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Need Help with 2 1/2 Year Old Coughing So Much He Throws Up

Hello Gals, I love this site an read it daily. I need some helpful ideas from ya'll. I have a sweet 2 1/2 year old little boy. The problem we are all having in our home is when he gets a runny nose it drains down the back of his throat, he begins to cough and cough and cough til he gags and usually throws up. This usually happens at nite when he is laying down. He take allergy medicine daytime and we have tried a humidifier, a small pillow to "prop" his he up on. This happens more frequent when we have ozone days and allergy warnings are posted for our area. He does not have any food allergies. tonite alone I have clean up a "yucky" kiddo and his bed. I hope someone has a idea or two for me. Thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thank ALL of you for responding to my 1st request. I got tons of ideas and tips from all of you. I did wonder if he had Pertussis and went to the doctor today to get it checked out. They did a mucus culture and will get the results back in a few days. (lets all hope and pray it is negitive!!!!) My doctor seemed to think it was allergies with drainage that caused the cough which lead to him throwing up. He is doing better....last 3 nights have been "easy".....No late night clean-ups and laundry! Thanks again for all of you answering my request! Have a great week! S.

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Sounds like he could be alergic to something in the house. Does he have a feather pillow, some are alergic to feathers, my daughter was.

Hi S.,
My son was recently diagnosed with whooping cough :( Had no fever ,no sore throat and he said he didnt feel bad. Just had a nasty cough and doc said it could last up to 7-10 wks. Can spread by children being in enclosed rooms like schools and daycares. It could be acid reflux too but I would get it confirmed by a doctor for treatment.

This may sound odd but it really worked for my son.....At bedtime, try putting vicks on the bottom of his feet, then put on socks. I would also give him an antihistimine.

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Both I and my daughter (now 2 1/2 years) have terrible allergies, but we are able to get through the time with natural remedies from Whole Foods and help we got from a Pediatric Chiropractor. We both take a probiotic supplement. I also give her some "kickin it immune" drops every morning and at night before bed when she has symptoms. For night time I boil some water in the tea kettle and then pour it in a bowl with a few drops of essential Euculyptus. I find that this works better than a vaporizer or humidifier. They each keep the mucus moving all night and it better to have most of it come out before she settles into sleep. Another thing that works well at night is to put vicks vapor rub on the bottom of the feet. I don't know why it works, but I heard it on NPR and it really does work.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.. I hope your problem has gotten better. My daughter is now 12 but she did the same thing as a toddler. We did everything you are doing.... try limiting thick liquids late in the day like milk and try the chest patches that stop the coughing. Make sure they are okay for 2 years olds to use. Run a cool mist humidifier in his room all day if necessary. Over time he will grow out of it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I feel your pain! My son also has the same problem even though they said his allergies are only "mild". He has what they call a reactive airway so anytime he gets any kind of cold his airways swell and increase mucus production which he sometimes throws up when he goes into a coughing fit. Mostly at night, but sometimes at other times as well. The allergist wanted to put him on Flovent and Xopenex (steroid med and bronchodilator), but I wasn't prepared to put my 4 yo on steroid meds when his symptoms are only in spring and fall. Parents or Parenting magazine has a great article about children with asthma/allergies in this months issue. You should check it out. For the nighttime I"ve found that a prescription cough syrup called Viravan PDM works really well. It is a combo of cough suppressant, decongestant and an antihistamine. When his symptoms are moderate or worse I also give him benadryl and Mucinex Cold in the a.m. to try to keep things in check during the day so the nighttime isn't so bad. When his nighttime cough isn't continuous I give him Mucinex Cough instead of the Viravan. I only give him these meds when he is symptomatic. We tried Singulair to clear up a chronic cough during allergy times which also worked really well, but my son became aggressive and uncooperative while taking it so we discontinued it. Many of the reviews I've read online re: Singulair were negative when it applied to children so be wary of this and other allergy drugs. They are not studied on children so the side effects are not known just anecdotal. Don't get me wrong, Singulair is a great drug to control/cease symptoms, but the side effects can be nasty and I determined them not worth it. I also read reviews about other allergy meds such as Nasonex and some other nose spray type med and found horrible reviews about side effects on children. I hope you find something that works for your child. hd

1 mom found this helpful


Just out of curiosity, what makes you think he doesn't have any food allergies? Are you expecting to see some massive violent reaction like swollen face, diarrhea, blood in the stool, rash, etc? Did a doctor do a blood or skin scratch test and tell you it was normal?

