Cough • 2: Chronic cough in children
- 1Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Sophia Children’s Hospital/Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- 2Department of Child Health, Queen’s University of Belfast and The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
- Correspondence to:
Professor dr J C de Jongste, Department of Pediatrics, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Erasmus MC, P O Box 2060, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands;
Chronic cough is a common problem in childhood. Viral infections are the most prevalent cause, but other rarer disorders should be excluded whenever cough appears unusually severe and/or frequent, and when there is evidence of failure to thrive and growth retardation. The younger the child, the more the need to exclude underlying disease at an early stage. Passive smoking is an important contributor to chronic cough in children. Chronic productive cough with purulent sputum is always reason for concern in children and is not common as a symptom of asthma. More or less specific diagnoses in children include cystic fibrosis, aspirated foreign body, congenital anatomic abnormalities and primary ciliary dyskinesia.