Everything you need to know about your child's cough

Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, shares advice for parents on the most important things to know about coughs in kids, including the best treatments and ways to prevent kids from catching a cough
Everything Parents Should Know About Your Child's Cough
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Everything you need to know about your child's cough

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Children get colds and coughs often especially during the winter. Sometimes that cough can linger for weeks and weeks. You can't always keep your child home every time they have a cough or a cold. Parents often ask me when do they need to worry, when should their child stay home and when can they return to school. In general, if the cough isn’t bothering your child, if they’re not having trouble breathing and they’re looking okay and they don’t have a fever, then they can go to school or go to their play dates, but if they have a high fever, if the cough is turning heads when everyone looks at you or they just blow and stuff out of their mouth, they’re hacking up a storm, when it’s probably best to keep them home. Now, if there is any signs of trouble breathing such as the skin sucking above and below the ribs, they’re really breathing in labored or they’re having chest pain or they look a little faint or blue in the face, then it’s very important that they see a doctor to get evaluated right away, because sometimes little colds can go down into lungs and become much more serious in children, but if your child doesn’t have a fever, they’re running around the house, playing and acting okay, and occasionally coughing, just give it some time, it will go away on its own. To help ease your child’s cough, try giving him plenty of fluids. For children over a year of age, a half a teaspoon or a teaspoon of honey can also help soothe the cough and sore throat. I like to steam up the bathroom and take my children in for 20 minutes to read a book and play. That also helps the mucus drain and help relieve the coughing symptoms.

Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, shares advice for parents on the most important things to know about coughs in kids, including the best treatments and ways to prevent kids from catching a cough

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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician

A leading medical authority for the popular press and entertainment industry, Dr. Tanya Altmann is a best-selling author, parenting expert and media spokesperson. A working mother and UCLA-trained pediatrician who practices in Southern California, Dr. Tanya is a designated spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, communicating complicated medical issues into easily understood concepts.  She is a child health expert for numerous news programs and talk shows including Today (NBC), and KTLA (CW Los Angeles). She stays on the cutting edge through her position as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, as the Chief Medical Advisor for the Newborn Channel and her private practice.

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