Tracheitis in a child

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 21.11.2021

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Inflammation of the mucous membrane, one of the important parts of the respiratory tract - the trachea, is called tracheitis.

The inflammatory process can provoke a banal hypothermia, but most often the child’s tracheitis develops against the background of a viral infection (influenza), measles or whooping cough, since the children's organism is extremely vulnerable and susceptible to all sorts of viruses and infections.

Causes of the tracheitis in a child

Acute tracheitis in children develops as a result of the aggressive effects of a virus or a bacterial infection on the epithelium of the tracheal mucosa. Most often in pediatric clinical practice, inflammation of the trachea caused by the influenza virus or pneumococci, rarely staphylococci, is found. Acute tracheitis in children can also trigger the following reasons: 

  • Insufficient humidity in the room where the child resides.
  • Too cold air, which the child breathes for a long time.
  • Severe hypothermia.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Some types of cardiac pathologies.
  • The general unfavorable environment of the child - parents who smoke in the room, poor ecology, and so on.

Chronic tracheitis in children most often develops on the background of an undetected and untreated respiratory infection, or when acute tracheitis is combined with an inflammatory process in the bronchi (tracheobronchitis). Also, chronic tracheitis in children can trigger the following factors:

  • sick teeth that develop a bacterial infection;
  • chronic focus of bacterial infection in the nasopharynx;
  • chronic tonsillitis;
  • adenoids;
  • allergy;
  • constant stay of a child in a room with smoking adults (passive smoking).

Allergic tracheitis can be triggered by an allergic reaction. The most common factor that activates allergic tracheitis in children is the aggressive response of the immune system to household dust antigens and pet dander. Much less often, food allergens or drug allergies can be the cause of allergic tracheitis.

Inflammation of the trachea in an infant may be due to many factors, but the main reason is the vulnerability of the unformed mucous epithelium and viral infection. Much less often, tracheitis in an infant is associated with dry air in the room, that is, with insufficient moisture.

Just like tracheitis, laryngitis is an inflammatory process, only one that occurs in the larynx. The causes that provoke tracheitis and laryngitis are almost identical: 

  • Hypothermia 
  • Dry or smoke-filled air in the room where the child resides. 
  • Acute respiratory infection. 
  • Allergy.
  • Physiological irritation of the ligaments, and then the mucous membrane of the larynx and trachea due to voice overstrain. In adults, these are typical diseases of teachers, actors, or lecturers. In children, the cause may be a long cry, crying.

Inflammation extends to the mucous epithelium of the epiglottis, then the larynx, and the oral cavity and ligaments become inflamed. Also, tracheitis and laryngitis in children can develop against the background of a chronic infection process in the nasopharynx or in the mouth. Inflammation of the tonsils, adenoids, chronic sinusitis and even bad teeth are a potential source of permanent infection of the mucous membranes of the larynx and trachea.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

Symptoms of the tracheitis in a child

Signs of tracheitis in children are manifested by pronounced manifestations that are impossible not to notice. First of all - it is a dry, debilitating cough. Coughing attacks are most active at night, when the child takes a horizontal position and relaxes. Cough tremors can be so frequent that they sometimes cause vomiting. The child does not get enough sleep, becomes sluggish, irritable. During the daytime, coughing is a little less frequent, it is more like a cough. Unlike adults, children react to tracheitis with increased body temperature. Hyperthermia can reach high levels, up to 39 degrees, which, in combination with constant cough, is a real threat to babies, especially infants. Signs of tracheitis in children, as a rule, immediately alert attentive parents and encourage them to see a doctor. If you do not start timely treatment, tracheitis can develop into tracheobronchitis and even into bronchopneumonia.

The main specific symptom of tracheitis is persistent, dry and frequent coughing. Cough most often occurs at night, less often during the day. Other symptoms of tracheitis in children may be: 

  • Subfebrile body temperature in chronic tracheitis.
  • High body temperature (up to 38-39 degrees) in the acute form of the disease.
  • General weakness of the body until exhaustion.
  • Rapid breathing, respiratory failure.
  • Stridor - noises when breathing.
  • When coughing attacks observed typical intercostal retraction - compression of the ribs.
  • Dizziness up to his loss (dysphonia).
  • Decrease in a voice timbre.
  • Reflex urge to vomit.
  • Headache.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Complaints of burning sensation in the retrosternal space.

The symptoms of tracheitis in children, as well as adults, are quite specific, they are difficult to confuse with signs of another disease. In addition, when listening, the doctor never reveals noise or other changes in the lungs, with the exception of the tracheobronchitis, when dry rales can be heard in the bronchi.

Cough with tracheitis in a child

Cough is a reflex defense mechanism of the body, which is triggered by the slightest irritation of the receptors of the larynx or trachea. Coughing with tracheitis in a child is a peculiar way to remove the sputum accumulated there from the tracheal branches. Characteristic features of cough with tracheitis are the frequency (sometimes up to 20 cough shocks in a row), dryness - without sputum, pain in the chest cavity. Quite often, the inflammatory process in the trachea extends to the bronchi, and the throat also inflames, so a cough with tracheitis in a child can be quite strong, stubborn. A typical cough that is characteristic of tracheitis is night-time bouts, sometimes so long that they literally prevent either the child or their parents from sleeping. Since sputum production is difficult, a dry cough can cause a gag reflex. A simple sigh, drooping of the head, laughter or even crying can provoke a cough while tracheitis in a child.

