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8 Month Old Iwith Recurring Low Grade Fevers

I have an 8 month old daugher. She was 4 week early at birth and wieghed 6lbs 9oz. She droped to 5lbs in the first couple of days and has remained in the 5% for weight. She has had chronic nasal congestion and runny noses. She was diagnosed with mild viral pnemonia and rsv at 4 months. Since then she has been on numerous antibotics for bacterial infections and also had many viral infections, all the while with a low grade fever of 99-100. About 3 weeks ago she was diagnosed with an ear ifection and was put on antibiotics again for 10 days. This time it seemed to clear things up until the antibiotics were done and she now again has a low grade fever of 99.5 daily and her nasal congestion has returned. I have seen my doctor many times for these same symtoms. The doctor says it's not a big deal and there is not much else they can do. Any suggestions.

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I think I would seek another opinion. There seems to be some kind of allergy here, perhaps to her milk or formula? I would look for a Doc who's focus is on food allergies. I too have a (now 2 yrs) preemie, and they are more inclined to have these issues. Good luck and keep us posted on her progress.

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I'm so sorry you've had to deal with so much in your daughter's early months. While our situations are completely different (my daughter had recurring urinary tract infections and was on antilbiotics more often than not for about 8 months) I do want to recommend that you go see a naturopathic MD, someone who is a medical doctor but trained in integrated medicine as well. He/she may recommend some natural supplements (i.e. vitamins, minerals, herbal blends, etc.) that might really help your daughter.

We went through months and months of infection after infection, antibiotic after antibiotic, and no lasting relief. I visits an MD who specializes in integrated medicine, he "prescribed" vitamin C, D and a few other specialized supplements and she is UTI free for 8 or 9 months now! WOW! Conventional medicine just doesn't always work!

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You have received some very good suggestions already. I would also suggest a Naturopathic doctor. Please also consider researching colloidal silver. A few drops every few hours might work miracles as it is a natural antibiotic. Please do your own research first, however,(this is VERY important), as I am not able to diagnose or prescribe.
Chris RN

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Dear A.-
I have had great success with chiropractic care. My daughter has been seeing ours since she was two weeks old. We have managed to go through two years of cold and flu season with minimal impact. She is now almost 17 months and has a few sniffles and been sick once in that time period. PHEW.
I wish you the best! God Bless!

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I think I would seek another opinion. There seems to be some kind of allergy here, perhaps to her milk or formula? I would look for a Doc who's focus is on food allergies. I too have a (now 2 yrs) preemie, and they are more inclined to have these issues. Good luck and keep us posted on her progress.

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Given your history, it's totally understandable that you would worry. I also share your concern about size/weight. My daughter was 7 weeks early, was a poor eater and her weight gain is always top of mind for me. It's a terrible burden to carry, even in the best of times.

My daughter has also struggled with congestion/low fever going on 3 weeks now. Her fever spiked twice and each time she responded well to Motrin. In both cases, her fever was down to "low" within 24 hours. I have stopped taking her temperature unless she feels very warm or is acting like she is sick. I have also taken her to the doc, and like in your case, they say it's just a viral thing that needs to run its course. Her ears are fine, her lungs sound good, her mucus is clearish.

I think the best indicatition on whether or not our kids are okay is with how they are behaving, sleeping and eating. If they are generally happy, sleeping well (that is, of course, relative to how your child normally sleeps) and eating their usual diet, we can carry on and assume they are fine.

Summer is almost here -- I think it arrives on Thursday? :) We can all get outside and burn out the gunk that's been festering in our bodies all winter!

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Hi A.,
My oldest (now 3) was like this as a baby... and she still has a hard time. I don't think I have a picture of her with out snot running down her face!
Try to do what you can to keep as much dust and/or pet dander out of her bed room or other rooms that she spends a ton of time in. I would also limit plush toys and soft fuzzy blankets (anything that can shed) You can find air purifiers that will help eliminate allergens in the air. Saline drops in the nose also helped my girl. It would help clear out her passages. My cousin swears that ginger tea helped her little girl when she was having nose/ear issues.
If she still has a bunch of congestion... I would think about having her tested for allergies. They don't usually do that for kids under a year... but if they can pin point the issue you might be able to eliminate the need for the rounds and rounds of antibotics.
Best of luck to you and your baby!
MB

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She may be allergic to dairy. If she is on a dairy based formula I would strongly consider switching her to soy or rice based formula.

My daughter has had chronic congestion too, she is now almost 5 and it continues. My DR. has had me remove all dairy from her diet, and within 1 week I already notice a difference in her.

