Persistant cough, mild fever for a week in almost 7yo - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 56 Old 11-01-2008, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#2 of 56 Old 11-01-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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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.


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#3 of 56 Old 11-01-2008, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.)

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#4 of 56 Old 11-01-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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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!

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#5 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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oh yes! seconding the oil of oregano! make sure you get a good quality pure oil from a HFS or herbalist.

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#6 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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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.
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#7 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#8 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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Garlic is great at fighting infection. I don't know how well he would take it.
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#9 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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....

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#10 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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if school is a concern, what about calling the ped to get an opinion? (assuming you have a good ped you can trust)

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#11 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#12 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 10:58 AM
 
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hmmm. well, i don't see how it could hurt to give her a call if you want.

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#13 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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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.

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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?
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#14 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#15 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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if you take him, you know there;s a good chance he'll come home with an Rx for abx.

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#16 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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True, but I don't have to fill the prescription.

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#17 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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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.

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#18 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#19 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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this might be useful information to you:
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/lung/rsv.html

interesting snippets include:
Quote:
Almost all kids are infected with RSV at least once by the time they are 2 years old.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.

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#20 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm. From another page on that site:


Quote:
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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#21 of 56 Old 11-02-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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i'm liking that site more and more

so you have your answer. no need for the ped. show it to your mom.

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#22 of 56 Old 11-03-2008, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been wholly unsucessful in getting him to take vitamin C. I have both chewables (that he doesn't like the flavor of) and powdered ascorbic acid. Nor have I been able to get to a HFS for oil of oregano (and then, even if I got it, would he take it?)

He's staying hydrated and getting lots of rest though. His cough is getting more productive and IMO his body is doing what it needs to do for healing.

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#23 of 56 Old 11-03-2008, 11:03 PM
 
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we have a similar thing from your description, ruthla!

a wet cough, that's not very productive, but it's also not a choking cough, and it's tickly, but not unbearably so

the girls have mild fevers on and off, it's been about five days

it IS odd for us because i swear none of us has ever had a fever for more than 3 days in a row......

i got it first, and just today, i woke up and my cough is much better, but i had a lot of head congestion.......my girls' coughs seem to be a bit better and they have clear snot now, too

i've just been using a vaporizer at night, steamy bathrooms, getting fresh air in a quiet setting and putting everyone to bed/nap earlier than usual

ours really doesn't seem that bad
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#24 of 56 Old 11-03-2008, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Steamy bathrooms, oh I wish we could do that right now, but the hot water heater is broken! I literally had to boil a pot of water on the stove this evening for washing dishes!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#25 of 56 Old 11-04-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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Ruth, I would try this with him, if you have one of those humidifiers. You can add a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and filtered water into it, and this is very effective in getting deep down into the lungs, if there is any infection. See this link for the directions and the ratio of how much hydrogrn peroxide to use. Read down at the bottom of the article where it says "healing mists". I have just used a steam humidifier for this (the kind that heats up the water), although in the article he says to use an ultrasound humidifier.

http://www.nutritionreview.org/libra...fluseason.html

HTH
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#26 of 56 Old 11-04-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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Also, I mix sodium ascorbate powder into smoothies or diluted juice for my kids, and they usually can't tell.
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#27 of 56 Old 11-04-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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It sounds more like mono than RSV.
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#28 of 56 Old 11-04-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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Can you get him to take a Vitamin C pill (swallowing)? My DS hates the chewables, but he'll swallow anything not too foul tasting with a little water. I've heard the best thing for viruses is vitamin a and vitamin c. Can you get him to swallow a CLO pill or vit. c? Also, my DS loves raw honey for coughs. It seems to perk him up a bit too. I hear grapes and nice yellow butter work too.

I hope he feels better today!
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#29 of 56 Old 11-04-2008, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh, I can't get this child to take ANYTHING!!! When I put vitamin C into his lemonade, he won't drink the lemonade. My primary concern right now is preventing dehydration, so I don't want to try sneaking too many things into his lemonade.

I bought some elderberry cough syrup today, along with echinachea/goldenseal and an herbal brochial inhaler (basically an herb mixture for lung health that comes in a spray bottle). I wasn't sure if these are all safe to take together, or which would be better, but I also figured it wouldn't hurt to have a well stocked medicine cabinet so I bought all 3. I couldn't find any oil of oregano at the store today. There is another HFS I can try, but I don't want to keep running around if I don't have to.

The elderberry syrup said to take 1-2 tsp 2-4 times a day, "safe for children, call for dosage" and I figured 1/2 to 1 tsp twice a day is probably the right dosage for a 45 lb child- and a higher dose when he's this sick (and this is the first dose, he hasn't been taking this for days already) makes sense. So I measured out 1 tsp in a medicine cup and he took a sip, said it tasted horrible, had a lemonade chaser, then took another small sip, another sip of lemonade, etc. He wouldn't even take half a teaspoon before he refused to take any more. I'll try to get him to take the rest of the dose later.

I may take him to the ped tomorrow, if only to get a diagnosis. If it is mono, I'll reschedule his birthday party (currently scheduled for Nov 16th.) I don't want to take him today because we're going to the chiropractor this afternoon, and I want the ped to examine him AFTER the adjustment (and minimize the chance of an unnecessary abx being prescribed.)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#30 of 56 Old 11-04-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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Here's some info about coughs:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general...lds_cough.html

Honestly I think I would take him in at this point because he's still having a fever and the cough isn't going away. He could have pneumonia or bronchitis, and need some antibiotics and/or breathing treatments to get it cleared up. Has he had any wheezing or trouble breathing, particularly when he's coughing?

ETA: I hate giving antibiotics to my kids, but if they refuse all natural remedies I wouldn't feel that I had much of a choice, yk?

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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