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When should I take my child to the emergency room (ER) for a cough?

If you believe your child’s cough is concerning and has not improved, it is very important to see a healthcare professional at the emergency room (ER). 
 

You should take your child to the emergency room for a cough if your child has any of the following signs of air hunger:

  • fast breathing
  • retractions
  • audible wheeze
  • nasal flaring
  • prolonged expiratory phase
  • abdominal breathing
Dr. Sheena L. Kamra, MD
Pediatrician

Take your child to the emergency room for a cough if he also has these symptoms: 

  • working very hard to breathe
  • difficulty catching his breath
  • breathing very rapidly

In addition, if your child’s coughing is so severe that your child is having difficulty staying hydrated or is vomiting frequently after coughing fits, your child should be seen by a medical provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.