wet cough for 5 weeks - should I worry? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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My 2.5 yr.old has had a deep, rattling chest cough for 4-5 weeks. I had the same thing before her and got over it in a few weeks, but hers is persisting. The cough and phlegm is the only symptom - no fever or anything else. We finally got concerned enough to take her to the doctor the other day (a DO) and she said that if it doesn't clear up within a few days to put her on antibiotics. Well it's been a few days and doesn't seem any different. It has changed from a lot of coughing at first to now almost no coughing, but you can hear her chest rattling and wheezing and that doesn't seem to change. It's very humid where we are. Her spirits and energy are good. Is there risk of a bronchial infection? Should we really put her on the antibiotics? I was disappointed that that's the only advice the DO had for us - I thought they were supposed to be more alternative/wholistic minded.
What do you think, should we just wait it out or is there a real risk here? It seems to be going on for so long without much change...
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#2 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 03:08 PM
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We seem to be doing the same here. I have never had just a phlegmy cough with no other symptoms, it's very strange.

I would recommend doing steam treatments. If you can do it with tea tree oil in the water that would be good.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 03:19 PM
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I might be concerned but I likely wouldn't do antibiotics. I think I'd be more concerned about it being asthma/allergy related though.

Something that is super effective is using ginger compresses on the chest and back a couple of times a day. Use this technique with a good expectorant and it will help clear the phlegm out! Just grate a piece of ginger, boil in water and then strain (reserving the warm liquid) Use this with washcloths and soak them in the water then wring them out and lay them on the chest and back. Warm towels from the dryer work good over a plastic bag to retain the warmth..Do this for 20min 2x a day and I guarantee you will see an improvement! A crockpot works well. If you don't have ginger root you could use ginger tea or essential oil or even just plain water.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#4 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 05:33 PM
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I am suprised she didn't have you do hydrotherepy, that has been the most effective treatment for my asthmatic lo's deep wet coughs he gets with colds. Give her a warm bath and raise her body temperature. Wet a recieving blanket or small towel in very cold water and wrap that around her trunk, mostly chest area, and then wrap a towel around her and the cold wrapped towel. Sit with her for about 20 minutes until the cold towel is warm again, this means the therepy is completed. My ds doesn't seem to mind the cold towel if I wrap the big towel around him quickly afterwards and hug him. We just read books for a bit after the bath. Do this every day for 3-5 days and it is an incredible healing tool. It makes blood rush to the cold area and promotes healing. We have had absolutly incredible results with it.

Anti biotics sometimes are the only thing that can heal a chest infection or like we found out when our son got pnemonia...no choice really. It does sound like there are a few other things you can try before resorting to anitbiotics. Remember although they shouldn't be the first line of defense they aren't evil and can fix her up if an infection she is struggling with is really the problem.

Good luck, it is awful when a lo is sick!
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#5 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 08:07 PM
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Dealing with the same thing in CT. Will try the ginger and the cold towel ideas tomorrow. The only symptom is this deep cough - his energy, appetite, mood are great. It seemed to be getting better but today has come back stronger. Weird.
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#6 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will try the ginger compress and the warm/cold treatment. What would be a good expectorant? Just a cough med from the health food store? We have one called "Eldertussin Elderberry Syrup" and it just says it "supports respiration". And thanks for the reminder about antibiotics, jennpm - one of my worries is that it wouldn't work and we'd have compromised some of her defenses for no reason.
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