Q: My 9-year-old child has a cough that won't go away. Should I take her to the doctor?
A: If your child is getting over a cold, then the cough will probably be the last symptom to get better. In fact, it's not uncommon for a dry, hacking cough to linger for as long as three weeks after a cold (although you should see some gradual improvement between 10 and 14 days). So as long as your child is otherwise healthy, all is probably well. But if she develops any of the following symptoms, give your pediatrician a call, since these can be signs of potential complications related to the cold:
• The cough is not better after three weeks, gets worse, or starts to sound wet.• She starts running a fever.• She has trouble breathing, breathes rapidly, or has asthma.• She seems lethargic.• She vomits or turns red during coughing fits.