Articles on cough

Can I Give Curd, Banana, Milk During Cold , Cough & Fever to My Baby?

Hemapriya Natesan
As a parent, we hear so much advice, home remedies,  tips for prevention and treatment of fever, cough and cold that bewilders a new parent and ultimately we end up doing nothing due to fear of harming our little one.Myths surrounding foods and ailments are always not true except for a few genuine home remedies.Myths associated with Cough and Cold in ChildrenDon't allow the kid outside the house if he has a cold.Do not give fruits like Banana, pomegranate, watermelon, orange and grapes.Do not give dairy products like Milk and Curd.Don't bath the child during a cold.Do not give Ragi in winter or during cold.Do not give ghee during a cold.Here are the answers to all these myths1. Can I allow my child to play outside if he has a cough and cold ?This is a very tricky question since it largely depends on the weather and the intensity of the cold and cough of the child. If you think the child has a mild cold and the weather is amicable you can send your little one to play outside for an hour or so. Please also be aware that if he has an infectious type of cold or a cough he might infect his playmates as well (this is the most common reason for contracting cold in children)2. Can I give Bananas, grapes, watermelon, oranges during cold and cough to my child?It has been programmed into our brain that "No fruits during cold and cough in Children" and many of us follow blindly. This is a myth that has been proved wrong now.It has been proved scientifically that increase in fruits rich in vitamin C are in fact protective against cold and cough in children. This doesn't mean that you stuff your children with fruits when they have, consumption of fruits in moderation is the ideal way to combat cough and cold.The fruits can be given in the first half of the day.Research articles emphasizing the protective & beneficial effects of fruits in cough and cold1. Consumption of fresh fruits rich in Vitamin C and Wheezing symptoms.2. Effect of fresh fruit consumption on lung function and wheeze in children.3. Nutrition and children's respiratory health.According to our Homeopathic Expert Dr Bhavi Mody, fruits can be safely given during cough and cold, especially fruits rich in Vitamin C.3. Can I give Milk, Curd during cold and cough for my child?In my childhood days, if I had a cold, then my mom would ban milk till I recover completely which may be weeks :-(Now this is also has been proved wrong, milk and curds can be safely given to babies and children during cold and cough.Milk consumption does not lead to mucus production or occurrence of asthma.The Milk Mucus BeliefHow to feed milk and curd to children during cough and cold - Dhvani ShahThe best way to give curd is to season it (Tadka) with jeera, curry leaves, and ginger.Ginger Powder can be added to Milk.4. Can I give Bath to my child during cold and cough, Fever?Usually, elders advice not to give baths to babies during fever, cough and cold, it may hold good if you are planning to bath with cold water. But most of us bathe our children in either hot or lukewarm water. It is absolutely fine to bath the child with lukewarm water. Not giving a bath to the child for a long duration may exacerbate infections due to poor hygiene so try to bath at least once in 2 days during cold and cough.5. Can I give my baby Ragi during cold and cough?Ragi and Bajra are good winter foods and Ragi can be given to babies and children during cough and cold.6. Can I give my Ghee during cough and cold?According to Nutritionist Dhvani Shah" Ghee is one of the most nutritious Indian foods. It is therapeutic in Nature, helps line the lungs, prevent infection, prevent a dry cough and throw out mucous from the body".Hope that helps dispel some of the most popular myths surrounding Cough and cold in childrenThis article first appeared on www.mylittlemoppet.com, India's leading parenting website.

Cure Cough at Home!