It is allergy season, and seasonal allergies we don't have much control over. They can be the basis of congestion, which can then become more serious ailments like sinusitis (which is going around right now), ear infections etc,.

There are 3 main categories of allergies that effect people: Seasonal; Environmental; Food. Each person has a different tolerance level or threshold that their bodies can accept of allergens and show no symptoms. We can control what we put in our bodies i.e. what we eat/drink. We can control to an extent environmental by dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, pet dander, keeping and overall clean house, but we can't control seasonal allergies. If one limits their food and environmental allergens then when it's time for seasonal allergies - they won't put a person over the their threshold.

So, I am changing our food intake and ensuring I am disciplined about dusting and vacuuming the hard to get places. Additionally, our Dr. has put my daughter on a Bioflavonoid which helps stabilize cells and lessen their production of histamine.

Generally fevers are good - it is a sign that our bodies immune system is working. A fever triggers our bodies production of white blood cells, which fight infection.

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There's not much you can do except wait it out. It's been a pretty bad cold season, my son (14 months) has been hit pretty hard with it too. It seems like he is perpetually congested and has had at least 4 ear infections over the past winter. Try to be patient, summer is coming. And remember that fevers aren't a bad thing, it's her body doing its job fighting germs. My doctor told me not to bother with tylenol or motrin unless the fever is 101 or greater. Try to do what you can to relieve the congestion. Saline drops, aspirator, cool mist humidifier. Breast milk works well too, just a couple drops up the nose.

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I would find another doctor. Sorry to ruffle some feathers, especially if he is trusted, but there is NO reason to keep putting her on antibiotics!! My doc. won't even prescribe unless it is something serious. The problem with docs is they just constantly give temporary relief just to calm mom and baby down all the while baby's is getting use to these antibiotics and can't figure itself out and how to HEAL ITSELF!! I understand the health risks of a preemie, so my suggestions to you is find another doc and get second, third opinions or go see a naturopathic doc. Also, look into seeing if baby has allergies (which antibiotics can cause by the way!), that might be a possibility too. I am not down playing antibiotics (too much), they are wonderful when needed, just not all the time. Hope that helps.

The same type of thing happened with my daughter. She was 5 weeks early and weighed 5lbs 13oz and then dropped down below 5lbs. She had a ton of issues with her lungs at birth and was in NICU for 11 days. She got pnemonia for the first time at the age of 8 months. The doctors tell me that since she had so many lung issues and had pnemonia early on that she is more suseptable to get pnemonia again. I hate to tell you this but my daughter just turned 5 and she's had pnemonia 5 times so far. I just know now that as soon as she starts to catch a cold to watch her because 9 times out of 10 it will turn into pnemonia. They only thing you can do is keep her away from others that are sick, sterilize everything and give her lots of love. Oh and also, my daughter runs a fever over everything. If she falls and gets a little scratch she'll runa a low grade fever for an hour or so. Gotta love it.

Hi my name is M. and I am a 55 year old, now Grandma.I had a daughter also 4 weeks early at birth. She, I was told, born with colic, no big deal right, wrong. She had several months of crying every 15 mins. until whe was 4 months old along with a continuly low grade fever. Along with the fever came ear infections, nasal congestions, all of the above that you mention. It is disheartning and to say the least you feel like you are doing something wrong or not quite right. Take it from an old mom you are doing everything right. The poor little dear had some what of an amunine system but not quite good enough for all that goes on in the world with germs. It is going to take a while for her to build up her own ammuine system and I know that all of the antibotics are not going to help her do that. Do you have a good support system? You need to be releived once in awhile. I sat many a night rocking holding, praying. I also turned to natural medicine. Take a deep breath put cotton in her ears whenever you go out even if it is nice out. She is almost there with her ammune system. M.

I second the votes for naturopathic and chiropractic care. Your poor daughter and you! My DD was 3w 5d early and weighed only 5# 9oz at birth. Lost those 9 oz really fast! She was also born w/rapid progression which caused a significant dislocation of her spine. Her lower back had a big knot in it where the spine was twisted.

We dealt with a lot of the same issues and constipation. I was talking to my naturopath/midwife about it and she suggested chiropractic care for my DD. It took some doing to find someone I was comfortable putting my baby into their hands. But my DD started chiro. care at 4 months and it's done miracles for her. Her spine is properly aligned now w/o adjustment. She only needs to be seen when we see symptoms like: ear infection, constipation, unexplained congestion, or she's taken a fall..

Our central nervous system controls everything in our body. We just aren't taught to take care of it. Our spine is in place to protect it but we just don't get any education about how to take care of our back/spine so that we have optimal immunity.