If any of the above is the case, I encourage you to reconsider. It is HIDDEN food intolerances that cause much chronic disease like your son is demonstrating. The reason they are called "hidden" is because neither you, nor your doctor, can see it. Most people never get properly diagnosed. Respiratory issues in particular are often connected to dairy. This is a casein intolerance, not lactose. Gluten is another big culprit that trashes the immune system, with only about 30% of people with the problem showing digestive complaints. Conventional skin scratch and blood testing is inaccurate and misleading. I assure you the liklihood is that you have absolutely no idea what foods your son is reacting to.

The good news is that this lab in Plano can help you. www.enterolab.com. They do STOOL testing, not blood and skin scratch which are not reliable. Read up on the website, as well as its amazing director whose research shows that half the US population is suffering from a gluten or casein problem, or both. Easy test. No doctor referral needed. Order test online, send in specimen, they email you the results.

Other things to consider - eliminate sugar (ie. bread, crackers, pretzels, pasta, cookies, pies, waffles, pancakes, granola bars, sugared yogurt, sweet fruits, all juice, etc). If he is a typical 2 year old, he eats a diet quite high in gluten carbs, dairy and sugar? Bad bacteria feeds on sugar and imbalances the gut. Gluten and casein destroy the gut lining. 70-90% of the immune system is in the gut. He is sick because his immune system is probably shot. He is not unusual. Most people in America suffer from this.

Avoid antibiotics, another enemy of a healthy gut. Has he ever had antibiotics? If so, his gut was destroyed by them and you would need to restore it.

Give him a probiotic supplement to restore the gut. I used to open the capsule and put in some apple sauce.

Good luck. Remember, your doctors were not trained in nutrition, or food intolerances, or healing. They treat symptoms only, with drugs and surgery, leaving the underlying problem intact to fester for decades. If you want a healthy son, you need to get information about improving his health outside their offices. There are some exceptions. If you live in Allen, not too far from you is Dr. Deborah Bain, MD in Frisco. She knows a lot about nutrition and would help you get back on track. www.healthykidspediatrics.com

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, you should have your little one checked for pertussis. It is going around in North Texas. Secondly, I would suggest taking your little one to Peter Schochet, MD, pediatric pulmonologist. He can determine what is causing your child's cough and how to treat it. Dr. Schochet's # is ###-###-####.

R. Elkin, MOT, OTR/L, CKT

1 mom found this helpful

Have you had him tested for pertussis/whooping cough. My infant and 10 yr old daughter were having some of the same symptoms. We didn't what it was for a month and finally his doctor figured it out because she actually heard him coughing on one of the many occassions he went to either the ER or the doctors office. He, my daughter, and my 30 yr old sister tested positive for pertussis. After speaking with a nurse at the local health department I learned that there had been thousands of new cases of pertussis diagnosed within the last year and probably many more because doctors don't recognize it because the cases of it had been almost unheard of in years. After treatment and time, they are all perfectly healthy.

I also have two sons with Asthma and this could also be a factor. I've seen a lot more kids with severe allergies that become asthmatics. I don't suggest sterile mess for young children unless you learn from your peditrician or a pulmonolgist that your child's asthma is

I wish you and your child great health and many blessings!

i would talk to your pedi. if he is 2.5 & you think it might be due to some allergies, then he is old enough for allergy med. which he can take regularly or seasonally...they have claritin over the counter, my daughter takes singulair & it helps a lot just to keep the congestion down...if it is just from a cold, the mucinex does also help a lot.
good luck! & i hope he starts feeling better soon! i know i hate this season bc my daughter gets the same way!!