Dt. Itu Chhabra, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Natural Cough Remedies for Persistent & Dry CoughsIt’s never a fun situation when you have a persistent cough. Coughs are just terribly uncomfortable all around, both physically and otherwise. There are two primary types of coughs, dry and productive. A productive cough is one in which you are coughing up phlegm or mucous-this is not a cough that should be suppressed, as your body needs to rid itself of the gunk that’s in your chest/lungs. A dry, hacking, cough is another story. This is one we do want to stop. It can be caused by allergies, dry air, a random tickle at the back of your throat that won’t go away, the aftermath of a cold, being in a dusty environment, etc. Instead of turning to chemical solutions for every minor ailment, try some home remedies instead. They are not only better for you, but they taste a whole lot better than most cough syrup too! Some of these remedies will make it easier to get rid of it soon:1. A Spoonful of Honey: Thanks to an enzyme added by bees when they harvest honey, it also has antibacterial properties. Take 1 tablespoon of honey 1-3 times daily as needed to control coughing. Take immediately before bed if cough is disrupting your sleep. For children, you can adjust the dosing to 1 teaspoon up to one tablespoon.Note: This is an excellent alternative remedy for both kids and adults, but should never be given to children under the age of 2 years due to the risk of botulism.2. Licorice Root Tea (Mulethi): Licorice root is both an expectorant and demulcent, simultaneously soothing your airways while loosening and thinning mucous, easing congestion. It can also ease any inflammation that may be irritating your throat. Bring water to a boil and place the licorice root in a mug. Cover with water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink the entire cup up to 2 times daily.3. Gargle Salt Water: It helps relieve from swelling , and discomfort is decreased. Stir salt into water until it is thoroughly dissolved. Gargle for 15 seconds, spit, and repeat with the remaining water. Rinse with plain water afterwards.4. Steam, Steam, Steam! Steam loosen mucous and phlegm, almost immediately, and also you can add numerous essential oils that will impart wonderful healing benefits. For a particular blend include tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, which can help soothe and open your airways as well as help fight off bacteria or a virus. Bring enough water to a boil to halfway fill a medium size-heat proof bowl. Pour the water into it, let it cool slightly for 30-60 seconds, and add the essential oils, giving it a quick stir to release the vapors. Lean over the bowl and get as close as you can while still being comfortable. Remember that steam can seriously burn! Use the towel to cover your head like a tent, trapping the steam, and breathe deeply. Ideally, do this for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a day.5. Pepper & Honey: Place the pepper and honey in a mug and then cover with boiling water. Give it stir to disperse the pepper flakes and melt in the honey. Steep for 10 minutes, stir once more, and drink in its entirety. Repeat 1-2 times a day as needed to loosen mucous.6. Ginger Peppermint Syrup: Chop the ginger and add it along with the peppermint to 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat so that the liquid simmer. Simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half, than strain. Let it cool slightly, and then stir in 1 cup of honey until it has been dissolved completely. Bottle and take 1 tablespoon every few hours as needed to ease your cough. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Cough ,Cold and Ear Infection in Children

