28 answers

Asthma in a 2 Year Old??

My son, Nate, has had a cough (sounds like a bronchitis or croupe type cough; hollow, not mucus-y, sounds like a "goose honk") for almost a year and a half. Our ped had upper GI done last year, saw a little reflux and put him on Zantac for a month. That did nothing. Then they did a chest x-ray, which was clear. So this past October we saw a pediatric pulmonary specialist, as the referal of our pediatrician. Her 2 ideas were it is either reflux that wasn't resolved/healed or possible allergies (but she thinks he is too young to be developing allergies). So he has been on Zantac and Prevacid for 3 months now, and it has done nothing. I have noticed that this cough appears more often when he is very upset/crying hard, laughing hard, or after running around like a maniac! I am starting to think it might be asthma. However, he does not seem to be in any sort of distress when he coughs. My sister has asthma, so there is a family history. Any thoughts on this would be very helpful. We see the ped pulmonary specialist on Jan 30. I want him off of the reflux meds. I'm hoping I can get some advice on how to speak w/ the Dr...I don't think this is allergies or reflux. Any ideas, or moms out there whose children developed asthma at an early age?? Sorry this was so long-winded! Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi Ladies! We had our visit with the pediatric pulmonary specialist this morning. She took him off the reflux meds since they have not helped his cough. We had a chest x-ray done, which was clear. She wrote prescriptions for and albuterol inhaler & spacer, as well as Singulair. The inhaler is more of a just in case sort of thing, as he has not been "diagnosed" with asthma...but if this inhaler stops his coughing attacks when he has then, well then we know we're dealing with asthma. I also feel better having it in the house b/c I certainly don't want to be unprepared if these coughing fits are a precursor to an asthma attack.
Rather than filling & using the Singulair right away, he is having blood work done tomorrow to test for allergies to milk, eggs, nuts, pollen, dustmites, dogs, cats, and the like, and then it will be decided as to whether or not he needs the Singulair. I am happy with how this visit turned out and satisfied with the fact that we are testing for things, rather than just doing "trial & error" with different meds. Thank you all for your wonderful input and advice!!

Featured Answers

When he coughs try taking him out into the cold air (car rides in the winter work), or try making the bathroom steamy and sit with him in there. To me it sounds like croup and can last off and on for a couple of years. My middle one got croup when she was three and had it off and on for the winter, for her we had to take her out and drive around in the car in the cold. We only used the heat enough to take the chill off the car & left a window open about an inch. Usually the coughing stopped in about 10-15 minutes. Good luck & best wishes.

Hi Michelle.

My son is almost 2 and a half. The Doctors resist diagnosising asthma until they are three years old. My son started to get asthma type symptoms, rattling ans wheezing at the begining of October when he had cold symptoms. Since then I fought with the doctor for a nebulizer and finally got one so that I do not have to take him to the emergency room for treatments. the inhaler even with the mask just did not cut it. I do take his inhaler if we go out but use the nebulizer at home only as needed. He has had three bouts all when he had a cold. Try for the nebulizer. My son in using alebutrol(sp?) as needed. If you get to it quick in the early stages then less treatments are needed.

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My 5 year old daughter was finally diagnoised with asthma at 1 and 1/2. We couldn;t understand why during her first two winters (she was born in July) she kept coughing and spitting up this white sticky phlem. Her dad has asthma and after her second year of doing this her doctor was hesitant to say she had asthma. We also found out she has allergies. She is allergic to dustmites, mold and mildew which are very prevelent in the winter months since we shut the windows. She is on pulmicort, xopenex, zrytec and singular. When she was 3ish she started making this weird sound from her trachea. She was like gasping for air, but she wasn't. We rushed her to the ped who sent us to ENT who did an endoscopy of her trachea at the same time she had tubes in her ears (she was having alot of ear infections and ironically that wasnt the reason we went to see the ENT) . He said she had reflux and once we started her on the meds for that the noise went away. I would definately bring up that you think its asthma. I would also look up asthma on WebMD or another site and get the symptoms and bring that to your doctor. The more we know about these illnesses the more likely we are to (i dont want to say fight but maybe push) for the right treatment for our children. I am the type of mom who has a notebook with symptoms, days, times, medicines ive given, fevers, questions for the doctor and I take it with me to the doctors. Some hate that but most are really grateful to have a parent who has doen research before hand. It helps me also becuase when I am at the doctor I am not trying to rack my brain about when symtpoms have appeared how long etc, Sorry this turned into a novel.

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest son, at 14 mos., was hospitalized for troubled breathing...that was just the beginning. The cough you speak of, it's the kind that you just want to scream, "enough already!" Dry, persistent & just goes on...

Every asthmatic is different & therefore needs to be treated as such. My son was hospitalized or had ER visits so often I lost count. Winter, dry heat, aggravated his condition & I can't tell you how many vaporizers I went through, having them running constantly during the months when the heat was on. We couldn't get a handle on it while under the pediatrician's care....not until I found a specialist (Pulmonologist, now retired) could he begin to stay away from hospitals. On my first visit to him, he sent me home with the "smoke blower machine", as my son called it, for at home breathing treatments.

