4 Year Old Son with a Nagging Cough - Recently Diagnosed with Asthma

Updated on March 18, 2011
Y.J. asks from Miami, FL
10 answers

Hi Moms,

My son has been having a cough for a while that is causing me concern. On his last trip to the paediatrician a week ago, he was wheezing and he had an ear and throat infection so we got antibiotics, prednisolone and we were told to continue nebulizing him. Before that he had a cold and the cough was the last thing to go but then it came back. Sometimes it sounds like he has mucus on the chest that he is not able to bring up. Whenever I hear that cough I nebulize him twice per day. Whenever I discuss this with my family and friends they think that it may be allegry related and that the carpets in the house that we rent may be the problem. We have been steam cleaning the carpets once a month and vaccum and dust very often. Sometimes the cough is less after he is nebulized but depending on the climate it comes back on. I am quite concerned as I beginning to wonder if he has to be kept on this nebulizing solution (albuterol) and will it harm him in anyway. Also the doctor only prescribes prednisolone when he is wheezing but only for a duration of 5 days. His dad does not like him getting this drug as he says there are side effects to this as well. I appreciate any info/advice I can get. Thank you.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You need to get your son to a pediatric allergist immediately. Sounds like your pediatrician is not at all equipt to deal with asthma. Many are not. I noticed a huge difference in the asthma care from the allergist than from our ped.
First of all-it sounds like your son should be on pulmicort. You use it through the nebulizer once or twice a day. It is a long term anti inflammatory that puts the lungs in a good condition. Even though there is a bit of steroids it is 100% better than the huge dose that you are giving him with flareups-and Pulicort will help prevent the flareups.
You also need him to get allergy tested. My son's asthma symptoms were made much worse by his allergies that we had no idea that he had until testing. He didn't get the classic symptoms as much so we didn't know. Turned out he is allergic to everythng outdoors and most things indoors. We give him zyrtec every night and it really helps. He is practically sympotm free now at age 7 and has not had an asthma attack in ages. I believe that this is a combination of good asthma care and outgrowing it.

But do see a pediatric allergist.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Identifying and removing allergens (both airborne and food-related) would help, as well as using natural asthma therapies - certain vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, herbs, and probiotics could all help. Antibiotics promote antibiotic resistant bacteria and impair the digestive system by killing probiotic bacteria, which in turn weakens the immune system, so relying on antibiotics is dangerous, especially if not supplementing with probiotics. Helping balance and replenish the child's energy system and reducing emotional stress is also important. I practice alternative therapies and teach energy healing myself in Miami and would suggest seeing a natural doctor such as an acupuncture physician or holistic chiropractor rather than a regular drug-pushing M.D.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My girls both had a cough and it started once we got to florida. My oldest was put on Zertec and my dad bought a humidifier with the vicks stuff. In a few days the nagging cough finally went away. The baby wasnt old enough for meds but would cough in sleep since the first month. The humidifier stopped that in a about 4 days.

I knew it wasnt asmath cause my oldest never had a problem breathing and the cough came back when my allgeries were bad. She is alot like me in many ways. We too did the nebulizer and it didnt work. Plus we had to hold her down while she threw a screaming fit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Our daughters Asthma was a coughing Asthma.. Just a nonproductive dry cough.

Once we figured out it was dust and molds (we live in a green area) we pulled all of the carpets out of the house, only had mini blinds and made sure her stuffed animals were sent through the dryer on air dry about every 2 weeks. What also made a huge difference was a Hunter Electric air filter. The company suggest it be changed out every 4 to 6 weeks. We had to change it out every 3 to 4 weeks. I just ordered a ton of them.

We live in a city that is notorious for having all sorts of blooming things all through the year. We just tried to keep her room as a sanctuary so that she could always get a good nights sleep.