Dr. Vipul Mehrotra, Pediatrician
Because their immune systems are still developing, children are especially vulnerable to viruses and bacteria, and they tend to get sick more than grown ups. Most of the time, all kids need is a little symptom relief and comfort. Here's how you can help yours recover faster from colds, coughs, and earaches, plus how to tell when sickness indicates something more serious.Treating coldsBabies and kids typically get six to eight colds a year -- just think of all the stuff they're constantly sticking into their mouths and it's easy to understand why. The good news: These infections actually help strengthen their immune systems down the line. Meanwhile, to help her feel better:Saline drops in the nose can reduce congestion (follow package directions for dosage). This is especially helpful for babies too young to blow their noses. Put a cool-mist vaporizer in her bedroom -- moist air helps alleviate congestion.Give infant acetaminophen (babies older than 3 months only) to ease her discomfort. For babies 3 months or younger, don't give any medication without talking to your doctor first (it can mask a fever, which requires immediate medical attention in infants; for more info, see "Fevers", below).Call the doctor if-You suspect the flu in an infant younger than 3 months, go to the doctor right away (symptoms of flu include fever, fatigue, and listlessness); from 3 to 6 months of age, it's less urgent, so call your pediatrician and ask what the best course of action is. (Remember, symptoms of flu come on suddenly -- as opposed to cold symptoms, which come on gradually -- and they're more intense.) Your child shows symptoms of sinus inflammation or sinusitis (a bacterial infection of the facial cavities), both of which may cause a wet or phlegmy cough, bad breath, and thick yellow or green mucus. Sinusitis may also bring on a headache and fever. If your doctor diagnoses an infection, he'll likely prescribe antibiotics.Soothing coughs.A cough often develops with a cold, and can be persistent. There's usually nothing to worry about, and the best thing to do is let it run its course. To make your child more comfortable-Offer liquids to lubricate an irritated, cough-prone throat. For babies, nurse or bottle-feed more frequently. For children, give water, warm tea, or diluted juice (semi-frozen if you want, for its soothing chill).At bedtime, elevate your child's head with a wedge underneath his mattress. Always ask a pediatrician before giving a child under 3 years of age an over-the-counter cough preparation or decongestant. For all kids, avoid any medication that contains phenylpropanolamine, which may trigger seizures and increase the risk of stroke.Call the doctor if-Your child has a severe cough and a fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts more than a day; you'll need to have your pediatrician rule out strep. (A rectal temperature is the most accurate reading.) Your child is wheezing and coughing to the point that he's having trouble breathing -- or he shows a loss of appetite and unusual lethargy. This could signal a more serious infection such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which can lead to bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small tubes of the lungs. Bronchiolitis can be life-threatening in some babies under 6 months, and in preemies up to 1 year.Your child has a hacking, barking cough -- usually at night -- which means he probably has croup, an infection of the larynx (the voice box). Call the doctor no matter the hour; he'll probably advise you to elevate your child's head and go out into the cool night air with him. If your child is struggling for breath, go to the emergency room. He likely will be given an injection of steroids -- a standard treatment that's safe in kids as young as 3 months -- and perhaps a nebulizer with medication to help open his airways.Your child's cough persists for a week or two and then worsens, with severe and prolonged coughing jags punctuated by gags and gasps and, occasionally, vomiting. This could be pertussis (a.k.a. whooping cough). In spite of its name, babies under 1 rarely "whoop." Nor do adults (kids do). Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics.Babies are especially vulnerable until they get the third of four diphtheria- tetanus-pertussis (DtP) vaccinations, usually at 6 months. Those under 3 months are at increased risk for pertussis-related apnea, in which they stop breathing altogether and need emergency help. The best prevention: Stay on schedule with baby shots and remain vigilant for signs of pertussis until full protection kicks in around 6 months. When kids hit 11 or 12, they'll need a booster shot.FeversA fever indicates that the body is working to fight an infection, and is usually not a cause for concern. How your child is behaving is actually a better way to tell how ill she is. If your baby has a fever but plays normally (rather than being listless and fussy), there's probably nothing to worry about. Same goes for toddlers and older kids. As long as your child acts like she normally does, all you need to do is comfort her by:Making sure she gets plenty of rest. Giving her lots of fluids. Infants and toddlers may be given a commercial rehydrating solution, such as Pedialyte or Rehydralyte. Sponging her with tepid water or placing her in a bath of lukewarm water. Giving her acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce her discomfort, as long as the doctor says it's okay. (Children under 18 should never be given aspirin; it's been linked to Reye's syndrome, a serious disease that affects the brain and liver.)Call the doctor if-An infant 3 months or younger has a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, even if she shows no other signs of illness. (Always use a rectal thermometer for babies this age since it provides the most accurate reading.) And be ready for a trip to the emergency room to rule out a serious infection -- in the early weeks of life, babies have a limited ability to fight illness because their immune systems are not fully developed.Your 3- to 6-month-old has a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, as children this age have a greater (though still small) risk of a serious bacterial infection than older kids do. An older child's temperature hasn't improved in three days or reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. A feverish child of any age develops other symptoms -- a rash, an earache, swollen glands, or trouble breathing. The pediatrician will want to make sure your child doesn't have a serious illness, such as pneumonia or meningitis. Your child suffers a febrile convulsion. These seizures are scary but not uncommon, and happen most often in babies between 6 months and 2 years. Have the doctor check your child the first time this happens to make sure it hasn't been caused by an underlying condition. Kids prone to febrile convulsions usually outgrow them by age 6 with no long-term effects.Ear infectionsBy age 3, 70 percent of children have had at least one ear infection. The vast majority occur when fluid accumulates in the middle ear and becomes infected (usually a bacterial infection), causing pain, swelling, and redness. If your baby seems uncomfortable and begins pulling on his ears, you may have an ear infection on your hands.About 80 percent of the time, the infection will clear up on its own in a few days, so you may not need an antibiotic. New evidence shows that antibiotics simply don't help most kids that much -- they end pain at best half a day sooner than if left untreated. Many experts think it's best to wait on antibiotics and manage the discomfort by:Giving your child acetaminophen or pain-numbing drops (which your doctor can prescribe) Applying mild heat to the ear-try a warm, moist washcloth.Call the doctor if-You suspect an ear infection and your child is 2 or younger. Your older child has mild pain in his ears for more than 24 hours; is in great pain; is running a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; or younotice pus coming out of his ears, or the glands in his neck seem swollen.Your child gets one ear infection after another. If this is the case, talk to your pediatrician about whether ear tubes are a good option. These tubes are implanted surgically, and are designed to allow bacteria-friendly fluids to drain from the ear. Tube implantation should be a last resort, but chronic ear infections shouldn't be ignored since they can affect a young child's hearing and delay speech.Preventing ear infections-To lower your child's odds of getting an ear infection:Breastfeed. This is associated with a lower risk of ear infections.Feed upright. In young children, the ear's Eustachian tube goes in a straight line from the mouth to the nose to the ear, so when a child lies flat, formula or milk may drain through the tube into the middle ear and provide a meal for bacteria.Limit pacifiers. A study found that babies who didn't use pacifiers had one- third fewer middle ear infections. If your baby loves his, try giving it only at naptime and bedtime.Stop sniffles. Ear infections often follow colds, so cold-prevention tips matter: Remind kids to wash hands with soap and water after they cough or sneeze, and before meals.Don't smoke. Kids who are exposed to secondhand smoke get more ear infections; it irritates mucous membranes and damages tiny hairs in the middle ear.Stay up-to-date with vaccines. The pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar (recommended for all healthy children under 2), mainly prevents bacterial meningitis, but also guards against seven strains of ear infection-causing bacteria. (Babies typically get four shots, between 2 and 15 months.)SummaryYour child is bound to get her share of coughs, colds, and earaches when she's little. They'll become less frequent as her immune system strengthens. Meanwhile, be watchful of symptoms and give her plenty of TLC.

