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Is OTC medication making my dd sicker for longer??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My dd (age two) won't blow her nose (she makes the sound with her mouth but doesn't get what you are supposed to do...very cute but very difficult!) nor is she able to spit out phlegm after she coughs. She just doesn't get it.

So whenever she gets sick, we end up giving her OTC if her cough and nose are really bad. She won't sleep if she is coughing or has a runny nose and I feel awful just letting her cough. Not to mention NO ONE gets sleep if V is awake.

But I started thinking tonight that maybe she is sick for so long because she isn't able to expell the phlegm the way the rest of us do. Suppressing her cough might just let it fester in her chest. Then again, unless we can deal with her runny nose, she is always going to have a cough when she gets sick.

Hmmmm any advice? How do you get a toddler to blow her nose and spit out phlegm?

Often when she is really sick, she will cough so much she will vomit it out. Poor thing.
post #2 of 11
Do you still breastfeed? My dd ,almost 3, has only been sick a few times and last time, a couple months ago, we couldn't get her to blow her nose either. I tried to breastfeed her extra and give her lots of water and juice. I also would rub her back and lightly pat it to help loosen it up. She got better pretty fast and without medicine or a drs visit. Definantly didn't get a lot of sleep for a couple of days.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Nope, we don't bf anymore and she is around lots of other kids at the in-home daycare she attends, so we are dealing with sickness all the time. Plus, I teach at a public school so I am sure I bring home lots of heebie geebies as well. Winters are hard on us!
post #4 of 11
my experience of snotty noses is that they run.... wiping them gets it off the face, but it comes out of the nose by itself - unless the stuff you are giving her is making it so thick that it doesn't

teaching littlies to blow just means you don't have to wait for the snot to run out, which is very gruesome to look at imho

with coughing, I think it is very hard for littlies to cough phlegm out - coughing it up to the back of the throat is enough as it will then be swallowed, possibly making them puke, but better out of the lungs than in

once again if cough medicine is suppressing the cough or drying/thickening the phlegm then the illness is going to go on longer
post #5 of 11
i agree that anything that stops the snot from running will prolong the cold, but sometimes I feel it evens out with the benefits of having a good night of sleep.

So although we almost never give OTC cold medicines, I might at bedtime for one or two nights in the worse of the cold.
post #6 of 11
How about a humidifier to keep it from "clumping up" at night? And, some Vit C tablets? We use Hylands simply b/c that's all we have here.

Warm chamomile tea? My ds actually really likes tea and it keeps him hydrated and a bit more peaceful. Too, I think that the more hydrated they are, then the easier it is for the mucus membranes to work; ie. have a runny nose. ?

Also, we give Yin Chao.

GOod luck!
post #7 of 11

just what I think...

I cannot say for sure, but from what I've read, OTC med does little or nothing for such cold symptoms.
Some things you can do:
wipe mucus off your daughter's nose when they flow out, apply a little petroleum jelly under the nose so when you wipe off, you do not rub her skin which will eventually get really sore from repeated rubbing or wiping.
Make sure the air in the house is moist, use a humidifier, but make sure the filter is kept clean to avoid bacteria from breeding.
Avoid dairy products and sugar-rich foods. (creates mucus, makes body acidic, which hinders healing)
Avoid orange juice, it's too acidic, and creates more mucus and congestion; instead, try hot lemonade, made with fresh squuezed lemons, a pinch of ginger, a little honey or maple syrup to sweeten.
Offer lots of liquid- vegetable broth, chicken soup, miso soup, etc.
Give your daughter an herbal bath by putting a few drops of eucalyptus, sage or thyme oil into a warm bath; it helps with the mucus in the lungs
HTH, good wishes to you & your family!
post #8 of 11

steam, steam, steam!!

I had a very bad winter last year, with 3 major respiratory infections. I, of course, know how to blow my nose and cough out phlegm, but even when doing those things constantly I was miserable. The thing that really helped was steam. It loosens the gunk in both nose and lungs and brings a lot of it out at once, and when that's over then you can breathe easily for a few hours and get some sleep!

People have already mentioned hot baths, hot drinks, and humidifiers...I just wanted to reiterate and to point out that inducing a deluge of gunk, while yucky, will make her feel better and buy all of you some rest time!
post #9 of 11
Yeah, Indiegirl -- I always face the same dilemma. I suspect that some OTC meds make it worse -- draw it out. OTOH -- if he can't get any sleep, then he doesn't have resources to get himself better either. When I use it, it is for nighttime. I avoid decongestants -- they do seem to make it worse.

Steam is great -- but we have to be very careful about keeping the thing clean because the littlest bit of mold, and I'm doing them more harm than good. They both have wretched allergies.

Saline nose drops are good too. You can make your own or buy them, but check to make sure they are thimerisol free.

When I do use OTC meds I tend towards plain old robitussin -- The expectorant loosens everything out, makes their coughing more productive. Also, for some bizarre reason, IBprofin tends to sooth their coughing. I dunno. Maybe it works on the inflamation in their airways. Who knows. I tell their ped. and she looks at me like I'm crazy.
post #10 of 11
I think OTC medications do make things worse. For one thing it dries up the snot. Another thing is that it can mask symptoms or make the kids feel better when they really need to rest. I rarely, if ever, give them. I have used many of the homeopathic remedies described above and they work well.

Good luck!
post #11 of 11

get out the snot sucker

until my girls (4 & 3 yrs) could productively blow their noses (which was actually a pretty recent event) We got out the good, old bulb syringe.

You gotta get that stuff out.

You've also gotten some wonderful advice from the other mommas!!!!

btw...I had luck 'teaching' my girls to blow their noses when they weren't stuffy. I'd show them how to take a breath and then blow with their mouths closed.

good luck!!!
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