How useful is the cough?
The usefulness of the cough reflex can be demonstrated in instances where a person gets exposed to irritant substances, produces excessive mucus or secretions, inhaled a foreign body or aspirates ingested substances, or else when exposed to hash weather climates. In all these instances, the cough will try to prevent any foreign substance from reaching the lungs or else any of the air passages and this would prevent the patient from developing a possible respiratory infection.
This illustrates to us the importance of the presence of a cough reflex and any harm that may be caused when this is suppressed. At the same time, it should be illustrated that, certain types of coughs will persist even without any underlying cause, except for a mild irritation in the air passages. In such instances, the cough would not be doing him any good and therefore its suppression would not do any harm.
What so important about a cough in children?
Children are very susceptible to environmental stimuli as well as towards upper respiratory tract infections which makes a dreadful combination that makes them suffer from bouts of cough more often than the adults. As this is a common phenomenon among children, many parents neglect the issue or do not give enough consideration and sometimes will try over-the-counter medications without any knowledge of its action and the possible outcomes. Therefore, let us see, what parents should not do as such undue action can cause more harm than the cough or its underlying cause themselves.
DO NOTs in treating a child with a cough:
*DO NOT give over-the-counter cough medications to children below the age of 2 years unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.
*When giving over-the-counter cough medications to children below the age of 6 years, medical advice should be sorted.
*If the child is receiving other medications for heart conditions, asthma, diabetes or any other medical conditions; cough medications SHOULD NOT be given unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.
*If over-the-counter cough medications are used, DO NOT give cough suppressants to children who has a productive cough.
*DO NOT give medications prescribed for same sort of signs in an adult to a child.
*DO NOT expect the cough medications to cure the cough or its underlying condition.
*DO NOT allow a cough to continue beyond 3 weeks without a medical intervention.
*DO NOT try and treat a child with high fever, cough and breathing difficulties at home.
*DO NOT neglect the cough if there are signs of worsening or persisting.
If there are signs of breathing difficulties, wheezing, purulent phlegm, extreme irritability, poor feeding or else high fever, the child should receive medical treatment and not any over-the-counter treatment at home.