Dry cough in a child at night

From time to time, parents are faced with such a problem as an attack of night cough in a child. What to do in this case? How to help the baby?


Cough may be caused by the following reasons:

  • Pathology of the respiratory system – rhinitis, sinusitis, adenoiditis or pharyngitis.
  • Bronchial asthma.
  • Whooping cough.
  • SARS.
  • Congestion of mucus in the nasal passages, which causes a reflex cough.
  • Sputum from the lungs in the supine position does not depart, closing access to oxygen.

If your baby has one of these diseases (conditions), you need to get treatment recommendations from your pediatrician. A competent doctor will help to prescribe an adequate treatment for the situation so that your crumb does not suffer from such an unpleasant disease as a cough.

How to stop a coughing attack in a child? At night you need to be especially careful if the kid is sick. It is necessary to understand which type of illness hurts the crumb, because treatment depends on it.

Cough Types

Attacks of dry cough in a child appear due to the development in the body of certain diseases, such as:

  • Viral infections in the initial stage. In the normal course of the disease, after a few days, the cough becomes wet.
  • Allergies and various irritants. The presence in the room where there is a crumb, tobacco smoke, dust, chemicals (for example, floor cleaner or air freshener), animal hair.
  • Whooping cough. Frequent signs are redness on the face. There is vomiting. With pertussis, breathing (reprises) is often difficult.
  • Asthma. The paroxysmal dry cough, wheezing, shortness of breath begins. A short inhalation is accompanied by a long exhalation.

Various bacteria and viruses are the causative agents of wet cough. At night, the child has a cough, accompanied by sputum. This can occur in some diseases:

  • SARS. A wet cough in acute respiratory diseases indicates a positive dynamic and is associated with the beginning of recovery of a small patient.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Pneumonia.

Accompanied by the following features:

  • Dry and frequent.
  • There is vomiting, tears, the whites of the eyes turn red.
  • Push, between attacks deep breathing.
  • If the child is not vaccinated against whooping cough, a convulsive cough is a reason to think about this disease.

This species may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Rash on the skin.
  • Itching.
  • Clear mucus from the nose.
  • Tears from the eyes.
  • It can cause laryngospasm (stenosis) or even bronchospasm (asthma).

Barking cough in laryngeal stenosis

You can also call this type of cough laryngism or false croup. This means that part of the respiratory system swells and prevents access of oxygen. It is difficult to confuse with other species, as it looks like a dog barking. There is swelling of the larynx, wheezing, often develop asphyxiation. Usually laryngospasm is accompanied by a very strong attack of night cough in a child.

Causes of stenosis (false croup)

  • Laryngitis.
  • Tracheitis.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Adenoiditis

False croup often begins in sleep, from about one in the morning until four in the morning. The most susceptible to laryngism are boys from six months to six years.

Treatment of night cough in a child

How to help your child with a night cough? Pediatricians recommend parents not to be nervous. The kid feels the emotions of parents and begins to worry even more, which entails the intensification of the problem. Immediately put a cough, lying with it is strictly prohibited! Turn on the light, open the window for fresh air. Try to understand the type of cough tormenting the crumb. Based on this, apply the following sequence of actions.

If the child has dry coughing

  • Baby should be given a warm alkaline drink. For example, table mineral water without gas or ordinary water with soda diluted in it (at the tip of a knife). Watch that he drank in small sips, otherwise you can provoke vomiting.
  • Clear the nasal passages of a small patient with saline or hypertonic spray. If necessary, use a cotton ball to remove mucus. You can also use an aspirator, for example, Otrivin Baby, if the child does not know how to blow his own nose. It is not recommended to use cotton buds to remove mucus from the nose, since the hard end of the stick can easily damage the delicate nasal passages of the crumb, because it cannot sit still.
  • If the access of air through the nose is difficult due to swelling of the mucous membrane, use children’s vasoconstrictor drops. During an attack, it is important that oxygen pass through the nose unhindered.
  • Moisten the air. The best way to do this is to bring the baby to the bathroom when you start coughing, sit on your lap and turn on hot water in the bathroom to form steam. To moisten the baby while it is not necessary.
  • You can also make inhalation with saline or alkaline mineral water. To do this, you must have a home inhaler. Inhalation using a boiling pot is absolutely not recommended! A small patient may accidentally burn himself on a hot wall of the pan or even turn the boiling water on himself.
  • If you are completely sure that your baby is not allergic to honey and pharmaceutical herbs, you can give him a decoction of herbs with a spoon of honey. But it should be remembered that if there is an allergic component in the cause of the illness, then honey and herbs can aggravate the situation.
  • Give a baby without a doctor’s prescription when coughing an unclear etymology with antitussive drugs, such as "Synecode" or "Stotussin", it is impossible.

How to stop a night coughing attack in a child of an allergic nature? Give your baby antihistamines based on their age and weight. For example, "Suprastin". It is effective precisely with emergency care, in contrast to "Zodaka" or "Zirtek"which well help with long-term therapy.

