Whooping Cough (Children) Treatment

Specific treatment for whooping cough will be determined by your child's health care provider based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history

  • How sick he or she is

  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • How long the condition is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

In some cases, the child may be hospitalized for supportive care and monitoring. Sometimes, oxygen and intravenous (IV) fluids are needed until the child begins to recover. Antibiotic treatment may also be ordered by your child's health care provider. Depending on when they are started, antibiotics may not shorten the course of illness, but they will prevent the spread of infection to others.

Family members and other people who have been in close contact with the child usually are started on antibiotic therapy, regardless of whether they have received the vaccine or not.

Other treatment may include the following:

  • Keeping your child comfortably warm

  • Feeding your child small, frequent meals

  • Giving your child plenty of fluids

  • Removing things or preventing situations that cause coughing

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