Colds and Coughs in Children

Dr. Murali Gopal, Pulmonologist
This is one of the most common issues in kids of preschool age. Almost all toddlers would have had at least one episode of common cold (runny nose) and cough before they turn 2. It is commonly caused by viruses and mostly seen in winter months or during weather changes.  These viral infections are self limiting illness, where the child will get better by two weeks from onset of symptoms.It is usual to have fever when kids develop these respiratory tract infections. Some children especially preschool children can develop wheezing following viral upper respiratory tract infections. These can repeat with further infections. Most of these preschool wheezers out grow their symptoms by the time they reach 6-8 years of age. Some of them may require inhaler therapy during episodes. Few children with allergic symptoms may develop asthma as they get older. There is advancement of inhaler therapy over the last few years both for children and adults. There is misconception that inhalers are ‘addictive’. It is best way to give the medicine directly into the lungs as it is breathed in to where it is needed and it reduces the chance of side effect from oral medicines given for wheezing. These medications when given by mouth as syrup or tablets can cause undesired side effects compared to inhalers.Cough is a worrying symptom for most parents. Cough is a natural, protective reflex we have to expel the irritant,phlegm in the breathing tubes and lungs. Cough lasting for more than 3 weeks needs attention especially if it sounds moist. Cough medications may reduce the cough and makes the secretions thicker making it harder to cough up. Some cough medicines available in the market can lead to serious side effects and some are not licensed to be used in children. When do we worry about child’s respiratory symptoms? Cough in newborn baby and unvaccinated babies in the first 4 months of age.Child has persistent cough for more than 3 weeks which sounds moist.Sudden onset of cough following choking and breathing difficulties.Child has breathing difficulty like breathing faster, working hard to breath.Coughing up greenish sputum or blood.Do not self medicate children as their symptoms may vary with episodes. Always consult your child’s doctor before giving medicine to your child, even if medicines are prescribed for similar symptoms in the past.