Acute tracheitis in children is manifested by a strong swelling of the mucous epithelium of the trachea, which leads to an increase in temperature, the release of a viscous secretory fluid and almost immediately to a characteristic dry cough. Cough with tracheitis is a leading clinical sign, most often it is activated at night or early in the morning.

The acute form of tracheitis is often combined with catarrhal laryngitis - inflammation of the larynx, as well as with rhinitis.

The symptoms of chronic tracheitis are less intense than in the acute form of the disease, but dry cough is a typical symptom. A child’s cough looks like a constant cough, which over time becomes more intense, the voice may change (low tone, hoarseness). If the treatment does not begin, the cough develops into night attacks, into obsessive cough series, which most often manifest at night. Chronic tracheitis in children is almost always accompanied by severe symptoms, so it is impossible not to notice it. Attentive parents with the first warning signs similar to tracheitis manifestations should immediately show the child to the doctor.

Allergic tracheitis in children is manifested by pronounced swelling and hyperemia of the mucous epithelium of the trachea, itching, sore throat. As with other types of tracheitis, the main symptom is a characteristic dry, persistent cough. A child’s cough may provoke a simple sigh, a sob when weeping, laughter. Unlike other types of allergic tracheitis in children is manifested in both nighttime and daytime chronic cough. The child's condition gradually deteriorates, subfebrile temperature appears, and general weakness, since breathing is superficially frequent in nature: with tracheitis, the child makes up to 25 breathing movements per minute at a rate of 14-17. Constantly accumulating sputum is not released, but only provokes another attack of cough.

A special feature of tracheitis in an infant is the fact that the baby is not able to complain about its poor condition, the main criterion in the success of treating neonatal tracheitis is considered to be parental attention and timely diagnosis of the disease. Any bouts of night cough in a baby should alert the mother. Tracheitis in an infant manifests itself in the form of rapid breathing, except for cough, the baby’s hoarse voice can be a sign of illness when he cries. If mucus accumulates in the tracheal branches, the child tries to “cough up” it, but due to the underdevelopment of the cough reflex, the sputum may return to the body of the baby. The inflammation process in the bronchi can also join trachyte, which only complicates the condition of the child. The main danger of tracheitis in newborns is the risk of respiratory failure, including asphyxiation.

Symptoms of tracheitis in young children under one year are almost identical to the signs of the disease in adults. There is only one difference - tracheitis in children up to one year proceeds, as a rule, much heavier and most often in the acute form. In addition, a small child is not yet able to complain and clarify his condition, he becomes irritable, capricious. The main symptom of tracheitis in babies is a characteristic night cough, which is manifested by seizures accompanied by breath-holding. Cough frequent, shallow, long, sputum, as a rule, no. Cough attacks can be so long that they cause vomiting. Quite often, tracheitis in children under one year is triggered by a viral infection, so inflammation of the trachea is combined with a cold and laryngitis. The baby's throat is inflamed; there can be quite a high fever.

Tracheitis and laryngitis in children in combination with each other are most often accompanied by a rather high body temperature, sometimes reaching up to 39 degrees. The child loses his appetite, weakens, his breathing becomes shallow and rapid. Respiratory failure is manifested in the pallor of the skin, bluish shade of the lips. Sometimes such a pathological "union" of laryngitis and tracheitis is considered the basis for the hospitalization of a baby.

trusted-source[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11]

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Types of tracheitis may be: 

  • Acute - with severe symptoms in the form of characteristic cough, most often acute tracheitis is accompanied by laryngitis, rhinitis and pharyngitis. Quite often, the acute form of the disease is combined with an inflammatory process in the bronchi (tracheobronchitis). 

What is tracheitis in a child? Photo of trachea

  • Chronic - develops from the acute form, less often is the primary disease. Chronic tracheitis in a child also has subspecies:
    • Hypertrophic form - the expansion of the vessels of the tracheal branch.
    • Atrophic form - thinning of the upper respiratory tract mucosa.

trusted-source[12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19]

What do need to examine?

What tests are needed?

Treatment of the tracheitis in a child

Treatment of tracheitis in children, as a rule, is carried out without the use of antibiotics, if the disease is not associated with a bacterial infection. Since tracheitis significantly depletes many functions of the body, treatment should be as comprehensive as possible, and at the same time gentle. Timely diagnosed acute tracheitis is treated much faster than chronic, which is more difficult to therapeutic measures.

Treatment of tracheitis in a child goes through the following stages: 

  • The factor, the cause provoking the inflammatory process in the tracheal mucosa membrane - respiratory disease, virus, bacterial infection, allergies, etc., is eliminated. 
  • Threatening symptoms are suppressed: antipyretic drugs are used at high temperatures, expectorant drugs to enhance sputum production. Showing warm wraps, grindings, mustard plasters (in the absence of temperature). 
  • Effective inhalation, physiotherapy. 
  • Conducted activities to strengthen the immune system.

