I can't sleep! My kid is coughing non stop! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 06-16-2011, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3.5 year old got a cold and started coughing mon/tue...he had a low low fever (100ish) on tue night.  Tonight his fever was 101.6...he *seemed* to be fine, playing, so I was surprised by how warm he actually was.  Then the non-stop coughing started.  He went to bed, and is sleeping, but coughs in his sleep...that horrible hacking cough he gets.  I'm wondering if it could be bacterial pneumonia...since he really seemed to be doing much better today...not coughing that much, had a decent appetite, and then ...boom...fever and coughing.  I'm taking him in tomorrow...

He had another episode with non-stop coughing this past winter, but no fever at that time, and we ended up in ER ... we'd already visited the ped, but his coughing was just non-stop, and at night, I got scared, so off we went to ER...where it felt like they just tortured him with a rectal thermometer and measuring his bp, etc...and then did nothing to make him either more comfortable or anything...Oh and we do Xopenex (like albuterol) with nebulizer.  Gave him a treatment before bed, and didn't seem to help at all.

 

Does anyone have a kid like that?  I am terrified of him having a cold, because I never know how bad it's going to be...

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#2 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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It's so hard when you l.o. is coughing and no one is getting any sleep.  
 

I found a couple of things helped:  a teaspoon of honey right before they brush their teeth for bed.  I have used vicks on a nearby pillow or towel (I found if you put it on them or their clothes it causes rashes).  Water bottle, small sips of water.  And ... most importantly ... we do "nose blows" ... we use saline solution in the nose.  You can buy a neti pot or a kids' size saline solution for noses.  Don't need any additives, meds in there, just saline solution.

 

 

Also, when we get an on-going cough, we ask for a prescription cough medicine from the doctor. Using even just a half a dose for a couple of nights seems to allow the breathing passages to heal and move the cough along.  The ped would know if it is OK to use with the allbuterol.  

 

I think we've been given promethezine cough medicine.  You have to be VERY careful with dosing.  I won't even let my husband do it.  I tend to only give half the recommended dose.  But within an hour of use, the coughing subsides.

 

Finally, if it is truly severe, you can request a codeine-containing cough medicine.  I think one time we used that for a few days.  Again, it's a last resort, but you really do not have to use it for more than a night or two as the the passages heal.  And it allows the child to get some sleep.  

 

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#3 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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FWIW, when I have had severe coughs, I myself have tried abuterol.  I too found that it really did pretty much nothing.  And I am not so sure that it doesn't come with side effects.  


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#4 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Subhuti View Post

FWIW, when I have had severe coughs, I myself have tried abuterol.  I too found that it really did pretty much nothing.  And I am not so sure that it doesn't come with side effects.  



The only reason we do this, is that I can't tell when the cough is caused by wheezing or not...I never hear the wheezing, but sometimes the ped tells me that ds1 is when he's sick.  So when I haven't yet had him heard by a ped, I have no idea...I actually have a stethoscope, but I don't hear what they hear...although he's had one bad cold where his ped (who I think is great) said he was wheezing, but 2 other doctors didn't (including one at ER).  Last night, we tried doing the neb with saline, and that actually seemed to help for a while...we do a lot of nose drops too.  I'll have to try vicks on a towel or something...

I can also ask about the prescrip med...thing is, at ER when we went one time, I asked about that, and she said that most cough syrups aren't recommended for asthmatics.  DS1 only has wheezing when he has a cold sometime, so I don't know what to make of that.  And she found one that was OK...when we took the prescription to the pharmacy, they said they don't make that med anymore...that was kind of weird.

Well, we're off to see a new ped in the practice today in a bit, since ours is off today...we'll see what he says.  I hear ds2 is now coughing more...he seemed like he was much better, so I hope he's not worse, and I'm going to have 2 very sick kids hacking all day/night.  Thanks for your reply...I just couldn't sleep last night, being so worried and listening to that horrible cough, and hoping for a magic cure.  His temp is down to 99.5 this morning, so I'm hoping he doesn't have a pnemonia like I started to think last night.  

 

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#5 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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I would ask them to check for pneumonia, even with the fever reduction.  My understanding is pneumonia can exist w/o a fever.  

