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Coughing up phlegm in babies is not a worrying condition, but it can make the baby feel uncomfortable and cranky. Therefore, parents need to understand how to properly handle cough with phlegm in babies
Viral and bacterial infections are the main cause of cough with phlegm that is often experienced by babies. Some examples of infectious diseases that can attack the baby's respiratory tract are whooping cough, croup cough, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.
In addition to infection, coughing up phlegm in babies can also be caused by several conditions, such as asthma, allergies, respiratory tract irritation, increased stomach acid, exposure to pollution such as cigarette smoke, or from swallowing certain objects.
Understanding Cough Types
Coughing is a natural reflex of the body to clear the respiratory tract of mucus, dust, or food debris that is still stuck in the throat. Cough itself can be divided into two types, namely dry cough and cough with phlegm.
Dry cough is the body's attempt to relieve itching in the baby's throat. Meanwhile, coughing up phlegm is the body's attempt to expel mucus from the lungs and throat. Coughing up phlegm often occurs if the baby has a runny nose or mucus flows from the nose to the throat (postnasal drip).
Not infrequently, cough in babies is accompanied by fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, and nasal congestion. This is what makes babies fussy.
Relieves Coughing with Phlegm in Babies
Although phlegm or mucus contains white blood cells that function to help fight germs, phlegm or mucus will collect in the baby's throat if left unchecked. This can interfere with his breathing.
To deal with cough with phlegm in babies, parents can do the following things:
Increase the baby's fluid intakeWhen the baby has a cough with phlegm, you should provide adequate fluid intake. This step aims to thin the phlegm and to help the baby's body fight infections that cause coughing up phlegm.
Make sure baby gets enough restBaby who is sick will be fussy and have a hard time resting. This condition can make the baby longer suffer from coughing up phlegm. Try to get enough sleep for the baby, so that they are strong to fight infections that cause coughing up phlegm.
Keep the air moist Humidifying the air around the baby is believed to be able to reduce mucus in the throat and help relieve the little one's breathing.
Keep the baby away from pollutionWhen the baby is coughing, it is important to keep him away from pollution, such as cigarette smoke or dirty air. This is to prevent irritation and coughing from getting worse, and so that your little one can rest well.
Keep in mind, avoid giving over-the-counter drugs without a doctor's prescription. In addition, avoid giving honey to babies under one year old to relieve coughs. This is to avoid the possibility of the baby having botulism.
Although you don't have to worry too much when your baby is coughing up phlegm, you still have to be careful if the phlegm starts to turn green, yellow, or brown with an odor. Sputum that is colored and smells can be a sign of infection and requires immediate medical attention.
In addition, consult a pediatrician if the baby's cough with phlegm does not improve after 5 days, the cough gets worse, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and the cough makes it difficult for the baby to eat and drink.
Also check your little one if the cough with phlegm is accompanied by a fever of up to 38°C in infants under 3 months of age and 39°C in infants aged 3-6 months.