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Why a child gets fever or cough?

The human body has a natural defense mechanism to protect itself from harmful substances and infections. When particles enter the windpipe or lungs, coughing helps in removing them. Similarly, when the respiratory tract is irritated, coughing can help to clear it. Coughing can have various causes, including viral infections, allergies, and foreign bodies. In children, viral infections are the most common cause of coughing.

Fever is another defense mechanism of the body against infections. When the body is infected by bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, it releases chemicals that raise the body temperature to destroy the invading agents. Fever can also occur in chronic or acute diseases that are not caused by infections, such as blood cancer. In children, fever is usually a sign of an underlying infection.

It is important to identify the cause of cough or fever in order to provide appropriate treatment. Effective treatment can help to manage symptoms and prevent complications.

When should I have to go to my doctor for fever and cough in my child?

You can manage fever and cough at home in the first 3-4 days if the child is responding well to paracetamol, is active, playful, comfortable during the interfebrile period, and is feeding and passing urine adequately. During this time, it is advisable to maintain a fever chart and observe the child closely at home.

However, it is important to consult a doctor immediately if the child’s fever is not responding to paracetamol, they are not active between fevers, the cough and fever are disturbing their routine activities such as sleep, feeding, and play, or the fever persists beyond 3 days. Other concerning symptoms that require immediate medical attention include fast or effortful breathing, difficulty in speaking, additional sounds during breathing such as stridor or wheeze, choking-like feeling, bluish or pale look on the face, excessive sleep, decreased intake and urine output, and pre-existing major illness.

It is always better to be cautious and seek medical advice if you are unsure about your child’s symptoms, especially if they have a pre-existing major illness. By following these guidelines, you can help manage fever and cough at home and ensure your child receives appropriate medical attention when necessary.

Can we give antibiotics to my child? It worked last time very fast!!

In most cases, fever with cough is caused by viral respiratory infections. Bacterial infections are much less common, accounting for less than 10% of cases. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections and have no role in treating viral infections. To diagnose bacterial infections, a proper examination of the child is required, and antibiotics cannot be given without this examination.

It is important to understand that all drugs, especially antibiotics, have multiple side effects if used unnecessarily or in improper doses and duration. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics have led to the development of antibiotic resistance in the community. Therefore, as responsible citizens, we must avoid irrational use of antibiotics to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.


It is essential to understand the bigger picture and the potential consequences of inappropriate antibiotic use. By avoiding the unnecessary use of antibiotics, we can help reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance and ensure that these drugs remain effective for future generations.