 

It's just so hard when they are coughing.  We room-share with our kids, but I made my husband sleep with them the last time one had a bad cough.  He can fall back asleep, but I am awake all night with the coughing.  I found myself, half asleep, literally saying "Stop coughing!"  Uh, I don't think that's helpful ...so my husband takes over now unless he's got something important going on where he needs to get extra sleep etc.

 

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#6 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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It sounds like your child may have reactive airway disease or cough-variant asthma. I have two children with this, though one has mercifully outgrown it. You've gotten some good suggestions. One thing that sometimes worked for us was Benadryl.

If this pattern continues, you need good continuity of care and a ped who takes you seriously. Document the incidents and bring it to the ped. Cough-variant asthma does not always respond to albuterol, FWIW (my daughter's didn't).

DD had codeine syprup once and it actually made her extremely hyper. It can cause this reaction in children.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#7 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 07:13 AM
 
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If the current treatments are not working, sounds like it's time to see the doctor again. :-(  Esp if there is still a fever. It may be something over than pneumonia, maybe just a common thing maybe not.
 

My youngest and I get secondary bacterial bronchitis a lot from any common cold. I have asthma and she has a bit of RAD. In addition to asthma meds, the doctor will prescribe her a cough syrup with codeine that she is to take at night if it's keeping her from sleep. It's okay to tolerate for a few nights but often hers continues for weeks after the cold and kids (and adults!) need their sleep. She used to cry about how her stomach and ribs hurt from coughing so much and she was so desperate for sleep. I'm not recommending this of course, but just saying that there might be more that can be done. I started on Advair after my first bad infection this year and it's helping me a ton.

 

Good luck and I hope you get sleep again soon (her too)

 

ETA see if you can record the coughing fits for the doctor to  hear or see. Sometimes this makes a big difference in them diagnosing it or taking you seriously.


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#8 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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If the fever is going up I think you should bring him in.  My dd had pneumonia last year summer after having an antibiotic take too long to kick in when she had strep.  Her fever went slowly up and up all for a week despite seeming so much better.  The diagnosis is easy to make and treatment for pneumonia is really quick and easy.

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#9 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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the doc said both kids were wheezing :((  i thought the baby was doing much better too...

No pneumonia, but just now the fever went up to 102...it's come down since I gave him some Ibuprofen.   Since we moved to a new place 2 months ago, ds1 has his own bed and room...dh slept with him, and now he's sick too.

The ped said to double the xopenex dosage from.31 to .63 for the 10mo old, and from.63 to 1.2 for ds1.  Tomorrow the doc I like is in, and I'm wondering whether to take them in again.  Do you ever hear a wheeze?  I've never heard one just the rattling of the chest (from mucous?)

Thanks for sharing your stories...I'malways thinking a non-stop cough is an emergency...I don't think I've had that...I think the kids get dh's resp issues ( he got bronchitis a lot as a kid though never diagnosed with asthma).  Oh and this ped said xopenex makes you cough more because it opens up the passageways, and our other doc asks if the xopenex helped with the coughing...

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#10 of 17 Old 06-18-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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Many times I could not hear my asthmatic kiddo wheezing.  I would watch for him to retract, count breaths, etc.  It is very frightening.

 

My feeling is to always, always err on the side of caution with an asthmatic kid who is having coughing/breathing difficulties.  If you feel like they need to go to the ER, go.  

 

My child usually ended up on steroids with colds.  Albuterol and the inhaled steroid weren't enough.  I would say that if these are patterns you're seeing with your kids, you might want to ask for a referral to a pulmonologist.  You're going to get colds, you kids are going to be exposed... theres' no way around it.  I know that I felt enormously better when we had a plan in place for management on a long term basis, instead of just trying to to treat the emergencies.  We also treated fevers aggressively because higher temps always meant more difficulty breathing.  Warm, steamy showers were helpful too, if the fevers weren't too high.

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#11 of 17 Old 06-18-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Many times I could not hear my asthmatic kiddo wheezing.  I would watch for him to retract, count breaths, etc.  It is very frightening.

 

My feeling is to always, always err on the side of caution with an asthmatic kid who is having coughing/breathing difficulties.  If you feel like they need to go to the ER, go.  

 

My child usually ended up on steroids with colds.  Albuterol and the inhaled steroid weren't enough.  I would say that if these are patterns you're seeing with your kids, you might want to ask for a referral to a pulmonologist.  You're going to get colds, you kids are going to be exposed... theres' no way around it.  I know that I felt enormously better when we had a plan in place for management on a long term basis, instead of just trying to to treat the emergencies.  We also treated fevers aggressively because higher temps always meant more difficulty breathing.  Warm, steamy showers were helpful too, if the fevers weren't too high.


