A toddler younger than 4 years old who is coughing at night shouldn't receive cough medicine, but the coughing can be eased by holding him in a steamy, hot bathroom, according to WebMD. Honey-based cough drops are acceptable as long as the child is at least a year old.
In children, a cough can have a number of different causes, explains WebMD. In case of infections, croup, flu and colds, treating the underlying condition throughout the day should mean less coughing at night. Allergies and sinusitis can also be a cause of a lingering cough. Accompanying symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, itchy throat or rash.
Such common household allergens as pet dander, dust, pollen and some foods can lead to coughing throughout the day and night, notes WebMD. A pediatrician can recommend allergy testing to find out what is causing the issue. Whooping cough is another possibility. Its distinctive whooping sound comes when the child inhales. Children generally receive whooping cough vaccinations. For those who do contract this contagious disease, it is easy to treat with antibiotics.
If the toddler is persistently vomiting in addition to coughing at night, has difficulty breathing, turns purple or red while coughing, it is necessary to get immediate medical attention, states WebMD. The same applies if he appears to have something stuck in his throat, has a fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit two hours after receiving medication, or just seems extremely ill.