When a cold leads to the addition of a cough, child could be developing bronchitis, a respiratory condition where the lining the trachea and the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs and become inflamed, producing an abnormal amount of mucus. The development of a cough is the first in a line of symptoms of bronchitis in children.
How Bronchitis Occurs
As mentioned above, bronchitis often manifests itself on the tail end of a cold and therefore is most likely caused by a virus rather than bacteria. When a viral infection is the cause of bronchitis, antibiotics do not help this condition. In children, symptoms of bronchitis present themselves after a cold or even the flu and can even be the result of the measles or whooping cough.
Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products can lower the immune system of children, inviting more colds, thus inviting bronchitis as well. Heavy allergens in the air and even air pollution can be contributing factors of this respiratory illness.
Symptoms of Bronchitis in Children
Symptoms of bronchitis in children typically start with the common cold, so sore throat, coughing, mild fever and runny nose are all signs. You will also notice that with the cough that accompanies a cold, it may start off dry but as it turns moist, it could be a sure sign of bronchitis developing.
Other symptoms of bronchitis in children include shortness of breath and even some wheezing. Keep in mind however that asthma also shares these symptoms so only a doctor using a stethoscope to listen to the child’s lungs can make an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment and Recovery for Children with Bronchitis
With the onset of symptoms of bronchitis in children, you should immediately make an appointment with the doctor to determine that bronchitis is indeed the culprit. In many cases, a virus is the cause so you should do what you can to ease the symptoms of bronchitis in children to make them more comfortable, which in turn speeds up the recovery process.
Fluids such as water, juice and warm soup are all great at soothing the cough as well as thinning the mucus secretions so that they are easier to expel. Occasionally, body aches and mild fever could occur so a children’s pain reliever could be administered.
Steam from a shower or vaporizer also eases the symptoms of bronchitis in children and can be administered several times a day as needed.
For the most part, bronchitis clears up within five days to a week. However, if the symptoms of bronchitis in children last longer or recur frequently, a doctor can determine if there is an underlying condition which could be contributing to the problem.