Causes of cough
09:36 (GMT+2), Thu, 05 July 2012
Sister Lilian's guide to the different types of coughs in babies and how to treat them.
1. Excess mucus
Excess mucus causes irritation in the throat or chest, triggering a cough response. The early years of life are generally more mucousy, with more colds and runny noses than later.
2. Foods linked to cough
Dairy and grain products, and foods with preservatives, colourants and flavour enhancers may cause excess mucus and trigger cough.
Allergies to any substance ingested orally or inhaled (like pollen) may cause cough. Pets and house dust mites are also possible causes of allergic cough.
Smoking in the child’s environment is a common cause of chronic cough. Smoking outside the house helps, but is not absolutely safe, as the nicotine is in the airways of the smoker and breathed out over the child in close contact. Quitting is the only option that will really help. Babies born to smokers will be far more likely to have respiratory problems and be more prone to allergies generally.
5. Respiratory infections and diseases
Conditions like bronchitis, bronchiolitis, croup, flu, asthma and whooping cough are all characterised by cough, and require specific treatment as well as general lifestyle and dietary adjustment.
Dry, cold areas or seasons make some babies more prone to coughs, and humid climates affect others. For chronic cough, moving house may be required if self-help measures do not sufficiently improve the cough.
Young children and babies in créches are more prone to coughing, and if the problem is chronic, it’s worthwhile choosing childcare where fewer children are looked after by the caregiver. Or have your baby cared for at home by a trusted, trained nanny.
Tips to help with coughbaby, cough, asthma, croup, whooping cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, sister lilian