Pediatric Cough

Brian Wingrove | GAPA 2020 CME Conference

Written by: Brian Wingrove, PA-C

Cough is the most common chief complaint in the US.  The differential for the cause of a cough is extensive and can be attributed to different organ systems.  A cough is not necessarily a bad thing.  Cough is a natural line of defense for the lungs allowing us to clear the airways of debris and mucus. The absence of a cough can be detrimental or even fatal. In treating children with cough, the approach should be to treat the underlying cause and not the cough itself.  It is not uncommon for kids under the age of 6 years to have 6 – 8 colds a year, lasting up to 14 days.  Conservative management is key.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that OTC cough/cold medications be avoided in children under 6 years of age as they are no more effective than placebo and no safe dosing recommendations have been established.  The AAP further states that these medications are not recommended in children 6 – 12 years. It is the policy of the AAP and of the AAPA never to use narcotics for the treatment of cough in children.

Cough can be challenging to treat, especially in kids with colds. Keep treatment guidelines in mind, and cough into your elbow.


See Brian Wingrove, PA-C speak at the GAPA 2020 Summer Conference in Sandestin, FL.

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