Hello Pat,

When your son has the sniffles, avoid all milk products because it build up more phlem. have you tried rising his bed on one side so he's not laying completely flat.
on a tissue put: 5 drops peppermint oil
4 drops rosemary oil and 4 drops basil oil
that combination helped stop coughs that codeine would not stop. (put the oils ON a paper towel or tissue NOT ON HIS SKIN)

Good luck! ~C.~

Hi S.,
My son was recently diagnosed with whooping cough :( Had no fever ,no sore throat and he said he didnt feel bad. Just had a nasty cough and doc said it could last up to 7-10 wks. Can spread by children being in enclosed rooms like schools and daycares. It could be acid reflux too but I would get it confirmed by a doctor for treatment.

We had a ton of problems with my youngest and asthma & allergies. We gave him decongestant during the days and antihistamine at night as well as propping him up. A nebulizer helped a lot. We eventually got on an inhaled steroid for a while. He's completely grown out of it, The absolute best antihistamine we've used is astelin. It dried his nose up almost immediately.

I know you have gotten a ton of advice but I just have one thing to add. Make sure you give your son a bath every night and lay him down on clean sheets. If my son plays outside and gets pollens in his hair and then goes strait to bed it is a nightmare on his allergies and coughing.

My son has horrible allergies. Number one, get that humidifier out of his room. It really intensifies the problem. Google mom of kids with allergies and there are some great resources. Anyway, the humdifier promotes mold growth. We also had his adnoids removed and his drainage has really improved.

AND I hust read that someone said to put an ionic breeze in his room. If you did that TAKE IT OUT!!! You know how sensitive kids need to stay inside on high ozone days? Well, an ozone machine will spell disaster. My understanding is that Sharper Image went under because of lawsuits as a result of the unhealthy amounts of ozone. Hope this helps, and feel free to contact me.

Good Morning S.,
I'm gona give yu a web sie t check out
check this out you can try one for several days t see if it works no objestion
J Garret

children mucinex is great for this

I know sometimes my daughter has drainage and our pediatrician recommends mucinex. That seems to help some. I also have a home based business with Melaleuca and their products are amazing! They have a product called Solumel that people use in a vaporizer that actually helps with Asthma or any kind of bronchial problems. Their products help take toxins out of your cleanining and personal care products and I love them. If you'd like to chat about it and possibly try it you can give me a call or email me.You can respond if you want my phone and I'll give it to you.



My brother in law had this problem when he was young and still does, he uses zertec however I don't believe you can find this in childrens brand..however tell your doctor and I am sure he can recommend something to stop this problem... he is probably so tired of throwing up and feeling yucky!! I really hope someone finds a good resolution to this probmlem, Good luck!!

My daughter has done this. It's usually related to her asthma. Does your son have asthma along with his allergies?

When it gets that bad I do give her cough medicine to quiet the cough and then give her a nebulizer. I usually give her cough and cold by dimetap (I think that's the name of it, it's in a white and maroon box).

Hope this helps. I know how you feel.

Take care and God bless!

I've been drinking Original Limu for 2-3 years and no longer taking allergy shots. Limu is a seaweed plant from islands of Tonga and the Tongans have a history of good health and long lives. Limu is a staple in their diet.
Check out www.discoverlimu.com/jcarden and see all the great things about Original Limu.
It is the nutrients that help our bodies to get healthy and is great for babies all the way to the most mature people.
Call or email me with any questions.

