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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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