Occasional cough doesn’t always mean there is a problem .

After maximal inspiration, the air is suddenly released through the partially closed glottis, because of forceful contraction of the expiratory muscles. This produces a bout of cough.

Cough is usually a sign that your child’s body is trying to get rid itself of an irritant.

# 1.Why you cough

  • The cough reflex is controlled by
    • medulla.
  • Irritation of the
    • pharynx
    • larynx
    • trachea
    • bronchi and
    • pleura

transmit the afferent impulses through the vagus or glossopharyngeal nerves.

Efferent pathways are in the nerve supply to the larynx and respiratory muscles.

Cough reflex
Cough reflex

# 2 . Why cough is important

  • Cough is important
    • defense mechanism of the respiratory system and
    • helps to bring out the infected secretions from the trachea and bronchi.

Cough should not be suppressed in younger children as retention of secretions in their lungs may result in atelectasis and pulmonary complications. On the other hand, persistent cough interferes with the sleep and feeding.

It fatigues the child and may result in vomiting.

Hearing your child cough may make you feel uneasy. Yet an occasional cough doesn’t always mean there is a problem. Cough protects your child’s body by removing mucus, irritating substances and infections from his or her respiratory tract.

What are the most common causes of a cough

  • Etiology Acute cough Causes include:
    • Upper respiratory tract infection
      • rhinovirus,
      • influ enza virus,
      • parainfluenza,
      • respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus),
      • postnasal discharge due to sinusitis (streptococci,
      • Haemophilus influenzae or
      • Moraxella,
    • usually in older children:
      • rhinitis,
      • hypertrophied tonsils and
      • adenoids,
      • pharyngitis,
      • laryngitis and
      • tracheobronchitis
      • Nasobronchial allergy and
      • asthma
      • Bronchiolitis
    • Pneumonia and pulmonary suppuration
      • pneumoccus
      • aureus,
      • H. influenzae,
      • Klebsiella,
      • Chlamydia,
      • Mycoplasma,
      • gram-negative bacill
    • viral pneumonia
      • Measles
    • Whooping cough and related syndromes
      • Bordetella pertussis, parapertussis
      • respiratory syncytial virus
      • adenovirus
    • Foreign body in the air passage
    • Miscellaneous causes
      • psychogenic,


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