19 answers

When Do You Take Your Child to the Doctor for a Cough?

Hey Everyone,
How long do you wait before you take your child in for a cough? My son had a cold and has now been fighting a cough for quite some time. Sometimes he coughs so hard he throws up/spits up. He's not running a fever and he is no longer congested. I just don't know how long I should let him fight it. We've done the humidifier at night and vicks on his feet. What else can I do?
And it is not a croupy cough or a whooping cough, just a productive cough. Thanks in advance for any advice/help!

Forgot to mention that he is 7 months old.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice everyone! I took him to the dr. this morning and he ended up getting a breathing treatment. He was also put on steroids. AND it turns out that he has an ear infection. Go figure! Again, thanks!!

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Oh dear-I think it's time-when you said he was just 7 months old-that made me think that maybe he should be seen. Medicine isn't always 100% of the symptoms, 100% of the time. He may have a little something brewing and not present with a fever. Little guy sounds like he is doing a pretty good job trying to fight it on his own-but may need some medical intervention :(

1 mom found this helpful

When my son had this problem, I went to Whole Foods for a homeopathic expectorant. I'm sorry... I forgot the name but anyone can help you find it. It helped almost immediately.

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It doesn't hurt to just take him in, if you are concerned.

~Just FYI: When my youngest son was around 2 years old he had a nasty cough that held on for months, it would seem to be gone, then it would be back after a few days...nothing else was the matter with him, just this cough...mostly at night. I FINALLY took him to the Dr. and he had *Na-monia*! It sucked, I felt horrible!

*Sorry, I can never spell that word correctly and I am lame and do not know how to use the spell check on the Mac?!

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If he has a fever at this point, I would take him in. If his breathing is faster than it should be when he is at rest, I would take him in. If he normally has no breathing/allergy issues, and this has been ongoing for more than 10 days and he has not been seen, I would take him in.

OOOhhhh.. Age makes a big difference. At 7 months old, I would have already had him in to be seen at the Dr. That is really young to just "let it run its course"..... Get him in to the Dr. He could have pneumonia, or bronchiolitis. Our son had bronchiolitis (not the same as bronchitis) when he was small... had a lingering cough... similar to what you describe... the other symptoms of a cold had faded, but the cough lingered.
Get him seen tomorrow.

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No longer than a week, especially that young

2 moms found this helpful

When there is blood or green mucous in the sputum. I would take the child if I did not know the right homeopathic or herbal to use. I would put a piece of garlic in his/her cheek and let it sit there unchewed. Change every few hours.
In our family we melted honey with lemon in a pan and spooned it when not too hot into the child's mouth. It worked wonders. My grandparents, parents, and I used that method for colds, coughs and sore throats.

Look for an old book that might be out of print. Joy Gardner's "Healing the Family" it is full of ways to care for your own child.
As for homeopathy I also use an old book by Dr. Barry Rose an English Homeopath.

2 moms found this helpful

If it has lasted this long, and there is mucus, it could turn into bronchitis. I would have him evaluated at this point. Also, they don't always run a fever with sinus infections, strep, bronchitis, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

I would have taken him in by now.

Your child is SO young. Only 7 months old. I just read your edit.
The longer it goes on, lung damage may occur.
What if he has Bronchitis or Pneumonia?
The thing is you cannot properly "diagnose" him. Only a Doctor can.
And, a baby CANNOT possibly spit-out or expel their own mucus. Like an adult can.

2 moms found this helpful

My son had this same thing. I would take him in if its been over 10 days. Most of the time its just a lingering upper respiratory infection that has to run its course but its always better to make sure.

2 moms found this helpful

If it were me, I'd call the doctor's office. If it turns out to be nothing to worry about, then you've paid for a visit but you can rest easy. On the other hand, seven-month-old babies have better things to do than cough. It would be a good idea to find out what's going on. There are all sorts of possibilities, and it's better to get facts than wonder and guess.

1 mom found this helpful

When it is no longer a dry cough, is more persistant, and lingering I would take him. You definitely want to make sure there is no possibility of pneumonia.

1 mom found this helpful

I take my kids in for most any symptom if it continues for more than 14 days.

1 mom found this helpful

Based on age and severity I would call right away. There are a number of issues you would like to prevent by letting it continue. I think in this case it better to chance being "that mom" than letting your little one continue to suffer.

1 mom found this helpful

In a baby of that age, I would say - it never hurts to have the doctor take a look at him. I always felt better when the doctor was able to listen to my daughter's chest. Always want to make sure there's nothing else brewing. BTW - my daughter used to vomit all the gunk up (sorry). It actually made me feel better to know that she was getting it out.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh dear-I think it's time-when you said he was just 7 months old-that made me think that maybe he should be seen. Medicine isn't always 100% of the symptoms, 100% of the time. He may have a little something brewing and not present with a fever. Little guy sounds like he is doing a pretty good job trying to fight it on his own-but may need some medical intervention :(

1 mom found this helpful

Probably time to take him in and have the doctor check him out. If "quite a while" is over 14 days and you are not seeing obvious daily improvements then it's time. There are no longer any infant OTC cold or cough medicines but you doctor can prescribe something if needed.

1 mom found this helpful

When my son had this problem, I went to Whole Foods for a homeopathic expectorant. I'm sorry... I forgot the name but anyone can help you find it. It helped almost immediately.

At 7 months old, I wouldnt wait. Get him checked out by a doctor.

Does sound a lot like it could be allergy related though. Just a thought.

Good luck!

If his formula is milk or soy based change it. If he is breastfed take all dairy and soy out of your diet. This will clear him up.

Have you taken him to the doctor at all? My daughter is 16months and we all have been fighting a cough since she was itty bitty. There is this horrible virus out there that's been coming and going for a long time now. My Ped is great. I practically lived at the Ped's office. My son kept bringing home things from Pre-k. We lived at the ped's office so much, I would call and he would prescribe something over the phone. Not every one does this but since I lived at his office we would keep on touch. So far it's been slow but now I have the cough back. This has been going on since July.

Since your child is so young, I hope you have a good Ped. If you live close to Sunrise. My children's doc is Dr. Donald Marcus. His practice is Sunrise Pediatrics. Sometimes, I call and my kids can be seen that day. You have to call. No walk ins; they will fit you in. There is also a wonderful nurse practioner if you want a woman. There is another Ped there as well and I believe a PA but my son likes Dr. Marcus a lot. They have been buddies since he was a baby. My daughter likes Kristen the NP. They are all very nice but some times you mesh with different people. Whoever my kids like an feel comfortable with, is who they see.

If he is 7mo old and has been coughing so hard he throws up, I would take him to the doctor. Make sure it is not bronchitis or asthma and in need of breathing treatments. Hopefully it isn't but always be sure. It doesn't hurt to make sure your child is ok rather than suffering in silence.

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