Cough

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Updated 03 March 2016

Treating your child’s cough

As the season changes, it’s more likely that your child will develop a cold or flu - here's how you can treat it...

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Viral infections cause colds and flu and affect the nose, throat and airways. The symptoms are generally not serious and usually improve within 3 to 5 days, or a week at most. However, a coughing child can be worrying for a parent, especially if it disrupts daily activities.

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

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and do not work against viral infections like the common cold and the flu. While annoying, some of the symptoms of cold and flu are your body’s response to the infection and actually help to fight it. 

Use self-care methods at the first sign of a cold or flu to help your child feel better. Keep them hydrated with fluids such as water, juice, soup, and non-caffeinated drinks which may also loosen mucus. Gargling with salt water can help relieve a sore throat. A cool-mist humidifier, which breaks water into droplets and releases them into the air, may help relieve a stuffy nose.

If their symptoms do not improve , there is ongoing fever, shortness of breath and persistent coughing, it is important to consult your doctor. 

Rest and using over-the-counter medications to treat symptoms can go a long way to helping your child feel better. Ask your pharmacist about Adcock Ingram’s Dilinct Junior for treating coughs in children.

S0  Dilinct Junior Syrup. Each 10 ml contains Guaifenesin 200 mg. Reg. No. 33/10.1/0086 For full prescribing information, refer to the package insert approved by the medicines regulatory authority. ZA.15.CFA.083 04/2015. Adcock Ingram Limited. Reg. No. 1949/034385/06 Private Bag X69, Bryanston, 2021, South Africa. 
Tel +27 11 635 0000

Read more:

Winter is on its way, bringing colds and flu with it

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

References:

1. Fuhrmann C. The Effects of Weather and Climate on the Seasonality of Influenza: What We Know and What We Need to Know. Geography Compass 2010;4(7):718-730

2. National Institute for Communicable Diseases. Influenza: Frequently Asked Questions. [online] 2013. [cited 2015, April 29].

3. Eccles R. Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza. Lancet Infect Dis 2005;5: 718–725

4. Pray WC, JJ Pray. Is It a Cold, Influenza, or Pneumonia? US Pharmacist. 2004;29(1):1-5

5. World Health Organisation. Influenza (Seasonal). [online] 2014. [cited 2015, April 23]

6. Shields MD, Thavagnanam S. The difficult coughing child: prolonged acute cough in children. Cough 2013;9(11):1-5

7. Shields MD, Bush A, Everard ML, et al. Recommendations for the assessment and management of cough in children. Thorax 2008;63(Suppl III):iii1–iii15. doi:10.1136/thx.2007.077370

8. De Blasio F, Dicpinigaitis PV, Rubin BK, et al. An observational study on cough in children: epidemiology, impact on quality of sleep and treatment outcome. Cough 2012;8:1-6

9. Cough in Children. Merck Manual for Professionals. [online]. 2013, October. [cited 2015, April 23]

10. Get Smart: Antibiotic Resistance Questions and Answers. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention [online] 2013. [cited 2015, April 29]

12. Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and Influenza: A Review of Diagnosis and Conventional, Botanical, and Nutritional Considerations. Altern Med Rev 2007;12(1):25-48

13. Meadows M. Beat the Winter Bugs--How to hold your own against colds and flu. FDA Consum. 2001 Nov-Dec;35(6):11-7 

14. Dilinct Junior Syrup package insert approved by the medicines regulatory authority (17 October 2000).

 

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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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