Nocturnal cough in children
Why does a night cough occur in children and how to get rid of it quickly? How to treat a child’s nocturnal cough and what should not be done? Symptoms of diseases that cause a child’s night cough.
A strong cough at night exhausts children, depriving them not only of full sleep, but also taking all their strength. This is very frightening for young parents, they are trying with all their might to relieve and relieve cough, forgetting that this is a natural reaction that restores and clears the airways. Before starting treatment, you need to understand the nature of the appearance of this ailment and why it occurs at night, otherwise you can get serious complications.
The nature of the occurrence of nocturnal cough
The cough appears due to irritation of the receptors in the throat. These receptors are divided into two types, each of which performs a specific function. The fast receptors induce a cough in response to external or internal irritants, while the slow receptors respond to inflammatory responses. Working together, they contract the striated muscles of the respiratory system and induce coughing. Such a complex mechanism is aimed at extracting mucus that accumulates in the respiratory organs.
Under normal health conditions, a child can cough up to 15 times a day. This is a natural reaction, so it cannot be drowned out.
Why do children cough at night
Coughing fits in a child can occur for a number of the following reasons:
- Viral or bacterial colds (the most common cause).
- Food and non-food types of allergic reactions.
- The room lacks humidity, the air is dry and hot.
- A foreign body has entered the respiratory system.
- The presence of helminths in the body.
- Inflammation of the adenoids.
- The stomach contents have entered the esophagus.
- Increased salivation that occurs when teeth are teething.
- Pathology of the heart and lungs.
At night, children are in a horizontal position for a long time, so the blood circulation processes are slower. Because of this, a large amount of phlegm is quickly formed and accumulates in the lungs. She begins to irritate the receptors, causing this obsessive reflex. In order to clear your throat, you have to get out of bed, taking up an upright position.
Types of cough
First of all, you need to know that a cough is not a disease, but only a symptom of it. Therefore, before starting therapy and relieving cough, you need to identify the true causes of its appearance.
It is customary for pediatricians to classify a night cough into the following groups:
- Frequent and dry, without expectoration, with a barking character. It develops unexpectedly at night and brings great discomfort, completely depriving children of sleep and rest. It can serve as a sign of an acute viral disease or the appearance of inflammatory processes in the respiratory organs.
- Moving from dry to wet with expectoration. This is a signal of the possible development of bronchitis or pneumonia. This condition requires immediate medical attention, otherwise serious pathologies may develop.
- Spasmodic . It is very protracted and occurs with a large secretion of sputum. Serves as a harbinger of the development of bronchial asthma.
- Long lasting cough with lumpy expectoration. This is a clear sign of tracheitis or whooping cough.
When to see a doctor
In any case, if a strong and obsessive dry cough occurs at night, a specialist consultation is necessary, especially if the child is still small.
A very dangerous condition is when children have a discharge of thick and dense green sputum, in which blood streaks are visible. With this option, an urgent call for an ambulance is required.
How to cope with this ailment on your own
Often, when coughing attacks occur at night, children need qualified medical help, so do not self-medicate.
There are several ways to quickly relieve this unpleasant symptom and alleviate the baby’s condition before an ambulance arrives or goes to the doctor.
- Ventilate and humidify the air in the room where your child sleeps. If you don’t have a special device that humidifies the air, you can hang a wet towel on the batteries .
- Babies need to change their position more often during sleep, so the phlegm will be better separated and will not irritate the airways.
- With a dry cough caused by a viral or bacterial infection, you need to consume as much warm liquid as possible. This dilutes the phlegm and promotes its excretion from the body.
- If the cough is caused by an allergic reaction, you need to immediately identify and eliminate the cause of its occurrence.
- Before going to bed, you need to clear your nose of snot and mucus to ensure the normal passage of air through the respiratory tract.
- In case of pathologies of the upper respiratory tract, it is necessary to give the drug recommended by the pediatrician.
- If a cough is caused by teething, raise the head of the bed to prevent saliva from entering the larynx.
If you have nocturnal coughing fits, do not do the following
- Small children under six months should not be rubbed and alcohol compressed.
- You cannot treat a child with antibiotics without the permission of a pediatrician.
- Do not use expectorants without consulting a specialist.
- Do not suppress a wet cough with sputum production.
- Do not give antihistamines without a doctor’s approval.
Every caring mother is very concerned about the causes of a dry cough at night in her child. She wants to quickly relieve her baby’s condition, give him a rest and sleep. However, one cannot thoughtlessly and without the recommendation of doctors give any medications, self-medicate or abuse traditional medicine. This may not only not cure the disease, but also cause even greater harm to the health of your baby. Therefore, at the first sign of illness, immediately call a doctor or go to the clinic.