Your child came to the emergency department (ED) with a cough. The majority of new coughs are due to a virus (“cold”) irritating the airway and will go away on their own. We believe that this is the case with your child’s cough. Coughing serves important purposes, such as clearing mucus from the lungs, but it can be frustrating when it interferes with sleep or daily life.
Parents often ask about cough medications (“suppressants”) for their children. Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as well as emergency medicine and pediatric organizations do NOT recommend cough medications for children under 18 years old. Neither medicated nor herbal cough suppressants have been consistently found to prevent or lessen coughing in children, and they can have dangerous side effects.
Steps to take at home:
Please speak to your doctor or return to the ED immediately if your child develops difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, bloody coughing, inability to drink fluids due to coughing or vomiting, or other new or worsening symptoms. Please review medication inserts for side effects and call the ED if you have any questions about the medications or care you received.