You're doing the right thing by getting to a specialist. My son was affected, severely, with any virus/cold, suffered from allergies (which compounded his condition) & exercise induced asthma (being excited, running around, etc).

Meds now are amazing to control & maintain this condition. My advice, don't treat your son as though he's sick....deal with the attack, meds, doctors & move on...it's something he'll most likely have to deal with for his whole life & none of us wants to instill a "your sick, kid" attitude on any of our kids! :-) Good luck!!

Hi Michelle my name is B. and I am now 37 years old I had lived with Asthma and Allergies since I was a small child and have been on all kinds of Allergy and Asthma medicine for years. I no longer am on Asthma or Allergy medicine this has been for over a year now. This is due to vitamins and switching my cleaning products. Do you buy store bought cleaning products? If so where do you buy them from? Do you ever notice when you clean your child has more severe Asthma or Allergy problems? Hope to hear back from you!

B. R. (PA)

Don't believe any one when they tell you that a child can't be diagnosed with allergies or asthma until they reach a certain age. I am kind of surprised that a pulmonary specialist would tell you your child was too young to develop allergies. My youngest daughter was born in November 2006. By the time she was 6 months old, she had already spent almost 4 months in and out of the doctors for wheezing/coughing symtoms- all supposedly associated with a cold. He just kept telling me to give her nebulizer treatments- he said it wasn't uncommon for young kids to have wheezing problems with a cold. I kept asking my pediatrician if it could be asthma, since I have it, and so do many people in my family. He kept telling me the same thing- she is too young to diagnose. Finally after spending 4 days in the hospital- supposedly with pnuemonia & bronchitis (even though the x-ray was pretty clear)- I had him give me a referral to a pulmonary specialist who works out of Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. After listening to my daughters lungs, she opened an albuterol inhaler (if you don't know much about asthma- it is a fast acting medication that opens the airways immediately) and gave my daughter a puff. She listened to her lungs again & said 'She has asthma'. I asked her how she could say that so definitively when for months I had been asking the doctor & he kept telling me she was too young. The doctor told me that she could tell because the medicine worked. Along with asthma, she also said my daughter probably had reflux & allergies. She said that asthma can cause reflux, and vice versa. Although we did decide not to give our daughter the medicine for the reflux or the clariton she prescribed for allergies, we did follow through with the asthma medication. My daughter uses Flovent- which is a medication you take daily to open the airways & prevent constriction- and she uses albuterol as needed for sudden attacks. I can tell you it worked wonders- within one month she was no longer wheezing and since then she has had only one recurrance this winter- which didn't last very long once we upped her doses according to a treatment plan given to us by the pulmonary doctor.
I also asked the doctor why she was giving inhalers instead of having me use the nebulizer. She said it is a more accurate way to insure that your child is actually getting the medicine. With the nebulizer in a child that young, alot of the medicine evaporates into the air so they are not getting a full dose.
All this to say- push the doctors. If you think it could be asthma, be very vocal, ask lots of questions, make sure the doctor knows what activities or other outside influences bring on symptoms. Don't be afraid to ask the doctor to try giving your son the albuterol when he has symptoms.
Also, a few things to try in your home if you haven't already: change your cleaners to something more natural- chemicals in cleaners can be a problem for some kids. get an air purifier. Put some plants around your home- it sounds silly, but plants help clean the air of harmful toxins.
Sorry if I babbled on for too long- Good Luck!

Do you have pets? My daughter was allergic to our dog and she coughed for months until we finally figured it out. Our doctor said she thought it was allergies. We got rid of the dog and the cough subsided. It is completely non existant now. Just a thought.

OMG you just described my son!!!!!
I had him seen at a specialist and had allergy and all the other tests done on him and YES he has asthma. He was dx'ed at 3 with it, and probably had it since he was 2.
He is on Flowent puffer 2x per day and he has a nasonex rx for really bad stuffy nose days and we do clartin for with pet dander comes into play.

You have NO idea how much better he started getting when we got him off the pulmacort....I still have an albuteral puffer cause the inebulizer I feel just doesnt' work for us and he's too impatient for it.

Do youself a favor, see the specialist and you will be amazed how much better you little on will feel.

Hi M.,

My name is P. and I have two "boys" now age 25 and 22.
Both of my sons have asthma as did my husband. My older son Dan was always coughing also. I recommend that you find a pediatric allergist. It wasn't until I saw one that I learned that asthma is coughing!! I think that we all have a picure of asthma that we get from commercials for asthma produts! It is not only wheezing and gasping for breath. Dan also had allergies and started on shots at a very early age.

I am happy to report that he is doing very well (still has asthma) and is runner who will do ten miles at a time.

Good Luck

My son has had asthma since he is 4 months old. he has what is known as Chronic Asthma. He is also on refluex medications because refluex can trigger asthma or asthma like conditions. Talk to the pul doc about a nebulouer and the use of it for preventive. My son is not always in distress either but gets the dry whoopy cough after any activity. The meds do help.

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