Background: Pediatric cough is responsible for many visits to the doctor. Chiropractors are often seen as a "gatekeeper" for helping parents determine appropriate care. Although many causes of cough are self-limiting, some are serious and require prompt referral.
Objective: To provide information necessary for determining the cause, diagnosis and appropriate treatment of pediatric cough.
Discussion: A cough is a physiologic reflex and important defense mechanism designed by the body to remove material or secretions from a person's airway. It is an indication of an underlying illness or problem that will need careful diagnosis. All children cough at some time and most resolve naturally; however, parents frequently seek physician care when coughing arises. The cause of cough in children can vary more widely than those seen in adults.
Conclusion: There are many causes for coughs in infants and children. The knowledgeable physician can identify cause with an appropriate history and examination. Once a proper diagnosis is made, effective treatment can be administered.
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