Same here.  DD has cough-variant asthma and things were much better for us this year after we had a good protocol going daily and knew what to do every step of the way whenever any little thing went amiss (sniffles equal going into battle mode here)  instead of trying to get it back under control after it had gotten really bad.  She ended up taking more medication than I would have thought to give her regularly, under careful Dr. orders, but it kept her out of the ER again and we all slept a bit better.  Those coughing nights are BAD though.  DH and I switch off on who sleeps on the couch to get some rest while the other toughs it out with the coughing.  Hope your little ones are doing better today.  

 


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#12 of 17 Old 06-23-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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How are you and your little one doing?

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#13 of 17 Old 06-23-2011, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How are you and your little one doing?


 

The baby finally stopped coughing on Monday, but instead woke up with a swollen eyelid and a bad rash on his arms, and somewhat on his face.  The ped (I can't believe I've taken them 3 times during this cold!!!) thought it was all related to the virus, and indeed the eye looks ok today, but the rash is still there....He's also gotten his first tooth, and always eating new foods, so who knows what it is. 

The other munchkin was still wheezing per the ped on Monday, so we're still doing xopenex 3 times daily.  Today, I can say for sure, he hasn't coughed that much, but I still feel a weird "brrr" in his chest if I put my hands there...so not sure if that's left over mucous, or wheezing. 

I've been looking at articles on nebulizers in general, and it seems a lot of research shows that the inhalers with a spacer are just as good, but the various peds we've seen say they prefer a nebulizer...I wonder why?  It must be that a good delivery of steam helps apart from the bronchiodilator medicine itself...Just looking at varous options, as this nebulizer is huge and noisy, and we're going to be traveling in July, and I'd like to have an alternative to travel with.  I've also read about vibrating mesh nebs...they're only 6oz!  I posted on another thread about them hoping someone had used them to find out what they're like.

 

Thanks for asking...this was a really bad cold to get in the summer, and we all got sick, and now my Mom is sick too!  Ugh, all from a playdate!

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#14 of 17 Old 07-01-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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One of my DD's got a bad cough every winter.  One time she coughed-- ONCE-- (right at the beginning of the night) so hard that she threw up blood!  One ER trip later and they only gave us Delsym.

 

We'd already been to the doctor many times about this, and they thought asthma.  None of the meds ever worked so they said, guess it isn't that!

 

She started again this spring, and our new dr. said no way was it asthma, as it was in the wrong place.  So, our method is, as SOON as she gets a cold, we have to give her Benadryl at night.  It has worked.

 

The time we took her in, though, she was already bad . . .so they gave her an in-office treatment of something they use on people when they will intubate them.  Then we followed up w/a steroid for a few days to reduce inflammation and it worked.  First time ever that she responded to a med.

 

I hope everyone is better soon.  So stressful when little ones (and big ones!) are sick!

 

 


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#15 of 17 Old 07-02-2011, 05:07 AM
 
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Glad you guys are doing better! It was a long one!

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#16 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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Hello, please let know how you doing with your child, I been fitting with the same cough with my daughter  for the past 6 month

doctors since not knowing what it is, I have done all the test and chest xr in all are normal, negative, lungs are fine, but mean while she still coughing. please am desperate to know if you find out WHAT IT IS. or if your child got better and with what.

am tired and desperate for my child, she tells me mommy " I'm tired of coughing, don't know what's wrong with my cough" .

Please!

3flowers.

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#17 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi 3flowers, so sorry to hear your dd has been coughing like that.  My son's cough was more acute...he had a few colds (or flu, who knows) where he was literally coughing non-stop for 2 days.  If your daughter has been coughing so much for the past 6 months (not separate colds) - then it is not what my son had.  Have the doctors looked into Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - I know that can last for months.  My son gets really bad coughs, but they usually go away within 2 weeks.  

We do nebulizer (with Xopenex - similar to Albuterol) and also a lot with saline water - just to get that steam into him.  The plain saline steam helps a lot more with the cough.  Once we did inhaled steroids. We have also tried lots of warm liquids (weak tea, milk with honey), all kinds of raw honey (including buckwheat), and vitamin C.  

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