How to help your child with a night cough if he is wet

  • Immediately plant the patient to improve sputum discharge.
  • Make massage with tapping movements. The tapping should be strong enough that the sputum entrapped in the airways begins to cough away.

Dry cough in a child at night

What to give the child from a night coughing attack if it is wet? You can give mucolytic drugs, such as "Ambrobene", "Lasolvan" or "ACC". It is necessary to carefully observe the dosage of drugs, based on the prescription of the doctor, as well as the weight and age of the child. You can also make inhalation with these drugs, if the form and instructions of these drugs allows. Inhalation is carried out by a nebulizer.

Whooping cough

With this type of cough caused by whooping cough, the drug is usually prescribed. "Synecode" or analogues of this drug. The treatment is outpatient.

Barking cough, or laryngeal stenosis

If the cough is like a dog barking and sounds very rough, you must call an ambulance! Usually, doctors quickly come for night coughing episodes in a child 2 years and younger. Older children can also count on timely and qualified medical care.

Due to the narrowing of the larynx, the air cannot penetrate the baby’s lungs, it can suffocate. While the ambulance is traveling, parents should alleviate the condition of the crumbs.

Ways to alleviate false cereal

They partly coincide with the dry cough relief techniques described above:

  • Open windows for fresh air.
  • Moisten the air in the room.
  • Clear the nasal passages.
  • Give a warm alkaline drink.

Also, when stenosis of the larynx using the following techniques:

  • Digging in the nose vasoconstrictor drops during a night coughing attack in a child, what to do, parents reduce the swelling of the respiratory organs. Previously, ambulance doctors even recommended that this remedy be dropped on the root of the tongue during the acute period of the disease in order to reduce swelling, but lately doctors are advising not to do this, because it can adversely affect the heart.
  • Give any antihistamine drug that is in the house, observing the dosage by age. To achieve the fastest effect you can use "Suprastin".
  • If the stenosis is not very strong, inhale the baby with saline or mineral water using a nebulizer.
  • If the false croup is strong and the condition of the small patient deteriorates, it is necessary to inhale with the drug. "Pulmicort". This is a hormonal drug that relieves swelling. It has virtually no side effects, but it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with alkaline mineral water after it to avoid thrush in the mouth. If the inhalation with this drug is weak, do it again.

What to do with a night coughing attack in a child, if these methods do not help? In this case, emergency doctors will give the baby an injection. "Prednisolone"which quickly relieve all symptoms. Then parents are advised to take the baby to the hospital and continue treatment in the hospital. "Prednisolone" – This is the most effective way to deal with false croup, but with many side effects. Therefore, the task of parents prior to the injection of this drug is to try inhalation. Often they completely relieve symptoms and "Prednisolone" not required.

If the children had stenosis at least once, they must be present in the first-aid kit "Pulmicort", nebulizer for inhalation, antihistamines and saline. And "Prednisolone" in ampoules and syringe. Independently injecting this hormone, of course, is not recommended, but if the bill goes for a minute and the ambulance is in a traffic jam, the parents may not have a choice.

Some medicines should not be given to a child from a night coughing attack, which is caused by the peculiarity of laryngospasm:

  • Antitussive drugs such as "Synecode", "Stotussin" and other analogues, cause severe stagnation of sputum in the bronchi, why you can suffocate! After all, the cough is designed to remove phlegm from the respiratory tract.
  • Mucolytic agents during false croup are also prohibited. They cause thinning of sputum, which due to swelling of the larynx can not get out.


If occasional night coughing episodes occur in a child, what should be done to prevent it?

  • Turn the baby at night.
  • Air the room where the baby will sleep.
  • Get a humidifier and turn it on in the bedroom. Even wet towels, hung on heating devices, will be suitable as a humidifier. As they dry, change them several times a night. Also place a container with water at the head of your ward.
  • Watch the temperature in the room – it should not be too high. It is enough to maintain the temperature from +18 to +21 degrees.
  • During the day and at night, flush the nose with saline or special hypertonic sprays to wash the sinuses with a high salt content. It is better to use the solution for washing in the form of drops, since sprays can cause otitis or provoke a strong cough.
  • You need to drink a lot during your illness. Ideally, it should be a homemade compote of raisins, which contains many useful trace elements and salts needed by the child during the period of illness. But if the child refuses him, give him any drink to which he agrees. The liquid must be warm. Also, drinking alkaline mineral water without gas helps prevent or even relieve a slight cough. Avoid honey or other ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction.
  • Lift the head end of the bed with a roller or pillow under the mattress. This will prevent mucus from stagnating in the nasopharynx, and expectoration from the lungs is better to expectorate during sleep.

As a conclusion

How to relieve a cough in a child at night, you will always tell the pediatrician. Even with the slight indisposition of the baby, it is advisable to consult a doctor. This will help avoid many complications.

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