How To Treat Whooping Cough In Young Children

Posted on: 29 October 2014


Pertussis, also referred to as whooping cough, is a bacterial infection that happens to be very contagious. This infection, characterized by a severe cough, is most commonly seen in young children and adults who have not received the vaccine DTaP or Tdap. If you suspect that your young child has whooping cough, here are a few treatment tips.


Since whooping cough is a bacterial infection, antibiotics can be used to treat it. Usually erythromycin, or an antibiotic similar to erythromycin, is prescribed. Most likely, your pediatrician will recommend that your young child take the antibiotic for about two weeks.

Even if your child starts to recover from the infection before the two weeks are up, you should have your child continue to take the doses until the end of the two weeks. Your child may start to show signs of recovery, but the appropriate antibiotic levels are still needed in the blood to clear the remaining bacterial infection. If doses are missed, your child may experience a relapse. Also, antibiotic resistance in bacteria is promoted when people stop taking their antibiotics too early.


To speed up your child's recovery and make him or her comfortable, you should minimize all factors in the environment that can trigger your child to cough. In most cases, a humidifier will help tremendously. The humidifier will cause the air in the room to become moist. Breathing in this moist air will definitely help your child's cough. The moist air will soothe your child's irritated lungs and loosen the secretions of the respiratory system. Try to keep your child in the same room as the humidifier as often as possible for the duration of the bacterial infection. Also, do everything in your power to keep your child calm and not running around, as excessive activity may agitate the cough.

Keep the vaporizer or humidifier clean to keep it working optimally. Speaking of cleanliness, you should keep the air in your home clean and free of irritants that will lead to coughing spells. If you don't have a humidifier or mist vaporizer, a warm bath or shower will temporarily ease your child's breathing and clear his or her lungs.

As you can see, there are many things you can do to treat whooping cough in young children. While infants may require hospitalization to recover from whooping cough, in general, young children will recover speedily from whooping cough as long as you enforce these tips.