25 answers

3 Year Old with Low Oxygen Saturation Levels.

My son is 3, and has been very healthy and active, he has stayed at home until now. We started him in daycare 3 days a week in February (purposefully waited until flu season was almost over). Since he started school he has been sick several times, mostly with upper respiratory infections. Last month he started with a runny nose, fever and then a cough that would not go away so we took him to the pediatrician they said his ears were a little red and I was shocked when they checked his oxygen level it was 83%. They put him on an antibiotic, steroid and albuterol treatments with a breathing machine and he got well quickly. He has done great for almost a month until last week he started with a runny nose and fever (so I do not think this is allergies or asthma) and then the cough started again so I decided to give him the albuterol treatments to try and avoid it getting worse, well his oxygen levels stayed up around 97% for the first few days, but then dropped again to 90-91%, so back to the doc and more antibiotics and more steriods and more breathing treatments, he is getting better, and we have an appoitment with the allergy/asthma specialist next week. All this to say has anyone experienced anything similar? I just don't think this is asthma or allergies because he is perfectly healthy between episodes with the viral stuff, it seems connected to being in school, but the low oxygen levels concern me because I don't think they should drop with "just a cold".

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This has happened more than once to my husband. Officially, he has no allergies or asthma, but he has a very difficult time with sinuses which leads to sinus infections. The low oxygen goes with the territory (we've called the ambulance because he becomes delusional from low oxygen). Unfortunately, none of the nose sprays/ meds work for him. The best for him has been the net t pot. My 5 yr old has similar symptoms and no meds work, so she takes sudafed daily. (lesser of 2 evils is the sudafed versus symptoms)

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Maybe the daycare or school has a mold problem. Why else would he be perfectly healthy and then after being in the new environment he is ill?

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This is exactly what my son had been going through! Only difference is that he started daycare at 3 months of age, and the cold and cough stuff started when he was around 8 months old. He too was put on antibiotics, steroids, Albuterol and finally once daily Pulmicort. Seemed like he would get well after a course of these meds, then within about 1 week he would be sick again. Was extremely frustrating!! His pedi told me that this is normal for a kid in daycare, and that it usually takes about 1 year of this before they start becoming immune to these little cold viruses. Also told me that kids in daycare get about 20 colds per year, and if you figure each cold lasts 2 weeks...well that is almost the entire year! My son is now 15 months old. The Pulmicort has really helped. Also, he ended up needing to get ear tubes due to constant ear infections. Since the tubes, he has not gotten sick at all. Could be that the tubes have helped, or that he has been in daycare now for about 1 year and is finally getting immune to all those germs! I am not a doctor, but it sounds to me like your son's situation is definitely connected to being in school. Since he stayed home for his first 3 years, he was not exposed to all those germs until recently. I think that once his immune system gets exposed to enough of these viruses, he will get sick less and less. As for the oxygen levels - it is possible that your son may really have asthma but because he hasn't been sick before it has never been diagnosed. With asthma, the smallest cold seems to go straight to the lungs and start causing lots of chest congestion. One of the things we found out with my son was that he was allergic to milk. Things were bad when he was on formula, but got worse when we switched him to whole milk at 1 year of age. Tried soy which didn't help, then tried rice milk. I really saw a big difference as far as less runny nose and congestion. Try not to worry - I really think this is because your son is now in school and getting exposed to stuff he hasn't been before! I know it's frustrating, but hang in there it will get better!! Good luck at the doctor appt coming up!

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My daughter has Chronic Lung Disease and used to get sick ALL the time. She was on O2 for over a year. We had the Lennox Clean Air System (hospital grade) installed in our home about 5 years ago and she doesn't have NEARLY the problems she used to have. It's almost like her lungs get a break from the harsh outside world and school air. I highly suggest that. If you're in the Spring area, the company who installed ours was called Airconditioning Outfitters of Texas. Best of luck. Keep your head up, I know it's frustrating.

C.

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Maybe he has walking pneumonia? Has he had a chest xray? You cn demand it from your Dr. Just tell him you are not comfortable with how his treatment is progressing and you want a chest xray to rule out pneumonia.

Good Luck!

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sounds very familiar to the problems I had with my son. He does have asthma, but the problem we found out contributing to the saturation levels was reflux. He did not show any signs of reflux at all. He started making a strange noise when he was sleeping and my doctors kept saying that he was snoring. I am a therapist and brought a pulse oximeter home with me and he was dipping very low during his sleep. We were accumstomed to doing breathing treatments already and this was not helping. I ended up video taping him and taking him to the ENT the next morning. They did a scope and found that he had lesions from the top of his esophagus down to his stomach. Basically, he was "compensating" by closing his vocal cords in response to pain. He developed Stridor. The vocal cords did what they are ver basically designed to do, which is protect. The vibration for speaking is a bonus. This is why they responded so well to his compensating and masked any signs of reflux. I know this may sound crazy and may not relate to your case at all, but it may be worth checking. As for allergy and asthma, you have to stay ahead of it. We use "Little Noses" saline spray alot because it breaks up the mucus and keeps from getting backed and down in the chest. I was hesitant to use the prevention drugs, but they worked during the difficult seasons. The allergist is a great way to go because the slightest allergy to a food can show up looking like a cold or environmental allergy. Good news, when they start this early, it gets better. I have one two that have got better and one that started late and is getting worse. Good luck.