5 Natural Ways to Cure a Bad Cough

Dr. Rajesh Kr. Bhardwaj
Robert Frost says, "Before I built a wall, I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out."Nothing in the human body happens without a purpose so, before I suppress my cough I'd like to know the purpose of this symptom.As with most symptoms in the human body, a cough as a symptom is protective (from sudden threat) as well as indicative (of an illness in the body.)A sudden cough is a life-saving act because it forcefully throws out something that is likely to obstruct the respiratory tract - especially a foreign body being inhaled by young children. It is also an indication of inflammation along the respiratory tract - the inflammation builds up mucus which is forcefully removed by the cough response.So, before we even begin to think of natural ways to get rid of a cough, remember that a cough could be indicative of a serious underlying disease and that must never be ignored.  Proper medical consultation must be sought.For a simple cough which is largely related to mild environmental allergies or lifestyle related problems, here are the remediesAvoid going out in very polluted areas like traffic intersections, marketplaces - if in a four wheeler, keep your windows closed.Do a good steam inhalation/sauna at night - this helps in clearing up all polluted debris from your breathing passage and makes you sleep well at night.A sip of warm water with honey is a good antidote. Remember not to take too much honey, especially if you are diabetic.Make sure your last meal of the day is light and not very late. Untreated acidity and reflux are very common causes of an untreated cough.Avoid very chilly/spicy food as well as ice, aerated waters etc. because they can irritate your throat and cause a cough.Wish you a safe living.

Why Do I Wake Up Coughing Every Morning?

Mrs. Anju Chandna, Yoga and Naturopathy
“My cough has become worse since I quit smoking. What’s going on?”“I am sick of this constant hacking in the mornings!!”If you are a smoker or have been one at some point of time, you certainly would have gone through this 'giving up on smoke' cycle. Wondered what’s happening to you? You have SMOKERS COUGH!! A smoker’s cough is a persistent cough that develops in long-term smokers —"persistent" meaning that it’s present for more than 2 or 3 weeks.Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that irritate the air passages and lungs. When a smoker inhales these substances, the natural protective and cleaning mechanism of our lungs tries to clear itself by coughing.Normal clean lungs have active cilia (tiny hair like formations lining the airways) that have a sweeping action to clear harmful material out of the lungs. Cigarette smoke, however, decreases the sweeping action of the cilia, so the poisons from the smoke remain in the lungs.When a smoker sleeps, some cilia recover during the night and begin their cleaning action again in the morning by inducing the well-known ‘Early morning cough’ of smokers. This is so because our body is in a natural state of detoxification in the morning, trying to filter waste hence, on waking up, the smoker coughs as lungs try to clear away the poisons that got built up the previous day.The best and the only effective way to stop smoker’s cough is to eliminate the root cause, tobacco smoke. Some people seem to cough more than usual soon after stopping smoking. The cough is a sign that your body is starting to heal.Sometimes, ex-smokers get scared by this and think they have a new problem. But it's not that at all, just your body trying to get back to normal. Smoking deadens the cilia in the lungs so when you stop smoking, the cilia become active again and start clearing the mucus sticking to your lungs; as a result you might cough more than usual — perhaps for several weeks before you notice any positive changes of giving up smoking. The idea is to restore cilia to their natural efficient self where they resume their work of clearing mucous from your lungs.How can Salt Room Therapy help smokers?Salt therapy is an extremely effective treatment for reducing smokers cough. A one hour session in the salt room involves the inhalation of dry salt aerosol particles into your lungs. As salt enters the lungs it starts reacting with the mucous present there and loosens it. As mucous sticking to the airway walls loosens, function of cilia improves, thereby increasing their cleaning efficiency to move this mucus out of lungs. This helps in reducing inflammation in the whole respiratory tract, absorbing edema from the mucous lining the airways. As the mucous melts, this leads to widening of the airway passages, restoring the normal transport of mucus and unclogging blockages in the bronchi and bronchioles, allowing rapid elimination of the residual tar.And all of these through a 100% natural process with no side effects and no medicines.