My son had a few episodes like yours, and the doctor recommended to give him a bath, but first let hot water run so the bathroom become like a sauna, so you should close the door; then to put my son on the bathtub with warm water and put Johnson's vapor bath for the bath is a light blue bottle and any store wall-mart or ever the supermarket have it.
Then the bath should be at least for 20minutes. I did it with my son and I actually stay longer 40min and it worked. This is recommended for kids with croup too. Another thing was to put his mattress 45 degree, so he does not sleep completely vertical. I hope something works for you. I feel your pain

It sounds like asthma. 5 of my 6 children have asthma. There are two different ways asthma manifests itself. First is the asthmatic that wheezes. Then there are those that cough. Sometimes it is a mixture of both. My children cough. Only rarely do they wheeze. When their asthma is bad they will cough until they throw up. Asthma is worse at night and when laying down.

Hi S., This sounds like my 6yr daughter soo much. Last year she had a real ruff year. She was always sick and was coughing to the point of throughing up also. I talked to my dr. We finnily went and had her allergy tested and asthma tested. I was shocked at the result. He told me that her lung function was at 50% and that was why she was coughing soo much. The allergys just made it worse. I felt like the worset mom ever because I did not know my daughter could not breath good. The dr. started her an asthma and allergy meds and she had been doing great. She has only been sick once in over six months and before that we had been at the drs every month for for six months. I hope this helps you.It has saved ours. If this had not of helped her they were talking surgery and that was the last thing I wanted to put her though if I could help it.I will keep you in our prayers.
D. W.

I agree with previous notes that it sounds like Asthma. My son was diagnosed when he was 3 1/2. He never wheezed at that age, he only coughed. Night times were the worst. When he's having those coughing fits is really the best time for a doctor to listen to his chest to see if he's getting any air. The first time we did that (took him in to the doctor to listen), he ended up in Pediatric ICU and had to stay in the hospital for 4 days so they could get his airways opened up. I thought it was just a bad cough, but it was Asthma.
He is now 13 and has been seeing an awesome specialist, Dr. Robert Sugerman, since he was about 6. Dr. Sugerman is at Medical City Dallas and also has an office in Frisco.
Good Luck

This may sound odd but it really worked for my son.....At bedtime, try putting vicks on the bottom of his feet, then put on socks. I would also give him an antihistimine.

Hi S.,

The same thing was going with my 2.5 yo daughter a few months back. Acid Reflux was the culprit! She coughed and threw up in the morning,afternoon and night, but the mornings were the worst. She had an upper GI done and we found out it was indeed acid reflux. She was prescribed Prevacid for a month, I start noticing a difference in a matter of a few days.

The humidifier will not work, if its acid reflux. Make an appointment with the pediatrician to see what is really going on with your little one.

As I'm responding to this request, I went through the same thing years ago and it was acid reflux for me as well. Using the pillow at night did help, but I also needed meds(Prilosec)

Hope this helps.

Our little guy has some coughing problems too. He's never thrown up, but we've dealt with some major coughing. There are a couple routes I'd suggest, but both probably should beging with a chat with your pediatrician or a nurse at the office. I'd ask the doctor what sort of cold and cough medicine he can take. We've found that the children's Mucinex works great. There's different formulations of it. One has a cough suppressant in it. Also, what kind of allergy medicine is he taking? You might switch his dose to have him take it in the evening rather than in the morning. Also, there may be a different medicine to try.

The other route if this night time coughing is really persistent more than just a couple times a year, I'd see if the doc would listen to his lungs and maybe measure pulse oxygen (they put a little clip on a finger to measure it). Our guy had reactive airway disease, which basically means his lungs would tighen up in response to colds or respiratory infections and he'd cough and cough. Once we got a nebulizer and were able to give him breathing treatments, we don't have the coughing. The breathing treatment re-opens his constricted airway.

My son is 2 and does the same thing. I think partly it's because he had acid reflux when he was younger. The Dr. explained to me that as they cough their airway constricts smaller and smaller until it eventually closes. Then it causes the gagging and throwing up. He gave me liquid albuterol and it did seem to help.

My daughter just turned 6 and was the same way. She went through numerous things from ear tubes, adenoids removed, tonsils removed and all kinds of allergy meds. While those things helped with other things she would still throw up too much!! About 4 months ago we started Flovent (an inhaler for asthma) twice a day. I don't think she has thrown up once! My advice is to figure out with your doctor what is going to work as soon as possible because it will just get more and more frustrating the older he gets. Good luck!!

