Probably not (small) child comes around it: the cough. He can listen to barking or rattling, it can be harmless or serious. Which herb cough has grown, and when parents should introduce their coughing child to the doctor, read here.

Baby cough not a disease but a symptom

Father worried sick toddler

Photo: ©, LindaYolanda

Probably no Earthlings come into his life around it, and often the little ones take their first unpleasant experience with him, coughing. He may be barking or rattling, dry or loose, light or even painful. It is distressing for the child and worrying for parents. You wonder: Is this cough harmless? Is a frequently recurring bronchitis already chronic? How to recognize a asthma or an allergic cough? Help cough syrups really? What helps for cough in children? What home remedies are effective? When to go to the doctor with a coughing child?

The cough itself is not a disease but a symptom. "Cough is a protective reflex. It removes inhaled particles and substances and mucus that accumulates in the airways, "said pediatrician Dr. Monika Seidel from Augsburg. "In most cases, cough is caused by an acute infection of the upper respiratory tract." But even inhaled objects, bronchitis or pneumonia, allergies, asthma, croup attack and in rare cases, heart failure, lung disease cystic fibrosis and stomach acid (reflux disease) can cause coughing. Even some children diseases such as chicken pox, scarlet fever, whooping cough or measles may be accompanied or followed by coughing.

Cough in common cold - he always has two phases

The cough as part of a common cold always starts dry, it is "unproductive" as the doctors say. What simply means that initially no mucus is produced. This cough in children leads quickly vomiting because of the closing mechanism of the stomach is not fully developed and can rise through the coughs stomach contents. Therefore, the professional association of paediatricians in Cologne advised to give children affected much liquid, so that production and cough up the mucus easier. During a coughing attack head and upper body should be elevated. After a short time (a few days), the cough wet, so schleimhaltig, which is not to be missed. Now formed by the mucous secretion, which is transported by cough from the airways.

Cough at night: cough is a dry Plage

but most of all a sudden dry cough can also be triggered by inhaled items (peanuts, etc.). Coughs a baby or toddler for weeks relatively dry, without that it would have other symptoms, the doctor must clarify whether perhaps incipient asthma or an allergy comes into question. If a child coughs occasionally especially at night, in winter to dry indoor air may be partly responsible because it makes the sensitive mucous membranes are irritated. Here frequent airing, hanging wet towels and a rather cool room temperature helps. If a cough at night very hard and does that happen often, parents should consult to the doctor.

Bronchitis - if the cough is sitting "one floor below"

Sometimes bronchitis is a common cold cough. "At the beginning of the cough sounds dry and rough, sometimes barking. It occurs mainly in the evening and at night, the cough can be very strong. A few days later, the child coughs from whitish, purulent discharge that is yellow-greenish interspersed. Toddlers and babies swallow this secretion but usually vomit and it occasionally, "says pediatrician Seidel in their information for parents. When a child has bronchitis usually initially fever and feels tired.

Often also the bronchial mucosa swell, making them narrow. This is called spastic or obstructive bronchitis. The cough is now mostly hoarse or barking, with or without expectoration. The child's breathing sounds sometimes quietly grumbling or whistling because of the narrowed bronchi. Also breathlessness occurs (in this case the doctor immediately!).

Occasionally children develop a special form of bronchitis, bronchiolitis. Here the smallest bronchial branches are inflamed. This happens especially often in the first year. In the beginning, often only cold, fever and slight cough, shortness of breath and rapid breathing later are added. On the exhale you sometimes hear a fine or a faint rattling sound of breathing. That the child breathing is difficult, it is possible by the rapid movement of the nostrils while breathing recognize ( "nostrils"). Lips, tongue or skin may become discolored pale bluish. If a child has difficulty breathing, it must immediately go to the doctor or to a hospital.

Frequent bronchitis - that's chronic?

