Cough in children is often due to viral infections that
affect the nose and throat. These settle down within a few days without causing any problem. Yet we cannot ignore the
fact that 15% of deaths in India during infancy and from 1 to 5 years of age are due to infections of the respiratory
system that includes the lungs.
Six Important Facts To Be Kept In Mind If Your Child Has A Cough
- Call the doctor immediately if a child with a cough
is breathing over 50 times a minute.
- A child with a cough and cold should be encouraged to
eat and to drink plenty of liquids. You can reduce the risk
of respiratory infections by making sure that your baby is exclusively breastfed for
6 months and continues breastfeeding after that.
- A child with a cough and cold should be kept warm
(not hot), in an environment free from cigarette smoke.
- A good doctor helps you to find the cause of the
cough and treats the same, and does not prescribe cough syrups and expectorants.
- Cough per se is a helpful phenomenon. Do not try to unduly suppress it. If your child is breathing normally,
coughs and colds can be treated at home without drugs.
- Most medicines sold for cough and colds are useless
and possibly harmful.
Less Serious Causes
of clearing the throat
- Hay fever (see Allergies)
body in the bronchi
The above causes are discussed under individual headings.
Symptomatic Relief Of Cough
As mentioned earlier, cough is a helpful mechanism. Do
not try to unduly suppress it without the advice of your doctor. Let your child drink plenty of liquids, including water.
Steam is helpful.
For symptomatic relief of cough, extract the juice from a dozen or more leaves of the tulsi plant. Give a
teaspoon of this juice mixed with honey or jaggery, 4
times a day. If the cough is very troublesome, make a mixture of equal quantities of honey, lime
juice and brandy or gin
and give ˝ tsp. to 1 tsp. of this mixture 4 times a day.
Avoid giving honey to smaller infants, and alcohol if the child has
rapid breathing or if your religion forbids it.
7 March, 2016