My son does this as well... When we know he has had a runny nose during the day we make sure to give him a dose of benadryl at night before he goes to bed. It seems to be the only thing that helps him. Good luck.
He too does not have any other allergies

Hey S.!
Our , now six year old, daughter did that...daily for years!! Our physician finally gave her a nebulizer and it helped SO much. I am asthmatic and have the same problems (esp. since moving to TX) when I sleep. My daughter is NOT asthmatic...just threw up whenever she had a cold, cut a tooth, was allergic to something...and THEN later on when she threw tantrums!! haha. anyhow, talk to your Dr. and mention that it may be allergies...perhaps an allergy med, vapor rub, or as a last resort nebulizer may help.

I know it sounds weird, but I've been told Vicks on the soles of your feet will stop coughing. Put socks on though! I don't like greasy things, so I used Arbonne Herbal Vapor rub on the soles of my feet when I was recovering from bronchitis. I coughed so hard and so much I had separated cartilage from my ribs! It really helped a lot. I put it on in the morning AND the evening. I have some if you want to try it and see if it works for you!

A. Wheeler

you should talk to your dr. about a nebulizer and albuterol. My 8 year old had been coughing like that for a long time and they finally gave her the nebulizer and she is soooo much better. She hasn't coughed hard enough to throw up in over a month and she has been using it, with the mask, for about that long.

If you haven't already, you really need to get him in to an EAR, NOSE, THROAT specialist. Poor litte guy! Hope you get it figured out!

Sounds like he could be alergic to something in the house. Does he have a feather pillow, some are alergic to feathers, my daughter was.

my dd doctor just told us wednesday there is an outbreak of whooping cough going around. i haven't read the other posts so not sure if this is news to you. i'd get him to the doctor if you haven't already and they can do a swab. good luck.

You need to be listening to his breathing as he might have asthma. Consistant coughing is a sign. Asthma with allergies is common. Please talk with your doctor soon as he could have a severe attack one night.

You need to get that nose under control!

Talk to your pediatrician or allergist about controlling the runny nose. Once that dries up he will stop the rest and it will stay off his chest and out of his ears. You may need to make an adjustment to his allergy meds.

In the meantime I would use saline every night to help clear the allergens out of his nose.

I'm not big on meds but my son has taken more then his fair share. I'm not sure what is recommended for that age but our allergist recommended Nasonex nose spray for my son. We also use saline every night in his nose. We use a pediatric sinus rinse when it gets really bad but my son is older. The doctors have had us try Zyrtec and Singulair which both worked well. Zyrtec made him drowsy so he only had it at night. It's OTC now. Finally weaned my son back down to just Nasonex which seems to be the best for him.

Good luck!

S., my son has severe allergies (all indoor/outdoor-no food) and while he doesn't throw up from coughing, he gets nosebleeds quite often (bad ones) from the congestion. I had a friend whose son started the throwing up thing and his doctor treated him kind of the same as my son's doctor. They have him on Singulair, Nasonex and what has really helped the most, is Albuterol(sp?)-an inhaler. He isn't necessarily asthmatic, but the inhaler has made most of the difference. And we only give it to him when he is already coughing, or when he is about to play sports. He is 6 so I am not sure if they offer it for 2 or 3 year olds. But I bet they will. Good luck and keep me posted if you find other remedies that I may try. S. Walter

One of my twin does this sometimes. It was really bad when she was your son's age. The only thing that helped her was a dose of benadryl at night.


It sounds like asthma. You might think about taking him to an allergy/asthma specialist. We use Dr. Fawcett in Southlake. She's great with kids. Here's a link to her website. Good luck!


I'm 52 and I started having similar problems this last winter. I've been to the doctor about it and sent to an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist.

