WellSpan Home

Barking Coughs in Children

Topic Overview

If your child has a barking cough:

  • Hold your child in a calming manner.
  • Keep your child quiet, if possible. Crying can make breathing more difficult. Try rocking or distracting your child with a book or game.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Don't use a hot vaporizer. Use only water in the humidifier. Hold your child in your lap, and let the cool vapor blow directly into your child's face.
  • If there is no improvement after several minutes, take your child into the bathroom and turn on the shower to create steam. Close the door and stay in the room while he or she breathes in the moist air for several minutes. Make sure your child is not burned by the hot water or steam. Do not leave your child alone in the bathroom.
  • If there is still no improvement, bundle your child up and go outside in the cool night air.

If none of these techniques work after you have tried them for about 30 minutes, call your doctor or seek medical attention at an emergency facility.

If your child's symptoms improve with these methods and he or she feels better, put your child back in bed with the humidifier blowing nearby.

  • Sleep in your child's room for the rest of the night.
  • Offer your child plenty of fluids to drink. Try offering a favorite drink several times each hour. You can try flavored ice treats, such as Popsicles, or crushed ice drinks.
  • Do not smoke in the house or car when you are traveling with your child.
  • Repeat the above techniques if the barking cough returns.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofDecember 6, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×