Signs and Symptoms
First stage (lasts one to two weeks):
1. Low fever of 100 to 101 degrees.
2. Runny nose and sneezing.
3. Dry cough.
Second Stage (lasts two to ten weeks):
1. Severe, frequent coughing, sometimes followed by a whooping sound when breathing in. (Babies may have repeated coughing fits without making the whooping sound.)
2. Red or blue face during coughing episodes. If your child turns blue or stops breathing, Get emergency treatment.
3. Vomiting may follow coughing fits.
Third stage (which may last for several months):
1. Cough that gradually becomes less frequent and severe.
What to do now
1. First diagnose the problem.
2. Keep your child comfortable.
3. Give your child plenty of liquids to drink. Frequent small meals may reduce likelihood of vomiting.
4. Children may be able to breathe more easily when coughing if they sit up and lean forward.
5. Do not give your child a cough suppressant, as it may prevent the clearing of mucus from blocked airways.
6. Give acetaminophen for pain relief.(Never give aspirin to a child under 12 who has chicken pox, flu, or any other illness you suspect of being caused by a virus).
When to call a doctor
1. If your child turns blue or stops breathing during or after coughing.
Call for an immediate appointment:
1. If your child’s cough becomes more severe and frequent.
2. If he or she has been exposed to someone with whooping cough, even if your child has been immunized.
How to prevent it
1. Starting at the age of two months, a child should be immunized against whooping cough. The vaccine is about 80 percent effective after three doses.
2. Doctor may recommend preventive antibiotics for family members or schoolmates of a child who has whooping cough, even for those who have been immunized.
3. Avoid exposing your child to anyone who has whooping cough.