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Persistant cough, mild fever for a week in almost 7yo

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
My DS (who will be 7 in a couple of weeks) has been sick for about a week. He started getting sick last Monday, with a mild cough and low-grade fever. He had a fairly high fever on Tuesday (can't find my thermometer so I'm not sure of the exact numbers) and then it was much lower on Wednesday. He had very little appetite when he had the fever, and his appetite has increased somewhat when the fever went down, but it's still not back to normal.

He's had a low-grade fever on and off since then- and when he has the fever he's lethargic and snuggly, when the fever is lower he's closer to his usual bouncy self. His appetite waxes and wanes with the fevers too. I haven't been giving him any medication to lower the fever or suppress the cough. I'm trying to give him lots of vitamin C but he's not exactly co-operative with that. I took him to the chiropractor twice this week. I'm making sure he stays hydrated.

I haven't noticed any change in the cough all week. It's not a "dry, nonproductive" cough, but neither is he coughing up tons of phlegm. It doesn't seem like there's too much in there to be coughed up.

My daughters' colds have always lasted 4-5 days, so this is unfamiliar territory for me. He's definitely not getting worse, and I don't think there's any need for antibiotics. But neither does he really seem to be getting any better. Is this still within the range of normal? Is there anything else I could or should be doing to help him?
post #2 of 56
it sounds like it is within the range of normal, but I'd be getting a little more intensive with treatment at this stage. not to scare you, but I think it is possible he has an infection in his lungs.
As well as as much vitC as you can get into him, I'd be giving Echinacea tincture, or pills if he wont take tincture. I suffered for a long time with chronic lung infections, and echincea was in the end what broke the cycle and cleared it up.
steam can help a lot as well, pour water from a boiling kettle into a large bowl, add a drop or 2 of eucalyptus essential oil, or a small dab of tiger balm, and breathe the steam. for best results cover your head with a towel to trap the steam in.

Definitely don't give him antibiotics. cut back on mucus-producing foods like dairy (except for fermented dairy), and rice. oranges, while a good cource of vitC, (well, not that great) are also mucus-producing.

post #3 of 56
Thread Starter 
Rice and oranges are mucus producing? I didn't know that! I have had him off dairy since the cough began (except for one bowl of cereal with milk my mom gave him before I told her not to give him dairy.) What other foods should I be keeping him away from?

I've been letting him have orange juce (though he prefers lemonade when he's sick) and I haven't been restricting rice- but then again I don't think he's had any rice recently- last night I served rice with the chicken but I think he was full after the soup course (chicken broth, carrots, and potatoes.)
post #4 of 56
Someone here recommended oil of oregano to me a year ago when dd2 was having chronic ear infections and I now swear by the stuff. It's a natural antibiotic (as well as antifungal and antiviral). It's just super powerful stuff. Last year dd had been on two rounds of antibiotics but it was the oil of oregano that finally cleared it up.

Recently I got over a bad cold within 4-5 days instead of my usual 10-14 by taking it twice daily.

It's really strong tasting, but dd tolerates one drop in a spoonful of pure maple syrup twice a day. I take it in syrup or agave nectar because I can't handle it straight.

Hope he's feeling better soon!
post #5 of 56
oh yes! seconding the oil of oregano! make sure you get a good quality pure oil from a HFS or herbalist.
post #6 of 56
my two were diagnosed with RSV on this last monday and the symptoms are very similar to what you are describing. my ds was worse (and he has a weaker immune system) so meds were required (he's 3). my dd (17 mos.) has not required meds at all - just a watching approach. my dh and i also have RSV. mine has been a lingering cold for a week now. dh ended up going to the doctor on friday - RSV for him turned into a terrible sinus infection.

i would describe RSV as a cold, but suckier. and it has definitely lasted longer.
post #7 of 56
Thread Starter 
Does this mean I should keep him away from the ped's office so he doesn't infect any newborns who could get VERY sick from him?

What meds did your 3yo end up needing?
post #8 of 56
Garlic is great at fighting infection. I don't know how well he would take it.
post #9 of 56
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I use a lot of raw garlic for myself, but I'm not sure how to administer that to DS.

His cough is sounding worse now. I'm not sure if that means he's getting worse, or if he's finally having productive coughs and doing more intense healing.