My DD (now almost 5) has had One ear infection. I took her to the pediatrician got diagnosed. Gave her one dose of antibiotics which it turned out she was allergic too. Then took her to the chiropractor. She was better the NEXT day WITHOUT needing a full course of antibiotics. Many ear infections are viral so antibiotics don't work on them.

If you like, I can call my chiropractor and see if she can recommend someone in your area.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to try to find a chiro. in your area that does newborn/infant care.

C.-Busy WAHM of 4 y/o virtual twins
Owner: BeHappierAtHome.com

She might be getting ready to teeth. Both of my children and many others I've known have experienced fevers during the teething process,

Go to a new doctor. What your daughter has is not normal. Try an appointment at Dornbecker (sorry on the spelling). You need to get her taken care of. And you need a real answer.

Teething can always be a possibility. Maybe allergies with the nasal congestion and ear infections. I am talking food allergies. Like milk or wheat. which could explain weight problems.

Good luck

A.

Hi A.,
I'm curious, has anybody thought that your daughters low grade fever could be due to teething? That is a common combination. Also, do you feel comfortable with alternative medicines? If so, I'm not sure where you live, but you might want to check out some alternative practitioners and there thoughts and approaches. Here, in Ashland, Or. We have an MD, family practitioner who has gone to a completely homeopathic practice. She then of course is not covered by insurance. However, I feel that she can come from both perspectives and guides with research, wisdom and experience through alternate wasy of handling certain illnesses. And if necessary she can write a prescription.
Good Luck.
A little about me: 43 year old mother of 5 year old fraternal twins. Elementary school counselor.

Hello....

My son was a premie as well and had cronic runny noses. My husband and I both have allergies and get sinus infections about twice a year. I asked my doctor if my son could have a sinus infection and they repeatly told me no that kids this young dont get them because there sinuses aren't devloped. But after months and months of runny noses I demanded to see an allergist. He took an x-ray of my sons face and immediately said that he had a severe sinus infection thus the clear runny noses and congestion. He was put on a small dose of steroids and antibotics for about 2 weeks (different antibotics then the pediatrician presciped) and it completely fixed the problem.... no more runny noses or congestion!! :-) Also, My best friends son was the same way....Once he got his first ear infection he repeatly got them again and again along with all of the other sinus issues. It got to the point where they wanted to place tubes in his ears and etc. She took him to a chiropractor twice and he has never had an ear infection since (he is now 8 yrs old). The chiropractor said that sometimes the spine will get jared during birth and cause issues. I dont believe in chiropractors for adults let alone children but it worked and he never had to have tubes.... so it might be worth a try. Good luck and hang in there!!

i'm sure other mama's have said it but, you need to see someone else. It could be something in the antibiotics that your daughter truly needs, or her physical symptoms are actually something else. Go see some one else especially if this has gone on a long time.

S.

Check for food allergies. This will cause all kinds of symptoms like what you describe and worse. An MD is clueless about really getting to the route of the problem, in my experience. If she's on soy formula or milk, that can be causeing a lot of what you are describing.

My nephew had all of those similar symptoms you are describing. He was on antibiotics for almost a year!!! After he was found to be allergic, my sister took him off of the offending items - VOILA! no more fevers, no more ear infections.

Hi A., I am a mother of four, ranging in age from 5-20. My first born was a month premature and weighed 5lb at birth, dropping weight, of course, from there. His first year was as difficult as the one you are experiencing. My suggestion is that you take your daughter to see Dr. Duncan Riddell at Puget Sound ENT, www.pugetsoundent.com. He has treated all four of my children for their ear, nose and throat issues. Also, it is very important to realize that a temperature of 98.6, which is considered "normal" is not normal for everyone. My normal body temperature is near 96, each of my children have a normal body temperature that is not 98.6. It is good when they are young to keep a consistent diary of her body temperature and educate yourself, through these forums and others, regarding every viral/bacterial infection she contracts. My second child who was only 6 lb at birth (I am small, my normal weight is about 100 and I weighed about 125 when my kids were born) and she had rsv. This is something they must grow out of, they have to weigh enough for their body to fight it. Another thing to know is that your daughter will be much healthier if her bed is on an inside wall, as no matter how much insulation your home or apartment has, there is always a temperature drop when near an outside wall. I always keep my kids beds away from the outside wall and away from the window. This has helped tremendously. So, my first advice is to get your daughter into an ENT (ear nose & throat specialist), Dr. Riddell is my favorite ~ He is absolutely a brilliant man, conservative, but willing to do what is necessary to walk your young family through this crisis. Secondly, educate yourself in the medical field. As a mother, you need to be a part-time nurse...so read, read, read. Read about pediatric sinus infections, ear infections, pneumonia and rsv...and everytime something new pops up, make yourself an expert so that when you see your pediatrician you can make good judgment calls so that you will know whether your pediatrician is really doing everything he/she can to assist you...thirdly, make sure she is sleeping on an inside wall...and, if I didn't mention this earlier, make sure you take care of yourself through this. It's important that your daughter realizes that mommy can't be the best mommy possible unless she has time to recuperate herself. Teach your daughter to entertain herself, make sure she is learning to fall asleep on her own, if she isn't in her own room, get her in one...make it her own little sanctuary, so that your room can be your sanctuary. You can't be Wonder Woman unless you can recuperate and have at least a smidget of time to yourself. You just gave birth 8 months ago and you've had a lot to deal with in those 8 months, a lot to adjust to and work on top of that. The other issue is daycare, if she is in a large daycare, you may want to find one that is a little smaller. She is going to contract viruses at daycare, minimizing that exposure will help both of you....and my last piece of advice is allergy testing. This would be great to get done while she is little and will forget it rather quickly. Her issues may be solely related to an allergy and so one med could stop all of these issues from recurring.