If a child often has a bronchitis, this is not a chronic bronchitis. Her doctors speak only when a child coughs three months and longer uninterrupted, with or without mucus. In acute attacks fever occurs. Chronic bronchitis is usually not an independent disease, but a concomitant disease in children. The root causes are often a chronic, purulent sinusitis, allergies, an incipient asthma, previous infections such as measles, congenital malformations in the bronchial area, cystic fibrosis, exposure to tobacco smoke or a weakened immune system.

hard to see - pneumonia

Bronchitis can also be transferred to the lungs sometimes. The cough does not have to be particularly strong. "The symptoms of pneumonia (pneumonia) can be hard to see, especially for babies," warns pediatrician Dr. Petra May from Munich. "It is found in babies and children, among others, higher fever, chills, rapid and shallow breathing, a rapid heart rate, cough, often with greenish or yellowish expectoration, chest or abdominal pain, especially when coughing, erected nostrils when inhaled (" nostrils " ), a distended belly and aversion to drinking or decreased food intake. "The child could also act apathetic. However, not all symptoms must be present.

Croup - Night terrors for parents and child

Coughing baby or child "barking", they have possibly difficulty breathing and. Even wheezing, this often indicates a croup attack. When croup swollen larynx and vocal cords and narrow the airway. Depending on the severity, the shortness of breath can be life-threatening, the children run to blue. If breathing is difficult, the emergency physician should be called. Until he comes, you can take the child out the door (cool, moist air relieves) or hire the shower cold in the bathroom and stand there with the child to the open window. Find out more in our article on croup.

Croup: How do I help my child?

Whooping cough - Thanks to vaccination become rare

Pertussis is vaccinated within the U-examinations today. In unvaccinated children, parents should pay attention to the following symptoms: Initially only occur sneezing, runny nose and sore throats, cough is now rare. Mild fever and redness of the eyes conjunctiva can be added. After one to two weeks there will be the typical coughing fits, each with 15 to 20 violent staccato coughing. Here, the expression is tortured and the tongue is protruded. The attacks end with an audible gasping inhalation. The child chokes out a tough, glassy mucus. The shortness of breath can be life-threatening. Often the child bloodshot eyes (because the pressure when coughing can burst small blood vessels) has.

Expectorants show little effect

Cough, runny nose - baby has not it easy: In most cases, cough is but an expression of a regular, temporary respiratory type infection. For treatment are very popular non-prescription, expectorant cough syrups. However, the effect is doubtful: Scientists Schroeder and Fayhe from Bristol University have spotted all over 300 publications, intended to prove the effectiveness of over the counter cough syrups that are approved in Europe. None of these studies could prove that the juices also act. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania conducted its own study beyond. Hundred children who were suffering from a common cold were treated with cough syrups or placebo (dummy tablets). It was also observed in patients treated with cough syrup children no appreciable effect.

Important find, therefore, many pediatricians that the child is drinking a lot, so that the mucus is thin as possible and can be coughed up more easily. Also helpful is the direct wetting of the respiratory tract with physiological (0.9 percent) saline. "It is best used for this purpose an inhaler (z. B. Pariboy) and leaves the child three to four times daily inhale 2 to 5 ml of isotonic saline," advises pediatrician Dr. Martin Lang from Augsburg.

In the dry phase of the cough but you can give cough absorbing juices such Silomat, advises Johannes Forster, chief physician at St. Joseph Hospital Freiburg. "Stronger effective, codeine cough blockers are prescription and should only be applied if the cough very impaired sleep." Coughing Breastfeeding juices should not be mixed in the wet phase of the cough because they interfere with the transport out of the slime. Most of them are also permitted after six years.

At a bronchitis often come prescription juices used that expand the narrowed bronchi; as well as drugs for inhalation, anti-inflammatories (cortisone), with vomiting and dehydration danger electrolyte solutions or bacterial involvement an antibiotic.

