Cough is an extremely common symptom in children and a cause of great concern. Because cough can be caused by a wide variety of infectious and noninfectious conditions, which will vary among different age groups, clinicians must take a logical approach to establishing a diagnosis, which will determine appropriate therapy. General pediatricians must know how to work in coordination with specialists when the cause of the cough is unknown or complex.

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Cough – cough – cough – cough! A great many parents, grandparents, teachers, and child care providers express concern to health care clinicians regarding a child’s cough. Many hours of sleep and days of school and work are missed because of a child’s coughing. Simply suppressing the cough is not the answer because cough is an essential protective mechanism to keep the airways patent and clear. Well-meaning parents and grandparents...

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