Good luck & sorry to be so long winded. Please feel free to write to me if you have any other questions. And please know that my two oldest are now 17 & 20, they are thriving, successful young adults...so, this too shall pass. You're on a journey and it's long and windy, but you'll get there and the memories you make along the way you will take with you and cherish forever.

D. P.

Well, I'm not a doc and they keep telling me that children can't have environmental allergies this early but I wonder if that's possible. The body tends to fights allergies like an infection causing an increase in temperature. Also, antibiotics are hard on the body and can cause you to continually get sick if probiotics are not introduced. The good bacteria keeps the body clean of toxins. My son was 3 1/2 weeks early and they put him on antibiotics without really consulting me "just in case" he caught something I "might have had" but didn't. He's had stomach problems (lots of painful gas) and his poor little bottom attests to the off-balance nature of his bowel movements. I don't know if they have probiotics approved for infants, but if you can avoid taking more antibiotics for a while things might fix themselves. The body is an amazing thing.

i would consult with a second pediatrician for a second opinion. My baby girl is 9 months old and has had similiar issues - they put tubes in her ear last month and she is better. Depending on where you are, I know an excellent pediatrician in Redmond and an excellent doc in University Place.

teething can cause those symptoms. she's the perfect age for it and don't think they just get a tooth and the fever will go away. until she has all her teeth she could constantly be teething. remember, teething is not just when the tooth is showing. it's the whole process of the tooth coming to the surface and then breaking through.

A.,

I agree with the other posters that you should check out a naturopathic doctor (get recommendations for someone that is experienced with babies and children). You don't have to stop seeing her regular physician, but in my experience there are certain things that regular MDs don't have a treatment for so their response is to "tough it out." Going to a naturopath or a doctor trained in "integrative medicine" as one of the other poster suggested means that you will be given some other treatments to try including diet changes, supplements, homeopathic remedies and more. Good luck to you. Oh and something else to consider--if you are currently working, you may be bringing viruses home from those first graders. Washing your hands before you come home may help a bit. If you are breastfeeding, within hours of exposure to a virus or bacteria your breastmilk will contain antibodies to that sickness. So if you are breastfeeding (even partially) you should keep it up. Hang in there.

Find a naturopathic doctor. When my 7 year old daughter was little she was so constantly sick. I was taking her to doctors and instead of listening to my concerns I was being told that she was ok and to just ignore the symptoms. I found an awesome naturopath that didn't dismiss my worries and was willing to try a little of everything to help her little body to heal.

Well I don't know your specific situation,but I would suggest seeing another doctor. My son had constant low grade fevers and it turned out that he needed tubes in his ears. He was two when they were put in and it was fantastic. What a difference.
If you are having nasel problems at all, the sinuses will drain into the ears while sleeping at night. Maybe that is what is causeing ear infections and in turn causeing a constant fever.
Just an idea. I would seek a second opinion from another doctor. Good luck!

Get another pediatric doctor involved & research RSV. RSV is still active in your child. It can show up as just a fever, as just a snotty nose, as just a cough, or a combo of one or more of these symptoms. RSV takes a long time to getting to feel well. RSV will always be in your childs body, there is no cure. Once a child gets better the RSV lives dormant in their lungs and can be triggered by a simple cold. You have a special needs child now that will always need special care when they get sick. Keep hydrated. Pedialyte and Pedialyte popsicles and pediasure are good to always have on hand. My daughter is 9 years old and has RSV, was diagnosed when she was 2 years old, and has had numerous RSV breakouts. RSV is most commonly mis-diagnosed as bronchitis in older children and adults. YES, ADULTS CAN CONTRACT RSV. RSV can be fatal in infants, if not cared for properly. Your baby needs the care of a DR that knows RSV. It doesn't sound like the DR you have now wants to deal with the fact all your baby's illnesses may be stemming from RSV. In the future when your child gets sick and you take them in to the DR, ALWAYS ASK FOR THE RSV NOSE SWAB TEST for your piece of mind, to know if it is RSV that has been triggered, & so you know what course of treatment needs to be taken. We have a nebulizer that was a result of the RSV. Please get your baby to another DR for a 2nd opinion and a chance at a somewhat healthy life.

