Even though a persistent cough can disrupt with the sleep of the toddler and make him/her sound ill, coughing is not usually an indication of a serious condition. Always bear in mind that coughing protects the airway of the toddler by keeping them clear of mucus and other secretions. A dry, hacking cough can indicate that the toddler has an allergy or mild cough, but it is still best to bring the child to a doctor for proper assessment if he/she develops high fever along with coughing, breathing rapidly, starts to wheeze or the cough persists for more than a week.
Identifying a hacking cough
It is important to pay close attention to the hacking cough so that it can be described to the doctor. You should also discuss other symptoms that accompany the cough such as watery eyes or runny nose. It is vital to note whether the cough of the child changes by becoming productive and wet or if it worsens at specific times of the day or night. The doctor will listen to the cough of the child before creating a diagnosis since it is one of the most important clues to the cause of the cough. You can identify a hacking cough by enrolling in a first aid class today.
Allergies or asthma
Postnasal drip that is triggered by allergies can result to a tenacious dry, hacking cough along with cold symptoms that do not diminish. The immature lungs of the toddler will put them at risk for seasonal or environmental allergies such as smoke or pet dander. Asthma can also cause a dry, hacking cough. The coughing from asthma often worsens at night and the child will start to wheeze or suffer from breathing difficulties.
Cold and flu
If the toddler experiences runny nose and congestion along with cough, it suggests that the child might be sick with flu or cold virus. Unless there are spikes of high fever or breathing difficulties, the cold will run its course in a span of a week. Even though a toddler should not be given cough medications, you can keep the air moist using a humidifier since this can often help the toddler sleep better by thinning and loosening out the congestion.
Important considerations to bear in mind
If the hacking cough persists for more than a week without other indications of illness, it might be due to an object that is stuck in the lungs of the toddler. Due to the increased mobility of toddlers and their tendency to place objects into their mouth, it makes them prone to swallow small toys or chunks of foods. If you suspect that the toddler inhaled something, it is important to seek immediate medical care.
Take note that doctors usually vaccinate children against pertussis or whooping cough, but it can still occur. This is a contagious bacterial infection involving the lungs, windpipe and throat that causes severe breathing difficulties and even death.