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Old 04-04-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
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When to take them in for a cough - Update

My 16 month old has had a on again off again cough for more than 6 weeks. It had seemed to get better but then last night she was coughing all night and sounds worse than ever. She seems to be ok during the day, with just some coughing here and there and seems to be able to breath. The coughing sounds terrible to me (a first time mom) but I"m not sure if it's a croup cough. I gave her some homeopathic medicine before bed and her cool mist humidifier is always on in her room but she is coughing and coughing. When do I need to worry and should she be seen by a doctor or will they just tell me it's viral and she has to get over it herself? Should I have her sleep in my room so I can monitor her breathing? She just sleeps so much better in her own bed.

Update: Doctor said it was just a viral cold which is what I thought. They said she has to get over it on her own. Her lungs are clear. They did prescribe an inhaler to take before bed and if she's coughing a lot at night. I guess it's just that nasty cough that takes forever to go away.

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Last edited by chandni3; 04-05-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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I would definitely take her to the dr. I would probably go to the ER tonight if she doesn't stop coughing, or hit up the Urgent Care in the morning if you can't get a pediatrician appt. 6 weeks is a long time
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: When to take them in for a cough

She fell asleep and isn't coughing now. I haven't taken her in because she doesn't cough all day for the last 6 weeks, it'd just be after eating, or when falling asleep or when she was starting to wake up in the morning, or just now and then and otherwise be fine. With my home daycare she's had a constant cold all winter, it just keeps going around and around the kids. Other than a runny nose she has no fever or anything else. I just figured they'd say it's a virus and there isn't anything they can do. I guess I see how she is tonight and then if she's coughing a lot still see if the doctor can fit her in in the morning.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:20 PM   #4
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Subbing. I wanna see what others say too.

My two have had a cough for about two weeks. Neither worse or better at night, just annoying. But they play okay, sleep okay, and eat okay. Also their noses aren't running green or anything. I'm afraid to take them in only to be told "there's nothing we can do because its just a cough". That's a $100 office visit for us. :/

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Old 04-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: When to take them in for a cough

My whole house had that stupid cold thing with the forever cough, it took my 5 year old about 6 weeks to completely get rid of it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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Similar situation here. I took DD in after 4 weeks or so of a cough that never totally 100% went away and got better then worse.

They listened to her lungs and said she had a wheeze. She is now on an albuterol inhaler (2 pumps, a few times a day) to help her breathe better and help keep the infection out of her lungs. This treatment is meant to prevent pneumonia and also relieve her symptoms. It is the lowest dose of albuterol and doesn't seem to have any side effects for her but she it does help her breathe easier. It has been a week or two of this now and the snotty nose is gone completely and cough has improved quite a bit.

Anyway I believe this is what you can expect to get if you bring her to the dr. Hth!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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After about 4 or 5 days I take my dd to dr if she's coughing & has snot. We just went through this a couple of weeks ago & while it was the croup/cold that had to cute itself all the coughing had swollen her throat so she had to get a steroid shot to open her airways cause her swollen throat was making her wheeze. I never heard her breathing get bad so in glad I took her In.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: When to take them in for a cough

I trust my "mother's intuition" for this stuff. Does she seem off otherwise? If not, I guess I would wait until the cold weather really passes (unless it already has for you) and mention it at the next well baby visit, if you do those. My oldest had a cough last forever last winter, but he was fine otherwise. It resolved itself when summer came.

Even if she had green/yellow mucous or a runny nose, I would wait it out. If she seems really really sick, go in. Otherwise let it work itself out. More than 90% of respiratory infections are viral, meaning there's really nothing a doctor can do to heal them (asthma is another story, but I assume that's not what she has). Rest, fluids, warm mist vaporizor at night (those cool mist ones are useless IME).

I trust my gut and don't take my kids to the doctor unless they would won't heal without hospitalization. IMO, if they aren't sick enough to need a hospital, they aren't sick enough to need a doctor (again, not referring to injuries or chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes or whatever, just referring to upper respiratory infections).

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Old 04-04-2013, 08:13 PM   #9
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It could be bronchitis, my 8 year LO has it now. He gets it a couple of times a year and if we catch it soon enough then we just do the nebulizer treatments, but if we don't and it's getting into his lungs we have to do antibiotics like we are this time.
If his cough lasts more than 2 weeks I take him in. My others I tend to take a wait and see approach, but never longer than 2 weeks.

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Old 04-05-2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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Subbing. My 15 month old has been dealing with the same thing.

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