Understanding whooping cough and how it occurs

Dehydration Seizures Infants and young children less than 2 years old are more at risk for serious problems and even death. Who is at risk? Children who have received all of the vaccines are usually protected from whooping cough.

Understanding whooping cough and how it occurs

In fact, it may help to remember that coughing is a symptom, not an illness. A cough with a sore throat, headache or runny nose without fever is likely just a cold and simply needs to run its course. Just be aware that these infections can last for several weeks, especially if a child has one cold after another.

Wet cough A moist, chesty cough often produces mucus or phlegm that is white, yellow or green.

Common Kid’s Coughs Explained

This may—or may not—indicate a bacterial infection. If the cough is due to a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If the cough is caused by a virus, your child will require some rest, fluids and TLC while the illness runs its course. Croup usually occurs in the fall or winter months and is caused by a viral infection.

The sound of the cough is caused by swelling around the vocal cords from the virus. Croup typically starts with cold symptoms like a stuffy or runny nose and fever, and the cough tends to start suddenly, often in the middle of the night.

Most kids with croup also have stridor, a high-pitched or squeaking noise when breathing in. These are called retractions, and can be a sign that your child is having trouble breathing. Most cases of croup are mild and can be treated at home.

In cooler weather, taking your child outside for a few minutes to breathe in the cool air may ease symptoms. Running a hot shower to create a steam-filled bathroom where an adult can sit with a child for 10 minutes may also help.

Whooping Cough Another name for whooping cough is pertussis, a serious bacterial infection of the airways. Whooping cough starts out sounding like an ordinary cold, but gradually becomes worse, especially at night, causing back-to-back coughing fits in children.

To prevent whooping cough, your child should be vaccinated for pertussis, which is part of the DTaP vaccine series diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis.

These shots are given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months and 4 to 6 years of age.

Understanding whooping cough and how it occurs

Pertussis is also highly contagious. Adults are encouraged to get the pertussis vaccine, too, since immunity to pertussis lessens over time. Call your doctor right away if you suspect whooping cough. It usually has to be treated with antibiotics, and some kids may need to be treated in a hospital.

Cough with Wheezing If your child makes a wheezing or whistling sound when breathing out, it could indicate that the lower airways in the lungs are swollen due to a viral infection or asthma. Wheezing can also occur if the lower airway is blocked by a foreign object.

A wheezing cough should be examined by a doctor. Cough with Vomiting Kids can cough so much that they vomit. Vomiting can also be caused by mucus that drains into the stomach.

Call a pediatrician, if: Your child has a persistent daily cough that lasts more than four weeks. Your infant 3 months or younger has been coughing for more than a few hours.

Understanding Your Child's Cough

Your child is dehydrated—signs include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, sunken eyes, crying with little or no tears, urinating less often or having fewer wet diapers.There are 65 conditions associated with cough and seizures (uncontrollable jerking of limbs).

The links below will provide you with more detailed information on these medical conditions from the WebMD Symptom Checker and help provide a better understanding of causes and treatment of these related conditions.

Understanding Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Whooping cough (pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

With whooping cough, . A cough is your body’s natural reflex to help clear your airways of irritants and prevent infection. Some medical conditions may also cause a cough. Learn more about causes, risk factors, prevention, types, diagnosis, and treatments for .

Understanding Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Whooping cough (pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Whooping cough starts out sounding like an ordinary cold, but gradually becomes worse, especially at night, causing back-to-back coughing fits in children.

After coughing, the child may breathe in deeply, making a “whooping’’ sound. Whooping cough sounds like several coughs in a row without a break for a breath in between, says Pantell, adding that the "whoop" sound occurs when baby has a chance to take in a breath again.

He recommends calling your pediatrician immediately if you suspect your baby has whooping cough, as it can be fatal for infants.

Whooping Cough Treatment, Diagnosis, Causes & Pertussis Vaccine