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Babies bad, nasty coughs My son has just turned 6 months and recently he's been having a nasty cough which is really chesty and by the sound of it, he has loads of phlegm. And because of the cough, he is having trouble sleeping at night as he would wake up several times when he coughs. Once, I was feeding him when he almost choked because his nose and throat seemed to be blocked by the colourless, thick slimy liquid when at the same time he was taking milk.

My concern is whether, if it is not treated, it will cause any injury to his throat as his cough is really bad. Is there a medication by which the cough and phlegm will disappear or how can I help him get rid of this terrible phlegm. We have taken him to see a doctor and he was put on the nebuliser but it doesn't seem to make any difference.


Answered by Dr Hon There will be no injury to the throat if your child continues to cough. When infants have chest infections we don't give any medications so that they will be able to cough out their phlegm. If they have evidence of bronchiolitis or wheezing we do give the nebuliser. If the nose is severely blocked, you can use a nasal decongestant for him. Try not to use the aircond as it will make his illness worse. You can use a contraption available in some baby shops which sucks out the mucous from the nose.

When a child gets an infection which is usually viral, it will run its course and there is no medication that can instantly take away the phlegm as the purpose of the mucous and phlegm production is to trap the viruses and kill them. Please have your child checked by the paediatrician if he has fever, is breathing fast or wheezing, is refusing food/milk, is vomiting or looks ill and inactive.

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