When should I call the doctor about my child’s cough?


 Call 911 or your local ambulance service right away if your child:

  • Is so tired and weak that he hardly responds to you
  • Is working very hard to breathe or finds it hard to take a breath
  • Grunts when he breathes
  • Chest retractions (skin pulling in around the ribs when breathing)
  • Has a blue or dark purple color to the nail beds, lips or gums.
  • Stops breathing for more than 10 seconds
  • Cannot speak while trying to breathe
  • Has any breathing problem that needs care right away.

Call your child’s doctor if your child has:

  • A cough and does not smile or show interest in play for at least a few minutes during any four-hour period
  • A new fever since being seen by the doctor (temperature over 100.3°F)
  • New symptoms such as chest pain, wheezing or stomach pain
  • Problems taking the medicine ordered by his doctor
  • A cough that often wakes him up at night

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

If your child experiences uncontrollable coughing that makes it difficult for them to breathe, talk to your doctor about whooping cough. Thousands of people yearly become ill with whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, ...

and some are hospitalized. This highly contagious illness can be very dangerous, and even deadly, in young infants. Thankfully, vaccines have helped to reduce the spread of whooping cough, although current vaccines are not 100% effective against this illness. If your child contracts this bacterial respiratory infection he or she will most likely be treated with antibiotics. To protect your children against whooping cough, talk to your doctor about vaccination

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.