Cough

For the safety of your family, this information is intended for use by North Seattle Pediatrics patients exclusively.

A cough with a respiratory virus will often last 2-4 weeks.  The cough is a reflex that helps protect the lungs and keep them clear.  Coughs may sound dry or wet.

Although medicines to control the cough reflex don’t really work and can have harmful side effects, there are ways to help soothe the airway and throat to help your child be more comfortable.

  • try a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom
  • try letting your child breathe in steam from a steamy bathroom before bed
  • try letting your child over age 4 suck on sugar free cough drops.
  • try giving your child over age 1 one teaspoon of honey. You may mix it with one teaspoon of warm water.

Call us right away at 206-368-6080 if your child:

  • is having to work with their muscles to breathe
  • is acting very sick
  • is making a grunting sound when they breathe
  • is breathing very rapidly

Call us during office hours if your child:

  • is wheezing but otherwise comfortable and not acting very sick
  • is coughing for longer than 4 weeks
  • is coughing frequently at night or with exercise (several times a week for more than 4 weeks)