A quiet night at home after a long day, feet up and chillin' except for the sound of . . . your child's cough. Persistent and worrisome, what to do?
If this describes you, you're in good company. In fact, coughs are a common reason parents seek medical care, according to Angie Reynolds, MD, a family medicine doctor at GreenField Health's Eastside office.
"I often get calls from a parent whose child is still coughing after having had a bad cold," Reynolds says. "It's not unusual for this to happen, and it's frustrating.
"As a parent, I've been there--you want to do something, and cough medicine is a convenient remedy," she says. "But as an MD, I know that over the counter cough medicines are not helpful and in some cases, not safe. Sometimes the best medicine is watching and waiting."
A child's behavior is a good indicator of how sick they are, too. "If your child is eating, energetic and generally well despite a cough that is dry, then I'm less concerned," Reynolds says. A well studied and proven home remedy she recommends for children over 1 year old is 2 teaspoons of honey before bedtime. Note, however, that children under 1 year old should never be given honey due to the risk of infant botulism.
The symptoms that do get her attention include:
--A prolonged wet cough
--Having trouble breathing
"That's when a parent should contact me," she says.
"My approach to medicine stems from a strong belief that care should be tailored to each individual’s needs and should address the whole person, not a constellation of symptoms. I strive to provide meaningful visits by listening intently and collaborating with my patients. In addition to my family medicine training, I have a strong background in pediatrics and women’s health. I also incorporate integrative medicine and mindfulness practices into care for my patients when appropriate."