Updated 03 March 2016

Is your child’s cough keeping you up at night?

A coughing child can be very worrying for a parent, especially if it disrupts their sleep, affects their school performance and interrupts their playtime.


Cough, a very common symptom in children, is one of the main reasons parents seek medical advice. 

A cough is a protective mechanism which helps clear phlegm from the airways, and protects against swallowing foreign objects, but may be a sign that something is wrong.

A wet cough is described as mucous that is loose (can be swallowed or spat out) and is “chesty”.

A dry cough is described as tickly, “tight” or irritating. It is often caused by air pollution, a change in temperature, as well as medical conditions.

A post nasal drip may cause a tickly or irritating cough. 

Another possible clue to the cause is how long the child has had a cough for. Cough lasting less than 3 weeks is usually caused by a viral airway infection.

    cough, adcock ingram

A cough lasting more than 8 weeks can be caused by many things such as ongoing infection, heartburn, underlying asthma and allergies / sinusitis. 

Medicines are available to relieve the irritating symptoms of cough. Ask your pharmacist about Adcock Ingram’s Dilinct Junior for relieving coughs in children. 

Adcock Ingram Limited. Reg. No. 1949/034385/06 Private Bag X69, Bryanston, 2021, South Africa.
Tel +27 11 635 0000. 


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Cough Expert

Professor Keertan Dheda has received several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others. Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute.

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