It would not hurt to see what he is allergic to, we found dust was her downfall.. Good news? Her asthma went away at about 6th grade!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Take him to an allergist who will test him for any allergies and they will tell you if it's the carpet or something else that could be triggering his asthma and cough fits. Sometimes getting to the root cause can be the solution. I agree with our husband I don't like albuterol, my daughter is on it and she gets very hyper.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

What is he eating? Cut out dairy, no cow dairy. Look at Fiengold- no artifical anything.
Then probiotics in large amounts- look at what happens w/ antibiotics- and re estiblish the healthy and necessary probiotics in his intestine- needed for his immune system to work.
I think you'll find changing his diet will help. WestonPrice.com is another reference we like alot.
best, k

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

You need to strip the carpets, get rid of artificial stuff from your home: no polyester pillows, get him a natural cotton filled one. Cotton blankets and sheets, clean cleaning supplies that means no perfumes and dyes and stuff, including in your all soap and no perfumes, colognes or perfumed deodorants.
Cleaning supplies for the home should be vinegar, baking soda, eucalyptus oil and stuff like that only.
Get him off ALL dairy products, processed foods and sugar.
I agree his life saving comes first but these drugs are dangerous long term. Prednisone cause cancer.
Also, nothing with formaldehyde so that means no particle board, chip board or the fake wood flooring. Also watch for these 'materials' in furniture. Fake wood is less expensive and often used in children's furniture, TOXIC

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You could be creating a mold issue in the home by shampooing the carpets so often. Carpets should only be spot cleaned as needed and fully shampooed once or twice a year when you can either A-open windows and let them air dry naturally or B- have the AC running for them to dry because the warm air/humidity will create a breading ground for mold in the damp carpets/padding.

Along with regular dusting and vacuuming, make sure you are changing out the air filter once a month. Use a quality one too. I like Flanders from either Lowes or Home Depot (can't remember where I got them) and they run about 7-8 bucks a 3 pack. You can get the 3M ones but they cost that much just for 1.

If it is asthma, Singular might be a thought for him to try to help cut back on the coughing. My friends son stopped being so dependent on his inhaler after he got on that and his coughing attacks calmed down some too.

Good luck!
S.- tree pollen, dust, grass, mold, cat allergies

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

As a mother of two children with asthma and a sister of an adult with asthma i don't think you should be worrying too much about the side effects of the nebulizer. Asthma can be life threatening and you can actually die from it.. My children, when they needed their inhalers we did them every four hours and it opens up the airways so they can breathe. Young children have a hard time realizing when they need their inhaler, so you need to learn to listen to his breathing and coughing to figure out how he is feeling. If you want to try and see what is is like to live with asthma, try breathing thru a straw for several minutes...it doesn't feel good.
As for allergies my doctors have told me that allergies, asthma and excema all are interrelated and usually if you have one, you have another. My sister's and my son's asthma always flared up very badly when they were sick and my daughter's too actually. The predisone is the drug you don't want your child to be on for extended periods of time because it is a steroid, the albuterol inhaler is meant to help keep the asthma more undercontrol so you won't need the prednisone so much...
Go online and do some research about asthma and allergies and good luck!

My son has grown out of his asthma he is 16, but still has allergies and excema flares with stress...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

i have been on nebulizers alot before i got my asthma under control they will raise his heart rate but he has to have them. the preds do have side effects but he has to have them to until you get his asthma under control. i agree with the family about the allergies. possibly even the chemicals in your house you mean well but this have an opposite reaction to an asthmatic. clean with only vinegar and baking soda. use all free and clear laungry soap get unscented soaps for him. baby wash is fine too.get a mattress pad and pillow casings for him and make sure you only vacumn when he is at school. get him to an allergy asthma doc.preds do suck i cant sleep when i take them for;\tunalely i dont need them very often.

weather effects me to. cold induced and tornado season if it is actually going to be a tornado. last time i was on preds was the may 3rd tornado of norman and i was 100 miles north of it. its just something about the uneasiness of the atmosphere. carpets harbor dust mits and pet dander so they could be right but dont pull the carpets till you get him an allergy test and find out what his triggers are. dont steam clean the carpets in case he is allergic to mold. ususally i say your kid do what you want but in this case i think your family is on to something. only nebulize him when the albuterol doesnt work. give him 3 rounds of albuterol before nebulizing and 3 rounds of nebs before getting him steroids. if the nebs or the albuterol seems to be easing it dont do the steroid unless absolutely necessary. good luck this will give you some direction on what to do before resorting to the doc

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