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Our daughter has the same problem. Kindergarten has been a nightmare. We thought this was something she would outgrow, but no luck yet. Pretty much everytime she gets a cold we are at the Dr. for the same treatment of steriods and antibiotics. We have found that the albuterol treatments don't have much affect until we get the steroid on board. Anytime she gets a cold we start with the treatments. I keep hoping we will be able to avoid the steroid. Just stay on top of it. We ended up in the hospital once. We have not seen a specialist yet. Please let me know what you are told. I am very curious. It was never recommended to us to see a specialist. Good luck. I know it can be very scarry.

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First of all, if you are blessed enough to have a SAHD/huband, let him stay at home with Dad.
Secondly, day cares are nortorious for spreading germs even with the best know defenses. At age 0 to 41/2 I am of the school of thought that children should be at home, they will get all the socialization required when they start school.
Thirdly, more than likely it is allergies and not asthma-I hope so anyway-I had asthma as a child and although I had no restrictions, except carpetless bedroom, no stuffed animals, no pictures on my walls, covered pillows and mattresses. It was still rough when I had an attack.
Lastly, when he gets that cough, try using Vicks Vapor Rub first-spread it on the bottom of his feet and put socks on at bedtime. I do this with both my grandchildren ages 7 and 11 months, and it works great. Try this for a couple of days, if the cough does not subside then try th breathing treatments. When I had my attacks, the doctor would not prescribe inhalers, he said because he did not want me to become dependent on them. Fortunately, for me I grew out of it.

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Hi R.,
My oldest daughter has severe asthma, but she ONLY has asthma episodes when she is sick with some sort of virus or bacterial infection. The rest of the time she is fine--she plays sports, runs, swims, etc. no problem. Unfortunately, her immune system is compromised (not sure if this is a product of the asthma or something else going on), so she gets sick ALL THE TIME. When she was 3 I had to pull her out of preschool 3 months before the school year ended because I couldn't get her well. Her pedi thought perhaps if I could keep her home and illness-free for a few months, she'd be better when she went back. No luck--she went back the next year and got sick just as often. And, when she gets sick, she always gets sicker than anybody else--other kids have a fever of 101, she has a fever of 105. Taking her to the allergist/immunologist was the best thing I ever did. We were with a pulmonologist from the time she was five until she was 8 but she never got much better. The allergy/immunology specialist was able to determine that she doesn't suffer from allergies (she had been unncecessarily taking allergy meds) but does have severe asthma along with immune deficiencies. She is on a daily asthma prevention medicine and has medicines and a nebulizer that we use at home at the first sign of a runny/stuffy nose. Thankfully, we've never had to hospitalize her. She seemed much better when she got to be about 9-10, but then last summer we moved from San Antonio to Katy and she got worse again, probably because of the new environment and larger (junior high) school--she is now being exposed to more new germs. We are back with an allergy/immunology guy, and he has done a couple of things to try and get her back on track, but if she still gets sick so much next cold and flu season, we will probably have to start some gamma globulin therapy to get her immune system working better. I have to tell you that it is NO FUN, and hopefully they will find something else going on with your son that is easier to treat, but if not, please rest assured that if you work closely with your specialist, he will get better and there is 'light at the end of the tunnel.' Please let us know what happens. Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

I suggest you always follow your mommy heart and brain. If you feel something is not right, have a heart to heart with the doctor.

I will tell you our daughter had asthma and ear infections. It felt like she was always ill. Drove me crazy. She was also in day care, but I knew it was not the problem. We had neighbors with kids who stayed at home all day also with these symptoms. We would go to the doctor and I always felt like there were vague answers and diagnosis. I started a chart on our calender to document her symptoms. I included weather, diet and activities and treatments with the nebulizer .

I noticed in the springs and summers the mowing of grass and the dry weather with all of the dust was just as bad as in the spring and fall with all of the rain bringing mold. We tried to keep her in the house or get her out of the neighborhood on Saturday mornings since that is when most people mowed their yards or blew leaves in our neighborhood. We dusted the floors in our house as often as possible.

We decided to make her bedroom a safe place for her to breath.. We only had wood floors. We washed her bedding at least once a week. We only had mini blinds so we could keep them clean. We also purchased a Hunter electric filter just for her room. It was a life saver. From the moment we had that filter, her health changed. The company suggests you change the filter every 4 to 6 weeks. I found that in Austin, we had to change it every 3 weeks. It really was amazing. We also kept her bedroom door closed when she was not in there.

I was finally able to convince my husband to ok ear tubes. He hates hospitals and did not want to have the procedure done. After I was able to show him her hearing loss, my husband took a Valium and did great, our daughter
was also great.
Hope your little one will feel better.

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