5yo ds has been coughing for weeks - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 09-12-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No other symptoms that I can tell. Just coughing. A little during the day, but lots at night.

I've tried feeding him lots of honey to treat it. We just started with the homeopathic cough syrup.

It's been 2-3 weeks and dh and I are thinking we should probably give the doctor a call. The things I've read online seem to indicate that it could be allergies or asthma appearing. I'm worried that when we go to the doctor they're going to want to start him on Claritin or something that I'm not really comfortable with.

Any suggestions for either how to get rid of the cough or how to handle it if it turns out that it is something like allergies or asthma?

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#2 of 9 Old 09-12-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Cough that gets worse at night and persists for weeks can be whooping cough (lots of kids with whooping cough don't whoop). Did he happen to have a day or two of "lite cold" (a little fever and/or sniffly nose and/or under the weather) a week or two before the coughing started? That's the normal progression for whooping cough.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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Did he have a change in environment with school starting? My DS spent 1st grade in a school room with bad air. He coughed at night more than day.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We homeschool, so school isn't an issue.

mamafish9, I'm calling our doctor today. I think I'm going to ask them about testing for pertussis.

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#5 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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DD has/had a cough for almost 2 years. We had asthma testing done, chest/tonsil/aednoid x-rays, etc.. She was put on an inhaler, nasal spray, and refux meds.

Last month we started an elimination diet as a last hurrah before we went several hours away to a specialist hospital because the allergist was out of ideas. We're still not entirely sure about soy, however we know that corn is a major source of coughing problems with her (started around the age of 2.5). She is currently corn and soy free (the wheat is okay) and is cough free! It's amazing and she is sleeping so much better.

I hope you're able to figure it out quickly.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
We homeschool, so school isn't an issue.

mamafish9, I'm calling our doctor today. I think I'm going to ask them about testing for pertussis.
*Most* docs don't test for whooping cough, they just diagnose it by symptoms (and without a whoop, many docs won't call it whooping cough, even though 50%+ of kids with whooping cough over 1 year old don't whoop). Also, in many states, they are required to report whooping cough to public health as an infectious disease, so decide whether you want to set that ball in motion (we just had whooping cough, and decided not to go that route).

There is no medical treatment for whooping cough, although they will want to put your child on antibiotics. What this does is (after a 5 day dose) make your child no longer infectious. However, they're normally not infectious 2 weeks after the cough starts anyhow (again, something most docs aren't informed on). And antibiotics lengthen the duration of whooping cough (I have a linky around here to the study showing that, can't find it right now). Antibiotics can help if you were exposed, to decrease the severity of what you catch, but you have to take them early.

The biggest danger of whooping cough is exposing a small child/infant, so you'd want to be very cautious around newborns, obviously, working as a doula.

For your son's cough, homeopathics may help (did with both my kids, different remedies for each), pick the remedy off this page that sounds like the best fit and try that.

http://health.hpathy.com/whooping-co...tment-cure.asp

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#7 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just got back from the appointment. The nurse practitioner thinks it may be asthmatic bronchitis, but she did do a swab for pertussis. They said those results will be back in 4-5 days. They gave me a prescription for Zithromax; I'm not sure how I feel about it, so we haven't started it yet.

Also, I just looked up bronchitis and the articles all say that antibiotics won't do any good with it being a virus, so why did she give me a prescription for Zmax when she thought it was bronchitis?

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#8 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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That's the standard antibiotics treatment for whooping cough . Sounds like they're just covering off that possibility.

Even sites like this that are being very cautious, say that you are only infectious for 3 weeks after you start coughing (many sites, like this one, say two weeks). And it takes 5 days for the antibiotics to make you non-infectious. So the way I figured it, if my child had been coughing for a couple of weeks already, taking the antibiotics was useless, it wouldn't shorten the time my child was contagious at all.

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#9 of 9 Old 09-13-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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mostly subbing, but I just wanted to add that my understanding is that sometimes with bronchitis there can be a bacterial component and that may be the reason for the antibiotics. we have been struggling with a mysterious cough for a long time too. Also, when it comes to asthma there are different kinds or variations. For example there can be allergy induced asthma or simply cough-variant asthma. My daughter's cough was controlled for a long time with allergy medicine. Unfortunately it is no longer working.

Hope you get some answers and find some solutions!

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