Different Types Of Coughs

A cough can mean many things when it comes to your child’s health. A lot of clues will lie in the type of cough, severity, and any other symptoms your child is experiencing. Read on for some common causes of cough in children and when to seek help for a cough your child has!




The common cold is often the first thing that comes to parents’ minds when their child has a cough. A cough associated with the common cold can be either wet or dry. A wet cough is a productive cough, meaning you’ll hear mucus rumbling inside as your child coughs. A dry cough on the other hand has no mucus associated with it. Look for other symptoms as well such as a stuffy or runny nose, lots of sneezing, sore throat, lethargy, loss of appetite, and sometimes a fever. 




A croup cough is very distinctive, and chances are if your child has had croup before you’ll recognize this cough. It sounds kind of high pitched, like a dog or seal barking. Croup cough is often caused by an upper airway infection that most commonly affects kids ages 6 months to 3 years. It is often accompanied by trouble breathing. If caused by an infection, your child may also have a fever.


Whooping cough (pertussis)


Whooping cough is another type of cough that has a distinctive sound. The sound is kind of like a “whooping” sound, hence the name, and occurs as the child is breathing in after a coughing fit. Your child may also have a runny nose and/or low grade fever. Call a doctor right away if you think your child has whooping cough, especially if they are under 6 months of age. 


Cough remedies


A cough can be a very bothersome symptom, so it’s only natural to look for cough remedies that can help! There are cough medicines readily available over the counter, however, keep in mind that these are only recommended for kids over age 6. Only use them in kids under age 6 under the direction of a doctor. If your child is under 6 there are some home remedies you can try. Give your child warm liquids, and try some honey for kids over age 1. Honey coats the throat and can help with irritation. You can try a humidifier to get some moisture in the air. This should provide some relief to your child, especially if they are also feeling congested as well. The steam can help loosen up mucus. 

There are a number of other types of coughs, but this teaches about some of the major ones.  If you have questions about coughing, please reach out to your primary pediatrician or your local pediatric urgent care for more information. For more on kids’ health and wellness, visit our website and check out the MVP Pediatric and Urgent Care blog section!