Does your toddler suffer from whooping cough? If yes, you as a parent must grow concerned as the illness can affect him in more ways than one. Experts say that it may affect his growth and development, if left untreated.
To protect your toddler from whooping cough, it’s best to have complete knowledge of the subject. In the article below, we discuss the illness in detail – what is whopping cough, how it spreads, its signs and symptoms and what you can do to prevent it.
What is Whooping Cough?
Simply put, whooping cough is an infection that causes intense coughing spells that may last as long as 30 seconds. After this, the affected toddler may struggle to breathe before the next coughing spell begins. Coughing episodes are more likely to occur during the night. Several studies have found that this condition may prove to be extremely dangerous for toddlers.
[ Read: Asthma In Toddlers ]
Who Is At Risk?
Whooping cough is a contagious condition. Direct contact with an infected individual leads to the toddler contracting the sickness. Also, simply by breathing the air that contains the bacteria responsible for causing the infection (B. pertussis) is enough to affect your toddler. The bacteria that cause this infection generally enter the body through throat or nose.
Children who are vaccinated are usually protected against this condition. However, in many cases, the vaccine isn’t 100 % effective. Your toddler may develop this condition even if he has received the preventive shot.
[ Read: Strep Throat In Toddlers ]
Signs And Symptoms Of Whooping Cough In Toddlers:
Whooping cough exhibits symptoms that are, in its initial phases, quite similar to common cold and cough.
- Mild cough.
- Low fever.
- Runny nose.
- General weakness.
Dry and irritating cough turns into the most prominent symptom after 1-2 weeks. Sometimes, the coughing spell may be so intense that the affected child may turn red. At the end of the spell, the child may exhibit a characteristic whooping sound while breathing in.
It is important to note that not all toddlers affected by whooping cough make the whooping sound. But they do exhibit redness of the face and intense coughing spells, which are clear indications of B. pertussis infection.
[ Read: Acid Reflux In Toddlers ]
How to Prevent Whooping Cough?
One of the simplest and easiest ways to protect your toddler from whooping cough is to get him vaccinated. Also, make sure your child does not come in contact with infected individuals.
Treatment For Whooping Cough In Toddlers:
If you suspect that your child is affected by the illness, take him to a doctor immediately. Your doctor will probably listen to your child’s cough and carry out a swab test to confirm the infection.
1. If your child tests positive, he is required to take a dose of antibiotics to fight the infection as soon as possible.
2. Cough suppressants are usually avoided during this stage. It is mostly because coughing is the body’s normal response and a way to get rid of mucus.
[ Read: Throat Infection In Toddlers ]
3. If you notice your child’s symptoms turning worse, take him to a healthcare provider immediately.
4. To help your child recover faster, you can use a vaporizer to loosen the respiratory secretions. But do this only after you seek the advice of a doctor.
5. If your child has been vomiting severely, you need to get him rehydrated. Encourage him to drink lots of fluids. Also, feed him meals frequently to keep his energy levels up.
6. Ensure your home is free of all irritants like cigarette smoke, wood burning smoke and aerosol sprays.
We hope this article has helped to clear your queries about whooping cough. If you have any suggestion or advice, please drop a line below!
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