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When to Call the Doctor About a Child's Cough

  • Is your child younger than 3 months old? Coughing is unusual in infants.

  • Did a violent cough begin suddenly without signs of a cold? Especially if your child is young, check to see whether a small object might be lodged in the windpipe.

  • Is your child also wheezing or having difficulty breathing? Has your child had a fever for more than four days? These symptoms could indicate pneumonia or croup.

  • Has your child 's cough lasted for more than 10 days? A chronic cough may be the first sign of asthma or sinusitis.

  • Does your child cough at night with no apparent cause? A persistent or recurrent night cough may occur several years before asthma develops.

Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN
Last Review Date: 12/1/2003