Conditions + Treatments

Coughs in Children

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What is a cough?

Coughs are one of the most frequent symptoms of childhood illness, and although they can sound awful at times, they usually are not a symptom of anything dangerous. Actually, coughing is a healthy reflex that helps clear the airways in the throat and chest.

  • There are many types of coughs, which can signify different things.
  • The majority of coughs are caused by viruses.
  • Over the counter (OTC) cough medicines should only be used with the supervision of your child's doctor.

Care for coughs

Occasionally, though, coughs can be cause for a visit to your child's doctor. If you learn to recognize certain types of coughs, you will know how to handle them and when you should seek medical attention. At Children's, your child's doctor will determine how to treat your child based in part on what the cough sounds like.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

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