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5 Month Old W/ Severe Chest Congestion

My 5 month old infant started out having a simple cold and it accelerated to a fever and severe chest congestion. We waited three days till we took her to the doctor. Another reason is b/c she started to wheez. At the doctor they gave a nebulizer (0.63 Xopenax) and antibiotic (250 mg of Amoxicillin) for her fever (ear infection). Everything has cleared up except for the chest congestion. We are using the Vicks vapor rub on her chest and feet and a cool mist at night. We took her again for a follow up physician visit and then they said to continue with the nebulizer and also gave a low dose of prednisone. Nothing seems to work b/c you can still hear the congestion and crackling noise. Does any one have any suggestions on what I can do for the chest congestion as it is now going on a week.

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HI I'm a grandma and from the old school i was taught to not use Vicks vapor rub but at night and to wash it off in the morning and not to use it with a cool mist.
I always used it by it self don't know if this will help or not but it did for me I have two boys or men now and three grandkids. V.

Unfortunately, her congestion could stay with her for 2-3 weeks---it takes little children much much longer to get over a cold (even a simple cold w/chest congestion). I learned the hard way! When my children get congested, I use Vick's vapor rub (as you have) and I would keep doing it at night, so she can breathe easier.

maybe a humidifier, baby vicks, saline, warm bath(maybe hold her w/you in a warm shower to help break it up). Be careful w/the vicks. I wouldn't take her outside, especially if it is cold/windy, it could open her up too much and cause maybe pneumonia. the wheezes and thick congestion happens to my daughter almost everytime she gets a cold and these are some things that help. good luck

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I'm sorry she's feeling so terrible and that you're going through this!
Have you gotten some of the vicks vapor bath for her? I pour a whole bunch of that in under running water in the tub, and just let her play in there for as long as she is comfortable. While the tub is filling, I keep the curtain/doors closed to concentrate the vapor to the area as much as possible.

Also, have you ever gotten the Vicks shower soothers? They're giant tablets (they look like urinal cakes-gross, I know) that you put in the shower with you right on the floor where the water hits. The hot water hits them, and the vapors fill the shower. They're WONDERFUL! More intense than the vapor bath. When my little girl is feeling particularly congested, I put one of those in and just sit in the nice warm shower with her. Or even just in the bathroom with the shower as hot as you can so the room steams up. I hope she's doing better soon!!

1 mom found this helpful

My son gets the same thing when he gets a cold.We use the nebulizer and Xopenax, and it has always worked out well for us.You really have to keep up with the nebulizer (at least 3 times a day) and also make sure she wears the mask until all the liquid is gone.I would also keep her away from any smokers, as that is also a trigger for the wheezy chest.Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest son used to go through this every time he got a cold. His first time, he was 8 months old, he had a horrible cough with wheezing and very labored breathing. They gave him 2 breathing treatments at the dr's office and then sent him for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and rsv. They were both negative and said he had bronchiolitis so they put him on breathing treatments every 4 hours and a steroid to help open up his lungs quicker. You have to be very diligent and use the nebulizer around the clock. We would have to set the alarm and give them to him while he was sleeping too. They warned me that because he was so young when it first happened that more than likely it would be like that every time he got a cold. They were right and he finally outgrew it shortly after he turned 2. He's 5 now and we've had to use the breathing treatments maybe 2 times (about 4 treatments each time) since he turned 2. I also use the PediaCare gentle vapors plug in. It works great! My husband and I even like to use them too. Don't use the children's Vicks plug in though, it doesn't work near as well. Hope your daughter feels better soon!

Your doing everything I can think of but did the Dr. tell you that chest congestion can take a month to totally clear up. Just keep with what you are doing and add some steam showers at night before bed.
Best luck

My son was almost hospitalized at about 9 months for the same thing. Keep doing the neb. I would also put my son in the bathroom, shut the door and turn the shower on hot. I would sit and let the steam help loosen up the junk in his lungs. I would also clap on his back (gently) to help to loosen it up. Exercise also helps to loosen the congestion. Just crawling or moving more may help him. Also remember, the outside air may help too - its not so drying. Good luck.


My little boy had the same type of thing happen. His was a result of catching a new cold every other week from the nursery at Church because parents sent their sick kids into nursery instead of keeping them at home on Sunday. Sorry, it's a sore spot. It took about 8-10 months to get it totally cleared up. My son's ped. put him on xopenex and pulmicort, all together it was a 15 min. nightmare with the nebulizer. My son was almost 2 at the time. After being told to wait it out, even though the congestion, wheezing, coughing and rattling had not subsided, I took matters into my own hands and spoke with an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. He prescribed Singulair granules (I'm sorry I can't remember the miligram amount). We put it in applesauce, SOOO easy, and that horrible congestion, etc. cleared up quickly. My suggestion is to find an ENT Specialist and see what they have to suggest. Good luck. I know how your heart just breaks at the sound of your little one having difficulty breathing. Take care, Katie

My child has asthma (now 7 yrs.) and had RSV at 8 mnth. when we started with the nebulizer and those same meds. You can try steaming up the bathroom with a hot shower running and sitting in there holding her for 10 or 15 min. We also had to put a wedge under the top half of his crib mattress so he slept at an angle. We also bathed him with the baby vapor bath - they may have to be 6 mth. for that. We also plug in the Gentle Vapors plug in unit near his bed. We still use that when he flares up. Don't be afraid to keep going back to the doctor to check on the breathing. You can tell distress if she has flaring nostrils, heaving in the chest and stomach when she breathes.
Good luck! I know it is a scary feeling!

Keep going with the Xopenex. It takes time and is hard to endure hearing your baby sound bad, but it gets better. It always takes my girl (6 yrs old now, but dealing with this forever, it seems) about 10 days to 2 weeks to be really better. We finish the antibiotic and it's not all better, but then the Xopenex (or Albuterol, they're mirror-image molecules) does the trick. Good luck!

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