Your story sounds just like mine. I have even been to see a specialist at the Children's Hospital. They say it is no big thing, probably allergies. They are sending us to an eye specialist to look for inflammation that could effect his vision, but we have also been told to ignore his low grade fevers and constant runny nose. If you learn anything new, let me know!

Get a second opinion.

My son had rsv and after that was sick often for the next year. If she is in day care you are going to need to think of something different to do. I keep my son home for most of that time and as hard as it was he was much healthier. we still went out and all but I did not have him around a lot of kids at one time. Make sure the doctors have done blood test to make sure nothing else is wring. A low grade fever is okay because it is helping her fight off what is going on in her body. it is just hard Iam sure to deal with every day. Also she may have allergies so i would look into that as well. Hang in there. I just got out of the hospital with my 2 year old who got hand foot mouth so I know how hard it is to deal with a sick child. See if you can take some time of from work and stay home with your daughter. It will help and the sacrifies will be worth it in the long run.
Lisa

Take her to an ear nose and throat specialist they may have answers to why she is having problems. if she has a low grade fever means her body is fighting something. Good luck

Have you though about taking her to an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor?

You should take this child to a ear nose and throat specialist. My son had to have his tonsils and adnoids removed before his second birthday due to similar conditions to your daughters. His adnoids were so big there was no physical way he could breath through his nose and kept getting constant infections. Since he had them removed allergy medicine controles his symptoms, however if we miss a dose he winds up getting sick.

Get a second....even a third opinion! I am sure that your Dr is comfortable with his diagnosis, but you need to make sure that it is the right diagnosis. Getting some input from another Dr might set your mind at ease.

Maybe sick building syndrome? Or something in your environment or food intake. Keep in mind, allergies can develop at any age, at any time. Anything is worth investigating after you've been miserable. Please keep us posted on your progress. Good luck.

She is very young, but it might not hurt to consult a naturopath about bolstering her immunity. My 5 year old was 7 weeks early (immunity develops last) and he has been fairly susceptible to things, and has had recurrent ear infections... so we're working on that with him. But like I said maybe it's too soon for such a young baby.

The one I go to in Hillsboro, OR checks her email regularly, and you can ask a question right on her website (like, "could you help my 8 month old?") www.hillsboronaturalmedicine.com

The fevers are the body's way of dealing with an infection, trying to fight it off. I would take her back to the doctor and have a 'rubber meets the road' type of talk. Have him/her look at her entire chart for her short span of life so far and actually see how many times she's been ill, how many antibiotics she's been on, and tell them how frequently this is happening. Obviously, something is amiss. If you aren't satisfied, contact Children's Medical Center and see if you can find a physician there who deals surpressed immune systems. In the meantime, strip your daughter's bed and clean her mattress, the bed frame, etc. Wipe everything down with bleach water to help clean things. The same should happen with her high chair, car seat, anything that she comes in contact with. Make sure that no one has a cough, cold, runny nose who comes in contact with her. The cleaning should happen once every week to two weeks. I can understand why your doctors may not want to give her antibiotics every time she runs a fever, because whatever bug she has can develop a tolerance for them, and it becomes harder and harder to find the 'magic potion' to get rid of whatever virus is making her ill. If you are teaching and coming home to her each afternoon, spend the time and wash your hands and change your clothes before handling her up close. Unfortunately, elementary school classrooms are petri dishes full of the latest and greatest bugs known to kids. As an adult, I had perfect attendance at my job for over 10 years, after my kids were born and started attending school, they brought home various strains of flu and nastiest coughs and colds. She needs to build up her resistance, but if she has constant ear infections and upper respiratory problems, these could cause developemental delays in speech and physical growth. Again, have the rubber meets the road conversation. I wish you all well and a very happy baby.

Have you tried a naturalpath physician. I have a great naturopath in Tualatin, OR. Boast her immune system. I'm thinking yeast problems and she needs some good natural cultures like PB 8 in baby dose or good yogurt like Nancy's? Continuous antibiotics doesn't seem okay to me!

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