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Sick 2 Year Old, What to Do?!

Hi Mamas!
I am home today with my 2 and a half year old son who is sick. He's had a cold all week--runny nose, hacking cough, cranky. This morning he woke up with a mild fever of about 100.4. He won't eat anything. He's sleeping right now but started coughing really bad and sounded like he was coughing something up. I'm sure it's drainage from his runny nose. I've been giving him Benadryl --his doctor told me when he was an infant that he shouldn't have over the counter cold medicines but Benadryl was fine. That was back when there were all those recalls. However, now that he's a toddler, I'm wondering--is there something OTC that I can give him besides Benadryl?! I tried calling his doctor's office for advice--what I can give him or if he needs to be seen--but they were closed for lunch. I figured I'd check to see if my fellow mamas have any words of wisdom. Thanks ladies!

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Thanks mamas! He has an appointment in about another hour. He is prone to ear infections and if he's got a fever after being sick all week it's worrisome to me that he is getting worse instead of better. I appreciate all your advice! I agree with the Benadryl issue--it is an allergy med, he's just been so miserable and I knew it was the only thing safe to give him. I figured it would treat his symptoms and make him drowsy before bed. I only gave the dose his doctor has told me numerous times (I tend to call for advice a lot when he gets sick!) and only once a day--before bed. Thanks again!

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Humidifiers really do help as well. You can also rub Vicks on his chest or back and try the vapor baths. They really help break up the mucus like the decongestants do without giving them the drugs. I also have a Eucliptus lotion that I put on my kids that helps. The smell of the Eucliptus isn't as strong as the menthol and works the same way.

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RSV is going around right now as always at this time of the year. He very well could have that and it can easily turn into Bronchitis and or Pnemonia. I agree with the others that you need to get him in to see someone.

I also agree that Benadryl isn't going to help a virus or infection. It's for Allergies. However, I do believe that it's a great help for sleeping and if you follow the directions closely, then it won't hurt. Benadryl can and has killed too. I think it's sad that our children are supposed to suffer because some parents couldn't read labels! Sorry, that's a rant for another time. He needs sleep too. I absolutely would do a safe amount of Benadryl since you already know he's not allergic to it and it should make him better able to sleep.

If he's having any issues with a stuffy nose, then get some pure peppermint essential oils. Put it in a diffuser or put it on an air filter if you run one or dribble it in a pan of simmering water or put it in the humidifier. It really clears the sinuses.


Nope. They pulled all the cold meds for kiddos his age too. We're in the same boat. Our 3 year old just got over a nasty cold. We did the benadryl, mainly to help her sleep and motrin to keep her comfortable. Just make sure he's getting enough liquids, push water, juice, jello, popsicles, soup, etc. He might have a bit of a sore throat. Use a vaporizer/humidifier, and you can try some vicks to help him breathe a bit better. Other than that, it just takes time. It stinks, I know. I hope he feels better soon!

Ugh... My 2 1/2 year old daughter has had a runny nose and nasty cough all week as well but no temperature. I hope she doesn't develop one! Anyway, her doctor told me they don't recommend any OTC cold medicines for children under a certain age (I can't remember for sure but want to say it was like 5 or older?). I would maybe try to get him into the doctor if they are concerned. Hopefully you will hear something back from them soon. I know there is a lot going around lately.

My pediatrician does not recommend any medication for congestion. They recommend lifting the head of the bed and running a humidifier.

I would note, however, that if a fever arises after the child has had congestion for a few days, then they like to see him because it is usually a sign of an ear infection.

Good luck!

If he was sick all week and now has a fever he may have a sinus or ear infection. You may want to have him checked out. That is a sign that things have turned for the worse. If it was a normal cold he would be showing signs of improvement. My son was like that, I thought he was getting better then he woke up with a slight fever, then started pulling on his ears. He has only had two ear infections in two and half years, but a visit to the doc might be necessary. There isn't much you can do for a normal cold, except use saline nose spray for stuffiness and runny nose (it works great) and a humifier. Best wishes to you and your little boy.

I would certainly call the doctor at the very lease.

I don't understand the use of Benadryl as it's an allergy medication, not a cough/cold medication. It is an antihistamine to treat allergic reactions.

The reason that cough/cold meds were no longer recommended is that the ingredients aren't suitable for children under 6, so the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their policy. They haven't reversed it to date.

There could be several reasons for a cough, but only your pediatrician or another qualified health care professional can diagnose it properly. I agree that it's not a good idea to guess with things like RSV, H1N1 (for which cough is a common symptom), etc. going around.

Humidifiers really do help as well. You can also rub Vicks on his chest or back and try the vapor baths. They really help break up the mucus like the decongestants do without giving them the drugs. I also have a Eucliptus lotion that I put on my kids that helps. The smell of the Eucliptus isn't as strong as the menthol and works the same way.

I would recommend going to the ped, if possible before the weekend. If it is just a cold, we use Pediacare, and nothing else. No tylenol, no motrin, no benedryl. You do NOT want to accidentally overdose them on something because there are ingredients in cold medicines that may also be in the tylenol or whatever. Pediacare is available at Walgreens, CVS, etc, and if used in proper dosages (by poundage, not age) is generally ok.

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