I'm also wondering if I should take him to the pediatrician. I honestly don't know what the ped might do to help, and afraid they might suggest something harmful (such as antibiotics) but I'm also worried that the school might accuse me of neglect or something for haivng a sick kid (he's been out of school since Tuesday) and not taking him to a dr. Then again he has been to the chiropractor so maybe I'm covered in that regard....
post #10 of 56
if school is a concern, what about calling the ped to get an opinion? (assuming you have a good ped you can trust)
post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 
I have a random ped that I picked out of the insurance company's list after "the ped I trust" fired us for not fully vaxing. I selected one dr out of a large clinic-like setup and I've met her exactly twice- when I took the kids for their annual physicals this summer.
post #12 of 56
hmmm. well, i don't see how it could hurt to give her a call if you want.
post #13 of 56
he ended up having to have an antibiotic (because he also had a very bad secondary ear infection and his eardrum was about to burst), some kind of steroid thing and also another medication to prevent it all from turning into pneumonia - not fun stuff at all. the test they do to check for RSV is a simple nose swab. it is very highly contagious. if your ds seems to be getting better, it will probably just run it's course. that's what we've been able to do with dd.

Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Does this mean I should keep him away from the ped's office so he doesn't infect any newborns who could get VERY sick from him?

What meds did your 3yo end up needing?
post #14 of 56
Thread Starter 
Now my Mom is pressuring me to take him to the ped tomorrow. I honestly don't think there's anything an allopathic doctor can do to help him, but I might take him just to shut her up.
post #15 of 56
if you take him, you know there;s a good chance he'll come home with an Rx for abx.
post #16 of 56
Thread Starter 
True, but I don't have to fill the prescription.
post #17 of 56
true but then your mom will be hassling you to do that too. and once the prescription is in your hands, it's pretty easy to say 'i'll just fill it, since it's covered on my insurance any way, but i wont give it to him unless he gets any worse'. slippery slope

not that i'm saying you shouldn't go to the ped.
i probably would at some point too.
post #18 of 56
Thread Starter 
Oh, she won't come WITH me to the ped. I'd come home with the Rx in my wallet and tell her that we went to the dr and not mention the meds at all.

Part of me is thinking "he's sick, I shouldn't drag him around town, even a trip to the dr is too much for him right now- bundling him up, taking him outside, walking all the way from the parking lot to the building, all the way down the hall to the ped department, etc. And what if he breathes on another child there (either an infant or a child already ill) and gets somebody else very very sick? If this is RSV, it could be very serious if a preemie catches it- but I'm not REALLY worried about DS.

OTOH, I'm not 100% comfortable with the way his healing is going. I expected him to have a high fever for a day, then a mild fever for another day, and then be ready to go back to school. It's been a week and the cough and fever are lingering. I'd be less worried about the lingering cough if he hadn't had that one day of really high fever- but it seems like that fever should have "burned out" the illness and she should be OK by now.
post #19 of 56
this might be useful information to you:

interesting snippets include:
Almost all kids are infected with RSV at least once by the time they are 2 years old.
Generally, in healthy kids, it's not necessary to distinguish RSV from a common cold. But in cases where a child has other health conditions, a doctor might want to make a specific diagnosis. RSV is typically identified in nasal secretions, which can be collected either with a cotton swab or by suction through a bulb syringe.
Fortunately, most cases of RSV are mild and require no specific treatment from doctors. Antibiotics aren't used because RSV is a virus and antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Medication may sometimes be given to help open airways.
post #20 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hmmm. From another page on that site:

When to Call the Doctor
Most childhood coughs are nothing to be concerned about. However, consult a doctor if your child:

has trouble breathing or is working hard to breathe
is breathing more quickly than usual
has a blue or dusky color to the lips, face, or tongue
has a high fever (particularly in a young infant or in the absence of congestion or a runny nose; contact your doctor for any fever in an infant younger than 3 months)
is an infant (3 months old or younger) who has been coughing for more than a few hours
makes a "whooping" sound when she breathes after coughing
is coughing up blood
has stridor when inhaling
has wheezing when exhaling (unless you already have home asthma management instructions from your doctor)
is listless or cranky
He's listless, but that's the only thing on that list that I can check off. The cough has lasted less than 3 weeks, the fever isn't dangerously high, he's not wheezing or whooping or coughing up anything with funky colors...it really sounds viral to me.

Add to this the fact that I'm not feeling too great myself, and I don't want to schlepp him out to the ped just to have her tell me he's fine.
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