Home remedies are inexpensive and help

If a child has "only" a cold cough, home recipes often look very good. This also emphasizes pediatrician Dr. Martin Lang on his info site for parents: ". Cough tea with anise, thyme, primrose or linden blossoms are well proven" Cough mixtures, which are also suitable for children, there is u. a. in the pharmacy. "In dry cough and hot milk with honey is often good soothing." Essential oils such. As eucalyptus or menthol may not be used for children, they can cause acute respiratory distress.

make cough syrup itself

But natural cough syrups are often advocated by pediatricians. For one Radish and honey juice the head of a black radish is cut as a "cover", hollowed out and filled with the root of five to ten tablespoons of honey. The lid is then replaced and left to stand for 1.5 hours, the whole thing. The liquid filling and presents it cool. Children aged two and get one to three teaspoons of four times a day. For one Onion Cough Syrup one large onion cubes, place in a jam jar and two tablespoons of sugar, seal the glass and shake, strain the juice after two hours. Children aged two and get one tablespoon four times daily. are already suitable for children under one year of finished Juices from ivy extract (Z. B. Prospan) that also have expectorant effect.

How do chest wound?

A good support for coughing are warm breast pads. In infants, small Kirschkernkissen or beeswax winding are (from 4 EUR finished in the pharmacy), in older children homemade wrapping. In this case, a longitudinally pleated large terry towel is placed transversely with the upper body of the child. From above comes to the chest now the actual edition. At the Quark packs this is a cheesecloth, which is thickly spread with a centimeter of fat quark and lukewarm preheated in the oven before it is covered with another cloth. work similar onion compress, in which a layer of finely chopped onions warmed and between two thin linen (Mull) is added. Alternatively, you can warm jacket potatoes, crush between two Mulltüchern and place it on the chest of the child. At the thyme wrap a tablespoon of dried thyme (or a bundle of fresh thyme) is covered with boiling water and ten minutes left drag. Cheesecloth with the cooled tea to hand temperature soak and lightly wring. Over the respective supporting the edges of the dry terry cloth are hit now, after the child is covered. Winding can be allowed so long to act until they feel cool.

Globules: cough in babies and children

Many parents trust for your cough on the help of homeopathy. Are used as Drosera, Lobelia inflata, ipecac, Phosphorus, Rumex, Sticta pulmonaria, Dulcamara, potassium jodatum and others. Which means at what type coughing fits, the doctor says. On the Internet, a determination based on short question-menus is possible (s. Appendix). You choose the potency D6 or D12 and gives babies and toddlers 3, schoolchildren 5 granules. The collection takes place initially every hour. symptoms resolve, only two to four doses are needed in the following days, with decreasing frequency.

Pediatrician Tips: home remedies for colds

When to see a doctor?

Not always help home remedies or homeopathy sufficient. The rule of thumb is: The younger the child, the more likely to go to the doctor. In any case, if:

  • the coughing child has a fever over 38.5 degrees
  • the cough does not subside after a few days or discharge is accompanied with purulent (yellow-greenish), but after one week
  • the child breathe remarkably quickly
  • it breathing (or "nostrils") or chest pain has
  • it makes breathing sounds when entering or exhaling
  • it has bloody sputum
  • there is little drinking, has a dry diaper or refuses to eat
  • suddenly starts coughing and can not be alleviated (suspected foreign body)
  • the general condition is bad
  • the child acute respiratory distress or severe cough with barking, hard clay or loud breathing sounds has (then: to the doctor immediately or in the hospital)

How to prevent cough?

Frequent respiratory infections - point out pediatricians - are normal, especially in preschool. They usually do not mean that the child had a poor immune system. Nevertheless, parents can do something but to spare her child the occasional cough. "Obtain adequate sleep, diet rich in vitamins and go with your kids regularly to fresh air. By taking preventive recycled, crushed bacterial envelopes (such. As in Bronchovaxom or Luivac) can increase the defense power of the airways, "advises Dr. Martin Lang. Valuable is also the administration of probiotics (eg. As Symbioflor 1) to strengthen the defense in the gut.


The right homeopathic remedy for that cough shape can be determined under (menu asks for symptoms and leads to the appropriate means and for dosing for children, the site is physician-directed).