Mums and dads need to be careful if your baby's coughing and wheezing.
By Health Promotion Board in collaboration with Dr. Yvonne Ng, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, National University Hospital.
It can be troubling to hear your little one coughing or wheezing.
Coughing is the body’s natural way of clearing the airway of mucus and other irritants, such as dust and cigarette smoke. Your baby coughs when irritants affect his nose, throat, airway and lungs. Your baby may also cough when he is recovering from a cold. Severe coughing with high fever and breathing difficulties may indicate your baby has a lung infection (pneumonia).
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound when your baby breathes out. It may indicate an infection or inflammation of the small airways of the lungs.
Coughing may be normal but wheezing is not. Coughing and wheezing can be signs of acute bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis occurs in infants and children less than two years old. It is caused by viruses that infect the small breathing airways, commonly the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
Treatment is supportive—to help your little one feel better while he recovers on his own. If your baby has a fever, you can give him paracetamol for relief. Make sure that your baby continues to feed on breast milk/formula to avoid dehydration.
Babies who are severely affected with bronchiolitis (e.g. breathing difficulties, unable to feed well) may need hospital admission for oxygen therapy and intravenous hydration.
First Days of Our Lives with Baby
Monitor the situation and see a doctor if you note the following
Common Childhood Conditions—Fever
A clean environment can reduce irritants that might be causing your child to cough. You can follow these tips to create better environment for your baby:
Let’s clear the air so that your baby can breathe easy, and you can rest easy.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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