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Is it normal to have persistent dry cough post hospitalization for bronchiolitis in 6 month old infant ?

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My son was admitted to hospital for 3 nights at 3.5weeks with bronchiolitis. He is now 6 months old and still has a persistent dry cough. He always wakes up coughing in the mornings. We have put a humidifier in his room but this has only had a minimal effect. Have been to the doctors and there is no infection and they are happy his chest is ok. Other than this is he fine in himself. Is it normal for him to still have a cough - we were told this should only last 6 weeks.
Mon, 30 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for your query.
In a child of six months, dry cough without any expectoration is usually viral in origin and usually does not need any antibiotic. If there is some expectoration then the throat secretions are ingested by the child further causing intestinal infection,pain abdomen and diarrhoea.
Prolonged dry cough also may be because of asthma or bronchitis in children which can be helped only after proper examination of the child by a paediatrician.
Sometimes the cough is idiopathic in origin- means no definite cause can be found. In such cases a steroid based inhaler or puff helps the child to recover fast.
Such a prolonged dry cough definitely needs attention as it disturbs the child's sleep and makes him irritable. After excluding any pathologies, his paediatrician can help you in choosing the best inhaler for him.
Meanwhile you can give him steam inhalation - Take hot water in a vessel, put eucalyptus oil in it. Tell the child to inhale it by covering him with a blanket. See to it that fans/AC are not on during this and after some time also i.e. around 10-15 minutes.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

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