Cough is a normal protective mechanism which occurs many times every day. Cough with a viral infection lasts up to 2 weeks in 70-80% of children. Cough present for more than 4 weeks may be due to a recognized specific cause or non specific and considered protracted bronchitis. Chronic cough in children is different to that in adults and rarely due to GE reflux, postnasal drip or asthma. Treatment addresses the specific cause and symptomatic treatment is rarely needed or effective. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.