridor.

    Other croup symptoms may include:

    •    Stuffy nose
    •    Raspy or hoarse voice
    •    Difficulty swallowing
    •    Cold-like symptoms
    •    Irritability

    Fever may or may not be present.

    The symptoms of croup last several days and usually up to a week. The symptoms can recur.

    Protecting Your Child From Croup

    Croup is contagious, which makes it very difficult to avoid altogether. Your child could catch the virus from other kids in school, in their playgroup or even from fleeting contact with another child in the park or while grocery shopping with you. The infection is spread if another child coughs or sneezes on your child or even if your child touches anything that an infected person has touched.

    Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower the risks and protect your child. The best and most effective preventive measure is regular hand-washing. Teach your child to wash their hands regularly. As much as possible, minimize or at least try and avoid contact with other people with any type of respiratory infection.

    Treating The Symptoms Of Croup

    There are a few things you can do at home to try and alleviate the symptoms and relieve your child’s discomfort.

    Taking your child for a proper diagnosis is important. Make an appointment with the pediatrician and get a professional evaluation. This is especially important if none of the home remedies that you’ve tried are effective in reducing the symptoms and if your child still has a barky cough and difficulty breathing. A visit to the pediatrician is warranted if you notice signs of dehydration.

    The pediatrician may put your child on steroids in order to reduce the swelling in the airways so that your child can breathe more easily.

  3. Bronchitis

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    Sneezing, coughing and fevers can make everyone miserable. But how can you tell if the infection is easing off or getting worse? When a cold begins to clear, fever breaks first, though coughing could continue for a few days. If coughing lasts for longer than a few days, it could be morphing into something more serious like bronchitis.

    WHAT CAUSES BRONCHITIS?

    Bronchitis often starts as the flu. Unlike the flu, it does not have the symptom of fever. It can be hard to tell the difference between the onset of something like bronchitis versus the onset of allergies or asthma. The same irritants that can trigger an allergy attack or asthma, like smoking, can also cause this kind of lung infection to occur. Like asthma, it causes the airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Fluid builds up in the lungs when it becomes so irritated that the mucus lining begins to leak into the lungs. The coughing starts when the body tries to expel the mucus.

    AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

    First, the pediatrician will give your child a complete examination and, most importantly, listen to the lungs. If the doctor can hear slight rattling sounds called rales, or detect wheezing when your child breathes, it is likely that he/she has bronchitis. Other tests may include breathing tests and x-rays.

    Treatment for this kind of illness is fairly straightforward. If the cause has been determined to be bacteria, amoxicillin may be prescribed, as well as ibuprofen for throat pain and an expectorant to clear the mucus out of their lungs. At home, make sure that your child gets plenty of fluids and rest. Use a humidifier to add healing moisture to the air, which will reduce irritation. Lastly, if there are smokers in your home, send them outside and remove any irritants from the air, including dust and harsh chemicals.

    Want to know more about the symptoms of bronchitis and how it can affect your child’s health? Call us todayfor an immediate consultation.

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