Part of my problem seems to be a case of asthma, but the ENT says that I have case of LPR (laryngopharongeal reflux). Basically, it's acid reflux that causes excess mucous to form in the throat. It's a type of gastric reflux, but it causes allergy like symptoms more than heartburn. I also have a more difficult time on bad air days and around allergens like dust, mildew, and smoke.

I know it is an old fashioned remedy but Vicks Vaporub is a miracle worker for my kids and myself. You may also want to check with his doctor and see if he may want to try a different allergy medication to help also. It definitely sounds allergy induced. My kids both went through that at around that age and our pediatrician ended up putting them on inhalers to help break up the congestion and keep them breathing OK.

Hope this helps

Pull all the carpeting out of his room, and put in hardwood and keep it dusted and clean. Put an air ionizer/purifier in his room, and use high quality anti-allergen air filters in your home. Try Vick's vapor rub. And reconsider food sensitivities and allergies. Even without an allergy, dairy products often make congestion and post nasal drip far worse. You've nothing to loose and everything to gain by just seeing what you child's physical response is to simply removing all dairy products for a couple of weeks to see if they improve. Then try reintroducing it to see if symptoms worsen.

I'm not a mama yet, but as an adult, I have had enough drainage to throw up, enough times that I know the warning signs now. The moms may have good ideas for home remedies, and I would try those first, but if you're at the end of the ideas, of if you're just ready, I have a great ENT who specializes in allergies. I got tested for all the things in the air back in April and was allergic to everything, which is why my 2 allergy meds weren't enough to keep me well. I'm doing shots now, and I know that doesn't sound pleasant with a small child, but I'm healthy (this time last year, I was sick almost continuously with sinus infections). I go to Dr. Otto's office over at Denton Presbyterian ###-###-####). The staff is great, and I know there are at least 2 small kiddos being treated right now. They get all kinds of royal treatment from the nurses when they're in for their shots, so it doesn't seem too bad. :) Whatever you decide to do, I hope you get it knocked out. Allergies can be miserable for the person with them, and the people around!

My daughter used to do the same thing. I talked to her Dr. and he gave her Pediatan Suspension PRO. It has an antihistamine and a decongestion in it if I remember right. She would take that and her Singular before she went to bed. I would give it to her whenever she would start coughing in bed and it really helped her. She was diagnosed with Reactive Airway when she was 2. Before you start a cough suppresant all the time you really need to find out if he has Asthma. If I ever give her Claratin I give it to her at night instead of in the morning so it won't wear off in her sleep. I hope this helps. Forgive my spelling, I just woke up!

I had the same problem with my son. He was actually getting sinus infections and had the post nasal drip. Their tummys do not digest all of the drainage and it comes back up. You may need to take him to an ENT to check for sinus infections. My son required antibiotics and eventually lead to having his adenoids removed, along with them placing tubes in his ears.

Seek a homeopath!

You need to go see a Doctor to get a stronger allergy med. Also, check to see if he has asthma. My daughter was diagnosed a two months ago, and the past week due to the ozone, has been coughing and getting sick as well.

Hi, S.. Your poor little boy doesn't have to suffer so much. Don't worry about the outdoor air quality, it is your indoor air that is affecting him. I CAN HELP. Please call. I can evaluate your situation and device a plan for him.
I spent 20 years building families as a fertility specialist and I am now determined to help everyone live a healthier life while protecting our environment.
Take Care and please call ###-###-####

Health Revolution
Join me in the revolution to protect our children and safeguard the planet.

i think you are describing my child! he was always having the same problem. once his runny nose went away, i would forget about it until the next round. one day, while he was "helathy" i noticed that his tonsils were HUGE. turns out he was kind of gagging b/c his tonsils were so sensitve ans causing that gagging feeling. also, when my little guy has this problem, i have him sit up as soon as he starts coughing and try to take deep breaths...sound silly but it calms him down and has prevented throw up many times. anyhow, we went to an ENT and they removed his tonsils last Dec. he has only thrown up once since then.

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