Coughing is the body’s defense reaction to remove foreign objects that enter the respiratory tract in the body. When coughing is experienced by babies handling it is not as easy as giving a free cough medicine that is sold in drug stores or in pharmacies. We must know what cough medicines are most suitable for babies.
Giving cough medicine to a real baby is not recommended until he is six years old. Even though it is safe for adult consumption, cough medicine can cause side effects that can endanger a baby’s lifeWhat we must pay attention to before treating a coughing child is that we have to recognize the symptoms and the type of cough that is suffered by the baby, whether the type of cough is dry or wet. Colds, flu, whooping cough and croup are health problems that can cause a dry cough. While pneumonia is the cause of wet cough followed by shortness of breath.
Coughs that afflict babies are generally dry coughs and are a symptom of colds or flu. In symptoms of asthma or bronchiolitis, coughing will be accompanied by a wheezing sound. Although it rarely occurs in children under the age of 2 years, asthma can occur in infants, especially if the medical history of parents also has asthma.
During the first year of his life, the baby will experience up to eight coughs, because his immune system is still developing.
Generally coughing is followed by:
- Sore throat,
- Nasal congestion
- Red eye,
- Feeding down
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or behind the head
- The discharge of snot
Symptoms of the symptoms as mentioned above that make your baby become fussy and more sensitive than usual.
Signs of a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract when coughing will emit yellowish or greenish mucus. If this happens, it must be treated using antibiotics that are in accordance with the advice of the doctor.
Safe Ways to Overcome Cough in Babies
Then how do you treat coughs in infants and toddlers without using cough medicines sold in drugstores? In addition to increasing fluid intake in infants younger than 6 months using breast milk, water, soup or warm juice, give breast milk more often in a short time and keep an eye on the ability to drink. Do not lay the baby after breastfeeding.
For children over 6 months old, breastmilk can be continued as well as increasing fluid intake and eating regularly so the child is not dehydrated.
You can also do the following methods when your baby has a cough:
- Evaporation therapy; inhaling moist air can launch the respiratory tract which is blocked due to mucus. You can do this by taking your baby to soak in warm water or sit in a steamy room for about 15 minutes.
- Drops of saline (salt water). You can buy this solution at a pharmacy or drug store. Use a pipette to drip this solution into the child’s nose or ears. The child’s head is positioned upward before giving it 2-3 drops in each nostril. Let stand for about 30 seconds before cleaning the nose with a cotton bud.
- Add a few pillows or tuck a few towels under the mattress to prop your child’s head higher if your child often experiences restlessness in his sleep.
- If children aged 1 year and above, give honey mixture of ½ to 1 spoon of honey mixed with warm water and a little squeeze of lemon juice which has vitamin C content to strengthen the body’s resistance. Don’t forget to brush your child’s teeth if honey is given before bedtime.
- For children over 4 years old, they can be taught to rinse using salt water 3-4 times a day until they reach the back of the throat by raising their heads up. The composition is half a teaspoon of salt mixed with a glass of warm water and then stirred.
For babies less than 4 months old, they generally do not experience coughing. But if your baby is experienced, you can take your baby to the doctor to find out the cause, and know how to deal with it.
The following are symptoms of serious symptoms that should get medical help as soon as possible:
- Coughing up blood
- Hard to breathe
- Decreased appetite
- The child looks weak
- Hard to sleep
- The skin becomes pale or bluish,
- Greenish or yellowish mucous cough,
- Prolonged cough for weeks,
- Reduced body weight, and fever
Immediately bring your baby or child to the nearest hospital if you experience the above symptoms.