Treatment of tracheitis in a child can be quite lengthy, in which case the doctor draws up a plan of therapeutic measures that parents should strictly carry out. This is especially true for tracheitis in newborn babies.

In the room where the sick child is located, a certain air humidity should be observed, and cleaning should be carried out daily. It is also necessary to eliminate all irritating factors - smoke, including cigarette, the use of various chemical agents and flavors. A sick child needs to pay much more attention in the sense that any vocal tension - crying, conversations can aggravate the irritation of the tracheal mucosa, therefore the baby must be constantly distracted, reassured.

Treatment of tracheitis in a child involves the use of herbal remedies, which can successfully replace drug therapy. Broths of grass coltsfoot, chamomile, linden, licorice root is extremely effective if prepared from in accordance with the recommended recipe.

What can be done at home? 

  • If the child is more than two years old, you can put mustard plasters on the area between the shoulder blades or the sternum. Mustard plaster can not be used if the baby has a fever, and the procedure should be warming, not burning, so mustard plaster is applied to cotton or linen fabric, and not a naked body. 
  • You can apply warming wraps, compresses with hot boiled potatoes or rubbing. Rubbing is especially effective for infants. The procedure is best carried out for half an hour before bedtime. 
  • A child needs to drink a lot. It is better if it will be decoctions of herbs, for example, chamomile or calendula. Cranberry juice or dogrose decoction will strengthen the immune system and help to quickly eliminate intoxication from the child’s body.

Tracheitis Medicine for Children

Medicines for tracheitis for children are, as a rule, all sorts of syrups and decoctions of herbs. Pediatricians try to prescribe antibiotics and antiviral drugs with extreme caution, especially when it comes to very young infants.

Tablets of expectorant drugs are also effective, it can be Ambrohexal or Lasolvan, which is prescribed as a mucolytic even for newborns. All sorts of chest elixirs, herbal expectorant preparations and teas are also an excellent cure for tracheitis for children. In addition, paracetamol-based antipyretic drugs may be prescribed as symptomatic therapy. If the tracheitis is viral, antiviral drugs are prescribed. Immunal, Anaferon help not only with the flu, but also as a cure for tracheitis in children. As mucolytic syrups prescribed drugs - "Doctor Mom", Flavamed, Gedelix, children over three years, facilitates the cough Bromhexin, ACC.

Antibiotics for tracheitis for children

Antibiotics for tracheitis for children, as a rule, are not prescribed. An exception may be with a combination of tracheitis and bronchitis, or if the disease has a bacterial cause. If tracheitis is caused by a bacterial infection, a topical antibiotic may be prescribed - Bioparox, which is administered by inhalation through the mouth, less commonly through the nose. Bioparox can not be prescribed to children up to three years, in addition, the drug has some other contraindications. Also, antibiotics for tracheitis in children can be prescribed in the case of a protracted nature of the disease, when chronic tonsillitis worsens, or the disease is accompanied by otitis, sinusitis. The drug of choice may be the latest generation of antibiotic Azithromycin, which can be used even for infants in suspension. Like many other macrolides, Azithromycin has a wide spectrum of action and is used once a day.

trusted-source[20], [21]

Inhalation with tracheitis in children

The most effective way to help alleviate the cough symptom is inhalation. Inhalation of tracheitis in children should be used not earlier than the second, and preferably the third day after the stratum of the disease. For inhalation, decoctions or syrups of licorice root, breast pharmacy fees. It is best to conduct inhalation with herbal medicine containing volatile essential oils, these include eucalyptus, sage, mint and all coniferous trees. Of course, many children actively oppose this procedure, so inhalations for tracheitis in children can be done in the following ways:

  1. An infant can be bathed in water with a decoction of ether-containing herbs. In warm water, the healing esters begin to evaporate and your baby will inevitably inhale these fumes. You can also put on the fire container with a decoction, close the windows and doors in the room and stay with the baby next to the gradually evaporating liquid. Another option is to put a saucepan with hot broth not far from the baby’s crib so that the air is saturated with healing vapors. 
  2. An older child can make a hot decoction of these herbs in a small container and ask them to breathe over the steam for several minutes. 
  3. Children older than three years old are fully capable of breathing over a conventional steam or ultrasonic inhaler.

Inhalation of tracheitis in children should not exceed 5-10 minutes, they also do not replace other methods of treatment prescribed by the attending physician.

trusted-source[22], [23], [24], [25], [26]

How to cure tracheitis in a child?

How to cure tracheitis in a child, if the symptoms do not disappear and the disease becomes protracted, chronic? The fact is that many parents, getting carried away by self-treatment, uncontrollably give the baby expectorant drugs bought at the pharmacy, sometimes not at all effective in treating tracheitis. The first thing that needs to be done if signs of the disease are noticed is to consult a pediatrician to rule out other, more serious diseases - bronchitis, pneumonia or whooping cough.

In addition, the question of how to cure tracheitis in a child can only be answered by the attending physician, who will prescribe the necessary antitussive syrup or other medicine adequate to the symptoms.

trusted-source[27], [28], [29]


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