Natural Ways To Kick A Cold

Dr. Prabha Acharya, Dermatologist
Trying to get over a cold? There are lots of things you can do to ease the symptoms as you get better. Here are some easy ones.Turn Up the HeatWhen a cold strikes, chicken soup and hot tea can ease your symptoms. The reason: heat. As the warmth moves down your throat towards your stomach, it helps loosen mucus, making it easier to cough out. Steam works the same way. Sitting in the bathroom with a hot shower running can relieve your stuffy nose and head.Stay HydratedWhen you have a cold, your body makes more mucus. Making mucus uses up your body's moisture. Getting extra fluids thins out mucus and makes it less sticky, which makes it easier to blow or cough out. Limit drinks with caffeine and alcohol, as they can be dehydrating.Soothe Your SkinYou blow your nose a lot when you have a cold. The result can be red, chapped skin on and beneath your nose. Add a dab of petroleum jelly to the raw area, or use facial tissues that contain lotion.Gargle Salt WaterIf you have a sore throat, make a salt-water gargle by mixing a teaspoon of salt in a small glass of warm water. The salty-warm combo provides short-term relief.Consider SupplementsSome supplements have been found to shorten -- but not cure -- cold. Ask your doctor about zinc, vitamin c, and echinacea. Tell your doctor before starting any new supplement or medication.Your doctor will make sure it won't interact with any other drug you're taking.Prevent the SpreadYou should stay home while you're getting over your cold. If you have to go out, try to limit the number of people you come in contact with. Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze to keep from getting germs on your hands. A little courtesy goes a long way.Hang in there. The common cold usually goes away in about a week, so take it easy, take care of yourself, and you’ll be back to normal even before you know it.

5 Important Asthma Care Tips This Diwali

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Asthma leads to coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing.It affects almost all the people of age but it generally starts in childhood.Moreover when it comes to festival such as Diwali, there are more chances of asthma to get worse if not taken precautions on time.This time of the year, India shows spikes in its statistics with respiratory problems due to the combination of various factors such as change in weather, allergy etc.For those who have respiratory disorders, are the sufferers.So if you really want to enjoy this period of celebration, try to implement these guidelines in your routineAvoid places where there is lot of smoke and crackers burning.If you really want to go, then cover your face with handkerchief.Eat four to six times a day, but smaller meals. Consume home cooked meals, this will not worsen your problem.Don't forget to take medication on time. Also keep your inhalers handy if travelling.Throughout the day, keep on sipping lukewarm water. This will help in clearing pollutants from the body.Avoid alcohol and smoking. They are bad for asthmatic people and it is more dangerous during festive season like Diwali.The most important tip for this festive season is to be happy and joyous. If your mind is happy and occupied, you will forget about asthma. So have a great time in Diwali, enjoy colours, lights and always remember prevention is better than cure. So stay fit and healthy.