Whooping cough is a highly contagious, bacterial infection, also known as pertussis. Many whooping cough symptoms, including a fever and excess mucus, overlap with other illnesses, such as a flu or cold. The startling difference with whooping cough is the persistent bouts of coughing spells, which make it difficult for the patient to breathe. If you or a family member contracts whooping cough, see a doctor for diagnosis and antibiotics, before starting any home remedies.
Soothe The Pain
With the constant coughing spasms may come a great deal of pain, both in the throat and in the ribs and muscles. Give your child or other family member some relief from the pain. A gentle heat pack on the chest may help calm the coughing and soothe the pain. A chest rub of menthol or other flavored oils may help him breathe better, while alleviating some discomfort.
Unfortunately, the coughing does not take a break in the same way your child will need to. The coughing will come any time in the day or night. Sleep will provide the necessary restrengthening her body needs, but if she can’t sleep, she won’t get the benefits. Set up a humidifier in the room to help keep the air moist. Prop her pillows up to help mucus drain, if necessary. Play some relaxing music and keep her warm and comfortable, especially after a coughing spell, to encourage long, restful sleep.
What To Eat
Provide a diet rich in vitamin C and zinc. Because of the throat pain and constant cough, your child or family member will probably be hesitant about eating a salad or other hard or harsh food. Mix up a smoothie that he can drink slowly. Drop in some tofu or protein powder if you are worried about how little he has been eating. Fill the smoothie with lots of citrus and other fruits. Steamed vegetables and warm soups are other palatable options for those with whooping cough.
It is important that your coughing patient get lots of fluids to keep the mucus thin and to stay hydrated. Orange juice and other fruit juices, with little to no added sugars, are great options to get some immune-building vitamins in him. Freeze the juice for a frozen treat if he is hesitant to drink. Warm teas with honey will soothe the pain and quench his thirst.
Stop The Spread
With all the coughing, whooping cough can be highly contagious. Limit the amount it spreads by letting your child stay on the couch or in his room. Provide him with plenty of tissues and show him how to cough into his sleeve or tissue.