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Mark asked...

My young son (just under 1 year old) has a cough in the mornings very regularly...

Hi there, my young son (just under 1 year old) has a cough in the mornings very regularly. When should I be concerned about it as I have been told it is quite common for a child to have recurring coughs. Many thanks

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us about your son, Without knowing more about the type of cough your son has for example whether it sounds dry or is wet and accompanied by bringing up some secretions it is not possible speculate on the cause but there are some symptoms to look for that would indicate the need for concern.

We can see that you have been told that its common for a child to have recurring coughs, however more usually there is an underlying cause which may or may not require treatment. In fact coughing is a healthy and important reflex that helps protect the airways in the throat and chest.

Coughs that produce green or yellow coloured secretions could suggest either a viral or bacterial infection of the airways or chest and coughs that sound like a bark could be indicative of croup this however would not be confined to the mornings, in addition a whooping cough may be just that, particularly if a child has not received the whooping cough vaccination, a cough accompanied by a fever would be indicative of a possible upper respiratory or chest infection either viral or bacterial. Asthma can also present as a dry irritating cough and can also be caused by exposure to such things as pollen dust mites, fungi and molds these tend to be seen in areas rooms that are damp.

You can read more general information about coughs here:

Coughs - NHS

Overall although it is unlikely that the cough your son has is a cause for concern it would be sensible to arrange for your Gp to examine him just to check that all is well and to ensure that nothing is wrong that requires treatment. They will be able to examine your son listen to his chest and check his throat and ears for example. We do hope you will find this information helpful and wish you the best with your son,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses