Common Causes for the Common Cough

Common Causes for the Common Cough

Children are prone to infections due to low immunity. Many infections can result in the child coughing constantly and gasping for breath. While some coughing conditions go away on their own, there can be a few others that are serious and require urgent medical assistance to get treated. Cough due to lung or throat infection requires medical intervention and will not go away easily. However, an inconsistent cough after eating or drinking something cold may just vanish in a few hours.

  • Causes & Symptoms
  • Treatment
  • Living

Causes of cough in children

A child may cough due to any of the reasons described below:

Viral infection

The commonest reason why your child is coughing can be due to a viral infection. Often highly contagious, an infection or an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) mostly triggers a child to constantly cough. Children may not be able to clearly cough out the mucus formation (formed due to the infection); this may prompt them to vomit it out after a serious bout of cough. Pneumonia and bronchitis are examples of cough due to viral infection.

Sinus infection

Sinus infection is also another type of viral infection that can be contagious. However, in case of bacterial sinusitis, the symptoms mayn’t be infectious. Sinus may cause swelling of the cavities around the nasal passage and come accompanied by greenish or yellowish nasal leakage. When this will drain down the back of the throat, it may trigger chronic cough like signs.


Allergies can trigger watery nasal discharge, which may set off irritation in the throat. This can cause the child to cough. Usually, treating the allergy will also reduce the cough. Runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat, etc. may also accompany cough stemming from an allergy.


Mostly common in children, pertussis or whooping cough can be prevented via vaccination. A child suffering from this condition may have low fever and nasal congestion along with back to back cough and a whooping sound. This can be risky for infants and children without the vaccination. Due to its contagious nature, pertussis can be dangerous.


If there’s a history of asthma in your family, get your child tested for this condition. Answer the questions to ascertain whether his cough is asthma-triggered. Does it get bad at night? Does it follows an outdoor session or after the child has taken part in a physical activity? Does your child cough more after getting exposed to smoke or strong smells such as perfumes?

Home remedies for cough

Just like there are different causes for the cough – they may require distinct treatment plans too. Here’s all about tackling the common cough at home.

  • Honey, ginger and lemon drops (not for babies less than a year old) usually work wonders on all types of cough.
  • Ginger and tulsi are also excellent home remedies to treat cough.
  • Warm water and hot soups relieve the throat and help reduce the coughing bouts.
  • Taking a steam can clear blocked nose and soothe the throat as well.
  • Keeping the child hydrated also helps. Offer him plenty of fluids including juices, water and herbal teas.
  • You may also offer your child (4 years and above) lozenges to calm his irritant throat.
  • Keep the child clean and hygienic. Restrict contact as infections spread easily.
  • Giving an extra pillow to rest will keep his neck and head at an elevated level and drain the mucus easily.

When to call a doctor

Depending on his discomfort, the duration of the cough, and any other accompanying symptom, visit a doctor urgently. Some worrying signs can be

  • Drowsiness
  • High temperature
  • Green mucus in the cough
  • Spitting blood while coughing
  • Breathing problems and chest pain
  • Throat pain and difficulty in swallowing
  • Swollen glands, pain in the ears, headache, etc.
  • Deterioration in condition even after trying out remedies

Don’t panic when your child coughs. Using the simple remedies try soothing his throat and he will sleep peacefully for the next few hours. However, if you can notice any of the above worrying signs, consult a doctor promptly…

Share your views

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *