Daugter Has Allergies?

Updated on May 06, 2008
K.S. asks from San Ramon, CA
96 answers

Hi, I'm looking for some advice on my almost 3yr old daughters health. She has had a chronic stuffy/runny nose and cough for 4months now. The cough wakes her at nite almost every nite. The nose is just running all day. Not a symptom free day for 4months now. After 4 trips to the doctor and one round of antibiotics (that did nothing) I've decided it may be allergies and not virus after virus. The doctor recommended zyrtec during the day and benadryl at nite or cough syrup w/codene if it is really bad. She has been on the allergy meds for 3wks and it has not really helped her symptoms. Then we have been seeing a homeopath that is costing a lot of money but says he can help her symptoms be performing accupresurre/kinestology work. I dont want to just medicate her forever, and I'm not sure whatelse to do. Her behavior is otherwise okay and normal, just exhausted from coughing and breathing thru her mouth from the congestion. Has anyone experienced this w/their child?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the wonderful advice. We got a refferal to an ENT and are requesting the food/seasonal allergy testing. I'm going to do all the cleaning dust remaval and also look for the local honey.I've since removed the milk from her diet and try to replace the cheese/yogurt too. I will try anything to help my little one get some relief. All the advice and experience were comforting and helpful.

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G.B.

answers from San Francisco on

She could be allergic to a food or a mold. Also, did she have shots about the time this all started? sometimes they shoot them with so much pathogenic stuff it breaks down the immune system for a while.

Milk products are highly mucus forming, you could cut them out completely for a while, and consider building up her immune system naturally instead of giving her the drugs that will tax her system more. There are many great things that can build your immune system. I like to take cod liver oil, (great source of vitamin A)garlic,and vitamin c. Start low with the C and Build up to a higher level. A search engine can help you locate more great herbs to help build the immune system.
Some people recommend humidifiers and vaporizers and such. I guess at times they have their place, but used over and over they cause mold to start growing on and in things.(just think of what happens to our shower stalls.) Mold can be growing on things and you won't even see it until it gets quite a colony growing. It grows in fabrics and carpets, on metal, on plastic, in wallboard, whatever. It can even grow on human skin and on insects. Once it gets a foothold, you may try to clean it up (in the shower for example) and think you've killed it, but it's still there, patiently waiting in hybernation and ready to regrow with a little bit of moisture.
Mold gives off toxins, which can make many people exposed to them very sick, whether breathing them or ingesting them. Mold spores are contaminating our food system. Corn products are high in aflotoxins, as are many other grain products. Peanuts are HIGH in mold. The good bacteria and enzymes that naturally occur in our food and keeps mold from getting such a foothold is killed when our foods get pasturized, canned, irradiated and processed. But its very hard to kill a fungus! Also, Antibiotics given to kids over and over, help mold grow in them.That mold is realeasing toxins.So many more children are sick now a days than they ever were 20, 30, 40 years ago. Look at the rise in antibiotic use and the increase in megastores bursting with processed foods.

They have recently proven that many sinus infections are caused by a mold and cleared up with an antifungal. If you want to try a natural antifungal that is SAFE, try Caprylic Acid. It is dervied from coconut oil and is available at health food stores or the internet. Search online for more health info on it.

I need to add one last thing. There is a huge amount of people getting "diagnosed" with asthma. Asthma is not a disease. It is a symptom, Just like throwing up is a symptom of the flu. Asthma means "cronic cough and narrowed breathing pathways, etc". It is a SYMPTOM that your body is REACTING to something. It is not the disease itself. So when a doctor tells a patient who's coughing and congested that they have asthma, he isn't really telling them something they don't already know! Asthma medicines may temporarily force the body to adjust itself, ie: open it's airways, etc. but they don't "cure" asthma. The asthma will go away when the allergen that is aggravating the body is taken away.

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K..

Sorry to hear your dd is feeling so yucky.

How about trying "local flowering honey?" You can get it at your local natural/health foods store. Basically, it is full of all the pollens in the air due to the bees doing their work. She will build up natural immunity over time. It's not an overnight remedy but it's effects are usually life long relief. Ask the employee at the store about doses for dd's age. Also, if you try this, make sure not to heat the honey! That would defeat the purpose.

Good luck. Keep us updated :) S. B

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K.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I just went through the same thing with my 5 1/2 year old. My daughter has always snored and woken up very tired. The last two years in the fall and winter, she coughs all day and night for 4+ weeks. This fall when it happened, she ended up with ear and lung infections and the cough didn't change on antibiotics, so we finally put her on an inhaler, reluctantly. The cough went away in a few days. This winter as soon as the cough appeared, I started her on the inhaler, but it didn't seem to change. We also started her on Singulair and Veramyst to see if she had allergies. Those have helped her sleep overall. I asked the doctor to run a blood panel and check for allergies in that panel. It showed her immunine system was working well, but she showed allergies to dust mites and shellfish. We also have taken her to a homeopath who suggested we try a wheat free diet. I can't believe what a different kid she is. The blood tests are not always absolute, but the gave us an idea of what was going on in her body. I had a blood test last year that only showed an extreme allergy to dust mites. When I went to an allergist, the scratch test showed I was allergic to all kinds of grasses, cats and some trees that didn't show up on the blood test. We sleep in very close quarters in our house and I understand your/her exhaustion. We have all had many sleepless nights from her coughing attacks. Keep searching and trust that you know your daughter better than anyone else.

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M.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried taking her off dairy products? That really worked for my daughter. Also, we took her to a chiropractor because if their neck is out of whack it can cause fluids to build up in their sinuses. That really worked as well. You can find a chiropractors who has experience with children, they are very gentle and it's very different from what an adult gets done. Good luck!

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D.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Here are some things to consider avoiding....milk, wheat,
peanut butter, carpets, pets, shampoos, fabric soffeners for the dryer. also Please read
"The Autoimmune Epidemic", the Library should have it already.
Gramma D.

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
My daughter started with allergies at that age (she's now 18). She hated the allergy medication and like you I did not want to medicate her for years. I found an allergy specialist who tested her for various things -- she's allergic to many! -- but especially dust mites. If your daughter is allergic to dust mites/pollen, the best thing you can do is get a good quality air filter -- we use the Ausin Air filter, it's fabulous and a great investment. (You can also use it to freshen up any room, for any reason). Then you'll take a look at other things that harbor mites, such as carpet, sutffed animals, etc. but that is all covered in a great book called The Allergy Sourcebook by Merla Zellerbach. or, of course you can always just go online.
Main thing is to determine what it is that's causing the allergic reaction.
Watch out for food allergies, too -- e.g.,my daughter is highly allergic to peanuts (I did not learn this till pre-K when someone gave her a peanut butter sandwich and she started going into anaphylactic shock -- throat closing up). My point simply that if she allergic to one thing, it can lower her immune system to other things as well.
Speaking of immune system, give your daughter a lot of Vitamin C!
To everyone reading this, do be aware of the peanut allergy. It's very scary. Best to give children almond butter, soy butter, sunflower butter, etc.
Good luck!
Kate M

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S.R.

answers from Salinas on

Hello K.:
I rub Multi Purpose Cream by Shaklee on my little girl's chest, back and feet and that takes care of the congestion. Ocean Wonders by Shaklee is a great vitamin supplement for Children to boost the immune system. What also has worked wonders is a nice warm Kids MealShake by Shaklee to aleve congestion.
Learn more at www.shaklee.net/natural_family_products
Good Luck!

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.

Has she been screened for childhood Asthma? my son has asthma and (he is 6 now) and doesn't suffer from it all the time, weather and diff foods can bring it on... however, when he was between ages 4 and 5 1/2 he had it more frequently and had a running nose and coughing all the time. IF your doc hasn't done it already. might be a good time to have your child screened .. additionally, I limit dairy and wheat from my son's diet. ESP dairy and this helped tremendously .. not to mention, we don't do fastfood and foods with food addititves.. so far, it's all helped a lot..

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M.D.

answers from San Francisco on

one of the most common allergy comes from food...
start eleiminating one food she eats regularly, for 3 weeks at the time. if there is no response start with another and so on and so on...
my daughter thought she had chronic sinus infections until she stopped eating wheat products and everything cleared up..
the above suggestion is one of the best way to find food allergies as many "allergy tests" do not reflect a present allergy.
good luck

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R.C.

answers from Modesto on

Hello,

My daughter was the same when she was little. I always thought that she had a cold and kept giving her medicine. I think that she was five when I took her and had her checked for allergies. I found out that was the case. She now is 21 years old and doing fine. She uses an inhaler every now and then when needed. Maybe 3 or four times a year, because she sometimes will have an asthma attack. Once you get her on the right medication she should do fine. I wished that all our children could be well all of the time. You might also want to get your air duct cleaned, it really does help.

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L.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I have allergies and asthma, and my nose has been stuffy all year, as well. What has helped me most is the NeilMed system. You can buy it at most drugstores, and some places have it in children's sizes (though that's harder to find--you might have to call around). It's a system for doing saltwater rinses of the nose (with a little bicarb also for buffering). A rinse before bedtime helps A LOT, I can testify. My husband's now doing this as well, and although my own daughter doesn't seem to have allergies it has worked well for her when she's had a cold. The saltwater rinses help you manage without using so much medication.

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B.J.

answers from Salinas on

My Son has been experiencing chest congestion and runny nose since 1 years old. He is now 2 and I had to do something. Dr. prescribed all the allergy stuff; Zyrtec and so forth... I can't spell them correctly... they are sort of working. So, I decided to to take him off of dairy products and WOW he is so much healthier!!! He is happy and so is Mommy!!!! Try no dairy for about 1 month and see what happens. My mom gave me this advice and it has been the best advice so far!
B.

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L.H.

answers from San Francisco on

It sounds like she has food allergies. Constant congestion and respiratory issues are usually (but not always) a sign of a dairy sensitivity.

There is NO reliable blood test that you can do to see if this is the case. The only way to find out is by eliminating dairy entirely from her diet for at least 3 weeks. That means milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and read labels carefully for dairy-based ingredients, there is a list here: http://www.godairyfree.org/Food-to-Eat/Food-Label-Info/Da...

Personally, I do drink milk on occasion, but I have seen SO many kids with the symptoms above that turned out to be dairy-intolerant. Dairy proteins increase mucus production in general, and for some people even small amounts cause chronic congestion, runny nose, etc.

My baby #2 had horrendous colic and screamed night and day before I gave up dairy. What a difference! Like I said, I do consume dairy now, because he seems to have outgrown his sensitivity at age 14mos, but with your daughter it DEFINITELY sounds like it could be worth a go. Won't hurt, and might help enormously.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

K.,
Keep in mind the seasons. Before to long the weather will be getting warmer and her allergies might not be so bad. I would stick with the homeopathic doctor, they really can fix her problem. My daughter (2) takes Heel BMI Allergy (1/2 a tablet crushed up, get it at the health food store) its a better alternative to the meds the doctors give her. Those drugs are SO hard on their little systems. Ask your homeopath about discounted visits, they should be willing to work with you! Good luck!

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S.C.

answers from San Francisco on

K.

Has your daughter been tested for allergies? I would take her to an allergist? My husband has been seeing the same allergist for nearly 25 years. Her name is Dr. Carpel and she one of her offices is in Walnut Creek.

Since my husband is allergic to so many things, we are having our son (10 months) tested for food allergies next month and perhaps for other allergies later.

Just a thought.

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B.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Is your daughter wheezing when she coughs? My daughter had chronic coughs and turned out she had pneumonia. We use a nebulizer now if cough persists for more that a few days (you can't always hear if they are wheezing). Have you ruled out food allergies? Also, if she has recently been exposed to a lot of other children, it may truly be viral. My 2 year old was sick for the first 6 months after we starting taking her to day care. Good luck!

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L.H.

answers from San Francisco on

My son has been coughing at every night and kept him awake when he was 10 yrs old. Got medicated for allergies and nothing works. I was afraid that he may have asthma, which no one in the family has this disease. I decided to take 2wks vacation and took out the carpet in the whole house and left it with wooden floor. This finally stopped the coughing for my son.

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T.F.

answers from Stockton on

Hi.

That sounds just awful. I've had horrendous allergies my whole life, but my parents never did anything for me when I was a kid. They're of the ilk who think you just need to grin and bear it. Anyway, since the meds aren't working for her, I think you need to talk to an allergist instead of a pediatrician. She might be too young for shots, but as awful as those sound, they were the only thing that helped me. It was absolutely amazing to be able to step outside in the spring. And, if that's not an option, then maybe acupuncture is? Ugh, more needles, I know. Then, this may have been mentioned, but if she can take honey, I've heard that local, truly local, honey can help, but I've never tried it. Best wishes!

- T.

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J.B.

answers from Sacramento on

If it is allergies to local pollens, I have heard and had confirmed by my sister-in-law who tried it that eating LOCAL honey will AFTER SEVERAL WEEKS eliminate the allergic reaction to those pollens. Another thing that might help right now for your daughter's coughing is to keep her room cool at night and humidify the air, either with a cold mist humidifier, or just by hanging a wet hand towel up in the room. Heating the house in the winter really dries out the air, and promotes breating problems.
I have a son who got croup every winter as a baby, until I learned to humidify the air. It would always get bad at night, and he would be making this terrible noise with every breath, so I would bundle him up to take him to the hospital emergency, and by the time he got there he would be breating fine, just from being out in the cool, moist night air! Also, my daughter told me just last week, that they didn't turn the heater on one night, and their three little girls slept so much better without coughing through the night.

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L.B.

answers from San Francisco on

try a cool mist humidifier and baby saline spray
it works so well, prop her pillows up at night so her nose doesnt drain down her throat. and make sure you dont have any mold issues in her bedroom. that could cause that problem. good luck

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S.B.

answers from Fresno on

Please ... I had this with my children, its milk! Put your toddler on soy or something else, and you will see an improvement!

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.:
Regarding your daughter with allergies. Have you tried a humidifier at night? I find that for my grand daughter; he mother uses vicks vapor rub under her feet and put socks on her, believe it or not she sleeps through the night. You may want to get her pedi to run allergy test to what she's allergic to. There could be something in your home that is causing this to happen.

I hope you soon find and answer and she will be relieved of this problem.

Best Regards,
A. C.

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T.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I would ask the doctor to do an allergy test. Also, some meds work for some kids and some don't. You may want to ask to try a different one. A lot of nighttime coughing can be a symptom of asthma too, so you may want to keep an eye on it. Also, could there be something in your house causing this? Do her symptoms appear to clear up a bit after leaving home? Sometimes mold or other allergens can be really difficult on a small child this time of year when your house is generally shut up pretty tight. I would check all areas of your house for a hidden spot, including under sinks etc. Pay careful attention to the bathroom areas and anywhere that may have moisture. Also replacing the filter in your furnance can sometimes help a bit too. If it is allergies, getting rid of stuffed animals that trap dust and dust mites, putting allergy covers on pillows and matresses and sometimes getting rid of carpeting can help. Are her symptoms worse inside or out? I would keep a diary of what she did/ate for the day and then how bad her symptoms were for that day to see if you can pinpoint it. It is a lot of work, but if you figure it out it can save you so much grief in the future. Have you tried Claritin? It is available over the counter now and I know a few people that have found it effective. Just a thought. Good luck, my son has allergies and asthma, and we have to keep a lot of things in check to prevent attacks. It can be a real pain, but a small price to pay for his well being:)

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

HI K.,
I have two thoughts:

We had a son with chronic upper respiratory infections for the first couple years of life (nasty coughs, high fevers). We had great success with acupuncture,evidenced by the fact that he almost never got sick again after the "constitutional shift" that can happen from that kind of treatment. We saw Carla Cassler in Kensington (near Solano Ave. in Berkeley) Her # is ###-###-####. She's great with kids. He was 3 (or younger) when he saw her.

The second thought is regarding the "fuel" your daughter's body is receiving. Food intolerances are way more common than most people know about. Young ones have much more sensitivity to common food allergens because their immune systems are not fully formed. Since your daughter is having lots of coughing and mucus, try taking her off dairy completely for a week or two and see if it improves. Dairy is well known to increase mucus production (ever heard of avoiding dairy when you have a cold?). I'm not suggesting she has a "food allergy", but you could try this simple experiment and see if it helps. In my mind, it's much more palatable than pumping pharmaceuticals into your 3 y.o., especially when they don't seem to be helping.

Good luck,
R.

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C.N.

answers from Fresno on

Hi K.,

I have not yet read the other responses, so this may have been mentioned, but with my daughter we tried a humidifier in her room during naps and at night. It seems to have helped quite a bit as she has been symptom free for about 1 month (the longest she has ever been well during the winter months). She will be 4 in June and we have not yet determined if her symptoms are from allergies, but nothing really seemed to make her better until now. We have her on daily vitamins and I also use Children's Airborne if I feel she is getting run down or if she sounds even the slightest bit stuffy.

The doctor also determined my daughter has enlarged tonsils and has recommended a tonsillectomy take place at some point in time. I don't know if this is the reason why she seems so stuffy, watery, congested, etc. so often, but it may be worth checking out for you as well. We have not had my daughter's removed yet, but we are hoping to have the procedure done this summer so we are certain she will be well before the surgery.

Good Luck! - C.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

We are hearing this story everywhere we go. And we too have experienced it with our children. Here's what I know, and don't dismiss it because it sounds a little crazy: someone (the government?) is spraying us with an unknown substance from unmarked planes on a regular basis. Look up into the sky on just about any given day. You will see big X marks or paralell lines. These are not regular contrails. They form some sort of clouds, and often it later gets overcast and sometimes rains. I have read theories about these so-called "chem-trails" and one is that they are seeding the clouds to make it rain, which seems to prove true. I don't know, but all i know is whatever it is seems to be making everyone, especially children, sick (runny nose, cough etc, but usually no fever). I wish I had more advice to help your daughter (guess we can't stop the spraying?), but at least you may know what may be causing it (altho allergies certainly can be a problem too, and the cold season). As for cures, we have tried mangosteen juice which has been quite helpful (a natural antihistamine/anti-inflamatory), as well as Hylands C-Plus Cold tablets which contains eyebright, another natural antihistamine. It works quite well w/ no side effects. We use Benadryl too when it gets so bad (usually on top of another illness) just to give them some extra relief at night, but most of the time we don't need it anymore (or their inhalers even since we've been using some of these remedies). Good luck to you and everyone else out there with children who are suffering from these same issues. I hope this helps some. take care.

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S.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K. - Have you tried taking milk products out of her diet? It could be a food allergy. Wheat is another idea. I would recommend trying one type of food at a time for a week and see if there is a reduction of symptoms. Good luck!

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P.T.

answers from San Francisco on

I have a 3 year old boy. He has a wheat allergy, asthma, and eczema. I also limit the amount of diary he gets. He gets just like your daughter if he starts eating wheat or has too much diary. I would try taking something out of her diet. For my son it is wheat and diary, but it could many other things, like cats, dust, or mold. When my son doesn't have wheat he is fine, no allergies, no asthma, and no eczema. It is hard but it easier to avoid wheat than to constantly medicate my son. Try one think at a time and stay completely off for 3 weeks. My doctor gave me a list of things that kids are commonly allergic to and I started with easiest. I actually figured at the wheat, when I gave him cream of wheat for breakfast and by that evening he had eczema on his eyes and was horribly wheezing. It took us 6 months (he was 18 months old)to figure out what was causing it. He is doing great now, but still has flareups if someone gives him something with wheat or if has too much diary. He still has diary but only in small doses, too much causes him to have lots of congestion. Good Luck.

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M.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi I have a 15yr old and a 9 year old. Both were pretty allergic back then. After age 2 I started to give them a spoon full of honey before bed. I also put a little Vicks on their tummy (not under the nose it will burn). Now because the honey helped their allergies they are less affected. Make sure it is local honey. I promis a big difference at night. It coats the throat and makes the tickle go away. Also put a bottle of water neer their bed incase they need a drink. It worked great for me!!!

M.

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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Have her tested for allergies - dust mite allergy is common, and is controlled by covering pillows/mattresses with mite proof coverings and creating a dust free bedroom. It helped our son (now 17) and he seems to have grown out of it.

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C.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi K.
I feel for you! My daughter is 6 1/2 and my son is 3 1/2. My D has battled croopy coughs sinse she was a baby, my S chronic sintus infections, my husband has extreme allergies & has tried shots to help them. They have been on singular sinse they were 2. My D seems to be out growning it & was off it for a while but on it now for spring, my son also uses nose spray when his syms are active. We went thru the the breathing machine with both kids, it was ok for my D for a while but my son it was not. The meds were going into his lungs when what he needed was the spray in the nasal area. They are both been allergy tested and it has shown nothing. So they are currently labeled with activity induced asma. My newphew is worst & hes 5 & it started when he was 2. Hes been on the breathing treatments and the whole 9 yards and sinse Jan. has had antibos 3 times and doing the treatments every 4 hrs and has moved up to a inhaler. Does anyone else have allergies that are a problem? My sister is ready to have him allergy tested and see if there is something they can change. He's up @ night and coughs so hard sometimes he throws up and had to leave daycare a few times. I was leary about medicating them so long too but my friend at the Preds office told me just think how much sicker they are with out it. Restly nights etc. I don't know if any of this helps. Please let me know.

A little about me. I'm a stay @ home of the 2 who use to do homedaycare and now is homeschooling my oldest & married to my hubby for 8 1/2 years.

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S.D.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter has similar symptoms to yours at age 6, though she did experience seasonal alleriges at age 3. At 3 we gave her 1/2-tablet Claritin Ready-Tab (or the Loratadine dissolve tablet, whichever you can find) + Flonase when she got symptoms and that worked for the season. This year, she's had a runny nose since Sept. and 1 bout of sinus infection in that time w/a continuous stuffy nose. What ultimately appears to be working for us is that I take a bottle of saline solution, have her tilt her head back and instead of spraying it I let the drops go back up her nose; that stays up there for 30-60 seconds then we blow her nose several times and it clears up. ON top of this she is taking 1 Claritin/day + Flonase 2x/day. The saline solution seems to have done the trick b/c it really helps clear up her nose. I do this before bed and now I no longer need to give her the orange Triamenic as well.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

In my experience, if I can't figure it out and her doctor can't figure it out, take her to Children's Hospital in Oakland. They are marvelous and if anyone can figure it out, they can!

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S.C.

answers from Stockton on

Hi K.

I know your daughter is only three year olds, if you are able to help her rinse,this will help enourmously. We walk around the city breathing allergic subatance daily. The object is to keep the nasal passage clear. Mix sea salt and water together 1 pint of water to every 1/2 tsp salt.
Use babies suctioner... fill with water solution.... spray into each nostril (one at a time) after each spray if you or child can hold other nostril while blowing. you want to relief her of as much mucus as possible. I would try doing this at least twice daily. Just like bathing we also need to clean out our nasal passage daily... Good luck and God Bless.

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D.B.

answers from Sacramento on

My daughter had similar problems when she was younger. She was mis-diagnosed with severe asthma. We were told by our crazy pediatrician that if we loved our child we would consider moving out of the Sacramento area where the air quality is not so great during the summer. On our vacation to Portland, Or, where we decided to move we noticed her symptoms were worse with added dairy products to her diet.Once we eliminated ALL dairy from her diet she was completely symptom free and required no more breathing treatments. I think a lot of times doctors really don't know what to do except prescribe medications to treat the symptoms. They never really try or have the time to figure out the root cause. Maybe a complete allergy work up would be helpful to determine if your child has any food allergies. I know it has only been 4 months of symptoms but I understand an allergy can build up in your system before presenting itself. Just an idea....Hope it helps.
D. B.
Rocklin, CA

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
I have not experienced this with my 3 1/2 yr. old, BUT do have a great physician. Have you gotten or would you consider a second opinion? My daughter goes to Thomas Long, MD in San Ramon at San Ramon Valley Primary Care. He can be a little grough, but is a great doctor! I completely trust him. He has been practicing medicine for over 30 years, is the Chief Medical Officer for Hill Physicians Medical Group and the Head of Pediatric for the East Bay for Hill Physicians. Howeverm you do not need to be a Hill member to see him. All the pediatricians in his office are great, but he is the best, so I would insist on seeing him, even if it is just once to get a better idea of what is going on. The office number is ###-###-####. Good luck!

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T.R.

answers from Fresno on

Hi K.,
My son (who is now 3.5 years old) had/has the same thing. We did everything to figure out what was going on. We went to an allergist here in town (Dr. DeMera) and had him allergy tested. We found that on top of seasonal allergies, he was allergic to dogs/cats/eggs/bananas/and dust. Between shipping the dogs off to the in-laws, getting rid of the fish tank in his room, and putting hard wood floors and new carpet in our house, and putting dust mite covers on all the bedding and pillows, he is 100% better. I don't think it ever goes away all the way, but I am like you...I don't want to medicate them. He would get so drosy and grumpy on zyrtec. We only give it to him if he has a really bad breakout of some kind. I hope that this helps. Narrowing down what may be causing the allergic reaction is my best advice (and yes...it takes a long time and is very frustrating...)
T.

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B.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I have not had a personal experience with a child, however, one thing that has helped to keep me less afflicted by allergies since childhood is to try to use a local (anything that comes within a 60 - 100 mile radius of where you live, bees do get around) honey (if you use honey) it is made up of all those pollens and stuff that is bugging you on the outside, this way your body becomes in tune with them instead of fighting them. I recommend starting with a teaspoon in some warm water with lemon if your child would like that taste or just play with it to see how she likes it best. Try to flush out her sinuses with either a flushing system (saline flush you can get at any drug store, may be difficult with someone so young but worth the try) or one of those tea pot things that everyone has been raging about. I started doing this three years ago and even seem to sleep better at night without all that dust and whatnot bothering my sinus. I work in a dusty environment and started having really bad allergies four years ago, I also went through all the "it is the flu" or "you just have a cold" until I took initiative to try something else. And, as always, make sure she is drinking plenty of water, this will help her body to naturally flush out irritants.

I don't blame you for consulting a homeopathic solution, as pumping our kids full of all these drugs is not helping anything other than the pharmaceutical companies and keeping "real" doctors pockets fat. That, to me, seems really ridiculous that you took your daughter to a Physician four times and they could not THINK to test her for allergies any of the times. Homeopathic remedies offer safe and natural aids for all sorts of things. Another item, there is a tea bought over the counter that is totally organic and made by Traditional Medicines (you can find it at any health food store or Safeway), they have a tea for everything from constipation to PMS, I would also recommend trying these, they do make an allergy tea.

Good Luck!!!

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Y.V.

answers from San Francisco on

I experienced this myself for so much of my life...years and years I was on medication after medication, trying to cover up my symptoms...the medications don't work and sometimes they even make things worse. Here's what I have done to get myself off of the drugs that are supposed to "help"...medications that I had been on for over 25 years...

First and foremost get her off of dairy immediately...no milk! no cheese! no yogurt! nothing that has milk fat in it. Keep her off if for at least 2 weeks and see if there is a dramatic change, then go from there. I personally would recommend removing milk from everyone's diet completely. The milk products cause a large production of mucous in the body that medication will not help. In fact some of the meds cause more mucous, so that is why there is no change in symptoms. I would use rice milk for cereal and such, it can be found at Trader Joes. Rice milk isn't as thick and coating as soy milk. Cow's milk actually coats the lining of your small intestines making it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients in your food. And studies have shown that our bodies do not absorb the calcium from milk, like they would like us to believe. Cow's milk is designed for one thing...to make baby cow's grow very big, very fast. This is one of the reasons why our nation is struggling with obesity. Research it online...cow's milk:health risks

Bread products (including pasta) and sugary foods/drinks also produce an abundance of mucous, so if I were you I would limit her intake of those also while she is suffering.

I hope this information helps. Good luck and I hope she is feeling better soon

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello K.,

I had a similar problem with my now 11 year old son. I had him tested for specific allergies because I thought maybe he was allergic to certain foods or items in our home. I found out he was allergic to dust mites and pollen, etc. So I bought the special pillows and bed covers that helped with the dust mites and I had our carpets removed. He's much better now and I give him benadryl as needed which is not very often. He still breathes through his mouth sometimes but the runny/stuffy nose is under control.

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hi K.!

I'm so sorry your daughter has allergies. They are awful!

Both of my boys had allergies at this age. They almost seemed the worst from 3-4 years old. They started with Zyrtec, then swtiched to Claritin. I'm sure the medds helped, but I never could tell.

I used TONS of washcloths! I would wet a washcloth and wipe their faces and hands about 7 times a day routinely. I think this really helped. Then I became more aware of when their allergies would get worse. On windy days they seemed ok, but it was actually the NEXT day they would suffer. So, I tried to keep them inside, and use my washcloths more.

I also went through a phase where I changed the pillowcases everyday, that helped, too.

For really bad mornings, I always had a washcloth in the fridge. I would lay it on one eye at a time and count to 10. Then repeat on the other eye. I did this whenever I used ice for boo-boo's, too. They can take the cold in small amounts, so counting to 10 is something they know will be over fast.

I also used vaporizers, vicks, etc...I just treated their allergies like a never ending cold! It can be very consuming, but I couldn't stand my babies suffering.

Also, she is at an age where she probably doesn't want naps all the time. But, sleeping DOES help. Keep trying to get her down, even if it's for 30 minutes.

K., I am happy to tell you that my boys "outgrew" the allergies, even though they were so severe I thought they would last forever! Only every now and then does my 11 year old have some trouble. And believe it or not, a washcloth does the "trick" to this day!

Hang in there!

:o) N.

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Y.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I wonder if your daughter might have food allergies? You might try keeping a food diary and maybe eliminating certain fooods for a week at a time to see if you notice a change in symptoms. The allergy to cows milk is pretty common, and can cause the symptons you discribe.

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C.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K. -

My older son suffered from this for the first three years of his life. We finally went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT) and he immediately diagnosed enlarged adnoids. He recommended removing them and the difference has been WONDERFUL! My son has literally not had one runny nose episode or anything like it since then. The surgery was fast and he was up and about four days later and back to his normal, healthier self. It is an outpatient and he was home in three hours. I also have a two year old and by 1 he was experiencing the same thing Took him to the ENT and he diagnosed the same thing. Needless to say, we had the surgery done and zero runny noses or coughs since. They also put tubes in both kids' ears at the same time of the surgery and the combination of the tubes and lack of adnoids has been fantastic!

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E.S.

answers from San Francisco on

a remedy that has worked with us for seasonal allergies is taking a tablespoon of local organic honey (for kids over the age of one only). the theory is that you build up immunities to the allergens as you take the honey that is made with the pollen that you are allergic to. local honey can be found at your farmer's market and they should have many options. we tried that before going the pharmaceutical route and were pleased with the results.

alternatively you may want to rule out any food sensitivities that could be causing the excess congestion. wheat eggs and dairy are the most common. you could remove those from her diet one at a time(with appropriate nutritional substitutions - talk to your ped.) and see if there is any improvement.

hope those suggestions help. good luck!

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A.F.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter had that same sypmtoms last year. We finally took her to and allergist/asthma doc and he diagnosed her with asthma. He put her on a three week course of anitbiotics to get rid of a sinus infection she had most likely had for 6 months or so. He also put her on a daily asthma medication as well as albuterol as needed when she has coughing attacks (which is how her asthma presents itself). I can't tell you what a difference this has made. Before it seemed like she was always sick and he colds lasted forever. Now she gets over colds in a few days and the coughing is kept in check. Hope this helps.

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T.D.

answers from San Francisco on

We went round & round with doctors too. With the same symptoms. We were told that my son has asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia & finally allergies. He was prescribed a flovent inhaler twice a day & he takes zyrtec at night. This went on for about a year. Then we moved from Walnut Creek to Martinez, with less trees and my son is now off of his inhaler. We later found out that the townhouse we lived in Walnut Creek had a mold problem. We still give my son the zyrtec but he now longer uses the inhaler and we are extremely happy about that. NO runny nose or cough. The place we live in now is remodeled and just feels healthy. How long have you lived in your house? Could it be the house that is a problem? It is hard because as a parent you have to be a doctor, scientist and parent all in one. Try a cool mist humidifier at night. That helped too! Good Luck.

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O.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, Having a child with allergies or asthma can be a trying ordeal. I grew up with allergies and both of my girls have allergies and asthma. The first thing I would say is to find out if it really is allergies and if so what she is allergic to. This used to mean a painful test with many needles but now they can do a lot of the testing with just a simple blood draw. Even if you don't want to go that route there are many things you can do to "allergy proof" your home. Her room and bed are the most important because she spends the most time there. You should wash her bedding once a week in HOT water. Get dust mite covers for the mattress, box spring and pillows. Don't let her sleep with a stuffed animal, or if she has to, make sure you vacuum it or wash it regularly.

There are many more things you can do to make your daughter's room a more comfortable place for her to breathe that don't involve drugs. You can have the air vents in your home cleaned. Change from fabric window coverings to blinds or shades. Switch from carpet to hardwood flooring. I know some of these are expensive and extreme but I'm just throwing the ideas out there to let you know it doesn't have to be medicine. You can also invest in a air filter for the house or just the room she's in. Get a vacuum with a HEPA filter and don't use it with her in the room.

I'm sure if you talk to your doctor or see an allergist they would have even more suggestions for you. I just gave you some of what I have tried and what has worked for our family. Nothing is worse than seeing your child struggling to breathe and not knowing what to do to help.

Good luck and God Bless

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C.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Wheat is a common cause of those symptoms and hard to figure out. I had asthma, chronic sinus problems until I stopped eating wheat. Then it all went away. With my daughter (1 yr), I am very carefully monitoring how she reacts to wheat and primarily have her on a wheat free diet.

It is much easier than you think now that there are places like Whole Foods that carries a lot of wheat free breads, cereals, etc.

You will know if it is a wheat reaction if you take her off of wheat completely for 3 weeks. That will give the body enough time to get rid of it in her digestive system too. I recommend trying it.

Hope it helps

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J.H.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter was the same way at that age. She had a constant runny nose and one ear infection after the other. The dr said she had seasonal allergies and possibly a "pre-asthma" condition. He put her on Claritin in the morning and children's Sudafed at night. This seemed to help. When she was doing okay we stopped the meds. She was on a low dose of antibiotics for a month or 2 because of the ear infections. I found that putting a mattress cover that kept out dust mites on her mattess and a special pillow cover helped a lot too. She is now 13 and does not seem to need the meds nearly as much and she was never diagnosed with asthma. Hang in there. You may need to try several things before you find one that works for your daughter.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My son had the same symptoms when he was four (now six). We took hime to the doctor and got the same run around. After demading that more be done our doctor put him on an allergy inhaler. He has to take one puff in the morning and one at night. We were concerned about this, but it has worked wonderfully. Every once in awhile we try to ween him off and the symptoms come back. It is called Qvar. Out doctor said allergies and asthma at this age are very hard to separate. This medicine apparently works on both. Hope this helps.

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you ever just tried eliminating dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) for a month? Since that's such a common food allergy that's what I would try.

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C.J.

answers from Fresno on

Look for a NAET practitioner in your area-it works!!! Pain free Holistic treatments for any and every allergy possible. Read about it at NAET.com I was severely allergic to wheat, chicken ,eggs and citrus for 30 years and got rid of each allergy with just a few treatments. It truly is amazing. My nephew has ADHD and has calmed down trememdously as he is getting treatments. Another lady friend had MS and is sympyom free after treatments with NAET. My husband is now going for treatments when he can work them into his schedule, For his entire life he has had a stuffy nose and problems with his ears. He's only had four treatments and already has cut all of his daily meds and nose spray by half. It really does work! Dr. Devi's book is available through Amazon and Borders or directly from NAET.com. NAET stands for Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique. When you have a treatment, you avoid the allergen for 25 hours and normally are cleared of the allergy with one treatment. There's no pain involved, no scratch test and you will be amazed at how easy it is to figure out what the allergy is. Your child will thank you. Good luck and let us all know how she is, poor baby. C. Johnson Fresno, Ca

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M.Z.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi K. S~

Does she have a fever every no and again? In Oct of last year to February of this year our daughter had a nasty cough, runny nose, and a fever every now and again. After 4 trips to the doctor, I got mad with them and started pushing for tests and chest xrays; well FINALLY, her doctor did a nose swab and she tested positive for RSV. RSV is a respitory virus the causes the cough and runny nose and I was told that every child reacts differently to it......maybe get her tested but first look up on the net about RSV and see if it sounds like what your daughter is experiencing. It isn't harmful to children over 1 years young however, just annoying as heck. I hope you find out what it is.

I sympathize with you, we just got better after keeping her from daycare for a few months!

M.

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M.R.

answers from Sacramento on

K.,

We went through the same thing with our son. We also tried different types of allergy meds all to no avail. We battled this for 4 years. He would run low grade fevers, seemed like he had a constant cold, we ended up having to do a 21 day cycle of antibiotics, because he had an acute infection, he ended up getting a ton of ear infections and his symptoms seemed to be worse at night. WE finally had an allergy test done and x-rays of his sinuses and he had no allergies. Come to find out he has asthma. Ever since we have started the asthma medicine he is much much better. I truly hope this is not the situation with you, but I wanted to share our experience in case you are in the same boat and maybe save you some headaches and frustration. Good luck

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T.T.

answers from Yuba City on

Allergist...that is where your daughter needs to be as soon as you can get her in. A general practioner is great for all areas, but allergies is a specialty. Also, minimize dust mits, animal dander - vaccum/mop is essential daily, dusting w/a wet cloth every other day or every 2 days, air purifier in her room 24/7. I've had allergies all my life, they went away for about 15 years and then resurfed about 4 years ago. And from my experience everything I've listed helps 100%. If you have animals indoors - out they go. I know it is difficult, but it is for her best well being. Also see an ENT doctor. They'll be of great information and help.

T.

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

You are your daughters biggest advocate so be demanding with the doctor that you want her tested for allergies and asthma. Keep all medical records as well. If they start sending you to different doctors, the new doctors won't know what has already been tried. So keep everything together and pull it all out as needed. You have to PUSH HARD to get doctors to listen to you and do something.

This is NOT to scare you but to give you my families ordeal.

My nephew was 15 months when they said that he had asthma. He did, but by the time that they got around to do something about it, he had been on so many medicines it was ridiculous. Plus we went to one doctor after the next but to no avail. Also they put him on prednisone, a steriod, for 3 years which changed his body forever. He is very overweight and fights with it daily all because they didn't listen. By the time they found out what was really wrong, the acid reflux was so bad that when they put the scope in his mouth to see the damage it was really bad. The acid had eaten away the flap that stops the stomach contents from coming back up. He had to have surgery to create a new flap. We had to demand to go to UCSF in San Francisco to have him diagnosed.

He is 12 now and he still has flare ups with the asthma. He takes medicine daily for the reflux but he lives a very full, busy 12 year old life.

Be demanding and push to make them find out what is wrong with your daughter. Doctors don't know everything so be persistent until your daughter gets diagnosed and gets better! Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter has allergies and was tested by Dr. Cook in San Ramon. She was allergic to dust mites and pollen. If she was tested this would help you to eliminate some of her problems. We purchased a special casing for her mattress and pillow case, also an allergenic blanket. Got rid of most stuff animals and wash her bedding in Hot water once a week and her stuff animals go in the dryer weekly. This has helped tremendously.

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T.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Just a suggestion...my son was having similar symptoms and "traditional" meds just were not working. I took him to a dr. specializing in homapatheic medicine. He prescribed him something and within a week (maybe even less) he was better!
My mom is a doctor but has always been more into "eastern" medicine then "western" and always gave us homapatheic meds while I grew up. They work!

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S.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Try a different medication (Zyrtec did nothing for her, so she was switched to Clartin, which worked well for seasonal allergies) and find out what she allergic to.

My daughter sneezed on EVERY trip into the car and then for hours afterwards. A friend got a cat and sat in her carseat. Every time my daughter was in the car after that she was sneezy, stuffy, and drippy for hours on end. Once we cleaned the car seat and knew it was cats, it got better.

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H.B.

answers from Bakersfield on

YES! I have allergies, so do my kids. A few simple things can help!
ALFALFA tablets/capsules- I take this all the time for allergies, never ever leave home without it. Everyone I know who has tried this has said they were surprised it WORKED. My DD even asked for it when she was 3 and suffering from allergies because she knew it worked for her. For the little ones just crush it up in some yogurt or applesauce. It's cheap (but get the best stuff you can), natural and good for a TON of things, not like drugs. Only occasionally will I have to take anything perscribed if I am taking the Alfalfa.

Cut down on the milk products, some kids have allergy symptoms due to milk. Get soy or rice milk instead. Trader Joe's is wonderful for alternatives.

Try these before you do the drug therapy route. Drugs have so many side effects I hate to pump my kids with them i we can avoid it with a simple, effective and CHEAP alternative.

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P.M.

answers from San Francisco on

My son had the same thing for the first 5 years of his life! I didn't want to continue with allergies meds forever and I really felt like they weren't doing anything. My allergist took Xrays and determined that his adenoids were huge and referred me to an ENT (at Stanford). The ENT took one look at the adenoids and said that is the problem and planned to have them removed. To determine whether to take the tonsils at the same time, my son did an overnight sleep study test (at home). It was tough but very revealing. It turns out he had child sleep apnea caused by some airway blockage of the tonsils and the adenoids while sleeping. I couldn't believe it because he was the best sleeper in our house and had a great disposition (for the most part). I had attibuted some of his not so great behavior as regular development stuff at 3-4 yrs old. I am told that this would have gotten much worse over time with cumulative sleep deprivation. Long story short we had the tonils and adenoids removed at Stanford last Fall when he was five. HUGE DIFFERENCE. I can count since last October that he has had only 3-4 DAYS TOTAL of runny nose which were just simple colds that he picked up in Kindergarten. Our experience at Stanford was fabulous. they really prepared him well for surgery and the staff was wonderful that day. The ENT who I would highly recommend was Dr Messner.
Good Luck
P.

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P.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, K.,

Sorry to hear about your daughter. Have you checked her for wheat/milk and other common food allergies? Sometimes a constant runny/stuffed nose is a symptom of this...it was for a friend of mine and her daughter, who both have wheat and milk allergies.

Good luck.

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R.C.

answers from Modesto on

My middle boy had constant running noses for 14 months - I took him to the allergist and they did the allergy test. found out he was allergic to peanuts. He no longer is, thank goodness. You might want to check into going to an allergist. I just hated putting him on meds, the not knowing why your child is coughing and stuffy nose is just awful. He also had to have is adnoids out - the were enlarged. the combo was the problems.

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E.B.

answers from San Francisco on

You've received a lot of advice here! :)
Definitely go see an allergist.
And before taking any other drastic measures, you really need to find out what she is allergic to. It sounds like it might be seasonal allergies, in which case getting special pillowcases and mattress covers for dust mites won't do any good. An allergist can help you pinpoint what she is allergic to, and then you can formulate a plan with the doctor.
My son has severe seasonal allergies, and last year he was on Zyrtec, cough syrup and sudafed during the day, and cough syrup and benedryl at night, with no effect. He couldn't use any of the nasal allergy sprays, since he gets nose bleeds, so we had basically used up all our options with regards to conventional medications. I also didn't like the idea of stuffing him full of medicines that weren't really doing any good.
So, we went to see an allergist, and decided to do allergy shots. He started in August, and I can say that this allergy season he has needed benadryl once, and has basically no symptoms at all. It is wonderful.
I don't know if they do allergy shots with children your daughter's age, but do ask. The hesitation is due to the number of shots a child needs to have. My son did the back scratch test to determine exactly what he was allergic to, and it came back highly allergic to basically anything that grows and blooms. So he gets 2 shots every week. In a month or two it will be every other week, and will go down from there.
Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

I just wanted to say that the allergy medicines the doctor gave you may be your best bet for now. The reason is, if you don't treat the symptoms they will only get worse (my son actually has to be taken to the ER and we carry an Epi pen because his reactions are so bad. The medicine will keep the reactions from getting worse AND the good news is she will most likely grow out of them because she is so young. If the Zyrtec is not relieving the symptons then keep trying until you find the right pill for her.

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J.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Check out food allergies! Request that your daughter have the allergy blood test. My niece has a severe allergy to cow milk that induced asthma symptoms (runny nose, wheezing, chronic cough) until the allergy was caught. Now she doesn't need medication.

Good luck!

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A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,

For coughing, you can try putting Vic's vapor rub on the soles of her feet. before she sleeps. Put socks on after. Hopefully after about 20 minutes she will stop coughing. It worked for my grandson.

A.

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I.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
I had cough and runny nose for 4 months. My doctor prescribed Acifex for GERD (Reflux) and my cough and runny nose disappeard.
When gastric acid runs back up into the esophagus it causes persistent cough and sometimes runny nose.

Don't feed her too much or too close to bedtime. If she suffers from reflux, a full stomach would push the acid back into the esophagus.

Zyrtec has a lot of side effects. It definitely has a drying effect. That will irritate the throat and lead to cough, too. Try giving her half a dose,- it might be enough - or give half twice a day to reduce the drying effect. Benadryl on top of Zyrtec seems like way too much medication. Please read about the side effects for both meds.

For my grandson's persistent cough and runny nose we removed the old carpet from all the rooms. The wood does not look grate but he is fine now. We also painted the walls to encase any mold and ran an air filter.

Good luck. Best wishes.

I. Nelson, retired nurse, grandmother of a 3 year old. (actively taking care of him part time)

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M.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Perhaps a referral to an allergist may help. They do screening for allergans. They may be able to identify the triggers which may be environmental (mold, pollens) or food. By removing the triggers, which may not always be possible, her symptoms may improve.

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N.S.

answers from San Francisco on

You may want to find a new homeopath who would prescribe an appropriate remedy that would solve her allergy problems, without the need for repeated acupressure/kinesiology treatments. Check out http://www.williamgmann.com

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R.W.

answers from Stockton on

Have you tried taking her completely off milk? Dairy is one of the biggest culprets for sinus allergies. I was able to breastfeed my kids with milk allergies, but I had to go completely off dairy. Even cheese on pizza for me and they would react to it. My daughter has grown out of it, but my son still has a runny nose a lot when he has milk. As teenagers, it is pretty much up to them if they want milk products, they have to deal with it. There are alternatives to regualar cows milk that she might be able to have...soy milk, even goats milk will not affect her the same. Lactaid is WONDERFUL. It is a non harmful supplement she can take that helps her breakdown the lactose so her body can deal with it. This is just a thought and may not be what her problem is at all...

Do you have pets? Dog and cat allergies are another common culpret for sinus allergies. They can also lead to skin reactions.

Keeping her medicated is bad. It will be hard to get her off the meds. They tend to cover the symptoms, not fix the problem. Meds will make her sensitive to other things. The meds he has her on are pretty heavy. Taking Benedryl at night keeps me drowsey the next day. You don't want her struggling to cope because she is feeling like that.

I am not saying NOT to medicate her if they find something that helps, but I would most definitely get another opinion and be looking for the cause of the problem rather than just stopping and covering the symptoms.

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H.S.

answers from Salinas on

Take her to a pediatric allergist, and have her tested. It's not fun; they do a scratch test on her back to test for several different common allergies. If she's allergic to something you can avoid, she won't have to be drugged up all the time, just stay away from whatever is toxic to her. If it's pollen or something difficult to avoid, the allergist can work with you on the medications. There are so many drugs out there without all the side effects. My 9 year old daughter went through this when she was 5. She ended up having to take allergy shots which have helped so much.

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M.M.

answers from Fresno on

Hi, I do home day care and all of my kids (6) day care children have had the same issue for years. 2 of them were finally diagnosed with asthma and the other 3 had what's called accut bronchitus. It sounds to me as if your daughter does in fact have allergies. You may not have to medicate her for the rest of her life hopefully she willl grow out of it. I suggest you revisit your pediatrician and ask for something stronger than zyrtec or for a referral to a ENT that's a Ears Nose and Throat specialist. My own children have asthma and as long as we keep their allergies under control then they dont have an issue, but if for some reason it gets away from us then we have big ones. However if you get to see an allergiest they can let you know (after some tests) what your child's specific allergies are and then you can go from there. We go to Baaz allergy...I hope this helps you. Remember you are your child's voice, your are her advocate. Dont be intimidated by your lack of medical knowledge, don't let her suffer because someone thinks that you may be over reacting and its okay to be a little aggressive about how you want her to be treated so that she can enjoy life to the fullest extent of her capabilities. I am not saying to be rude just be forthright and upfront about what you expect, and you expect the best from them because you are paying them and even if you are not your insurance is and its all about your daughter (you are the customer, and you want specific results).

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J.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I have been taking my kids to a homeopathic doctor and acupuncture (done without needles via light beams) for a while now. My son has completely eliminated his need for allergy medicines. It definitely takes a while and is indeed expensive but worth it if you can afford it. I don't think all acupuncturists eliminate allergies (called NAET) so you may need to look for one that does. We go to Cypress Natural Medicine in Palo Alto.

Otherwise, the medicines you describe help treat the symptoms, and you can try to eliminate the allergens but most kids who have allergies are allergic to many things and will always need to be on medications.

Let me know if you need more information and good luck!

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R.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I have been a life-long allergy sufferer. Here is my first bit of advice. Zyrtec can make you sleepy and then Benadryl on top of that is really crazy. Allergies are worse at night. Switch to Zyrtec at night and ask your allergist for maybe a nasal spray for day time. The one I use is a non-steroid used to be used for asthma patients. Cannot remember real name . . . . Atrovent. Has a generic. My entire family is one it and my extended family. My regimine during allergy season is Zyrtec-D which has the decongestant in it. Not sure of kids can have it, then nasal spray morning and evening and Zyrtec regular at night. It is a lot but I suffer year-round and it is the only way. Obviously you might need something stronger. But the combination of the spray and the allergy med is the key. The other one we have used is Nasonex. Claritan was like water for us. No use. Hope you can find relief. Be sure there aren't any pets around or wool carpets to contribute to the problem. Have you had the full allergy testing done? Could be foods like wheat or even gluten. Good luck.

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P.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Do you have any animals? Is so try to remove them for a week or two just to see if that is the casue? My husband was severley allergic to animals as a child.

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A.Z.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I had a similar situation with my son and his runny nose kept turning into ear infections so he was continuously on antibiotics (and I hate that). My chiropractor suggested that he may be lactose intolerant, so I took him off of dairy and his runny nose stopped and he wasn't getting ear infections anymore. I thought it was coincidence so I gave him cheese and a week later he had an ear infection again. I haven't done the blood test yet to confirm, but it does seem that he might be intolerant to dairy. I had the same issue with him when I was nursing. He had a runny nose a lot and when I stopped eating dairy,, he seemed better. It isn't easy taking dairy out of a kid's diet, especially when it is a staple for a picky eater, but there are options (some not so tasty). Good luck and I hope this helps.

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D.W.

answers from San Francisco on

My son had similar symptons but also eczema on the back of his knees. It turned out he was allergic to wheat and milk. The good news: to find out if your child is allergic to a food, you do not need to pay for allergy tests. The best way to test is to simply stop giving your child a certain food -- such as milk for two weeks. With all the milk substitutes, it's not as hard as it sounds. Then reintroduce milk and observe what happens. If there's no change. That was not the problem. My son got better within 48 hours of eliminating wheat. His normal stuffy nose suddenly cleared and his eczema dissappeared.

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J.L.

answers from San Francisco on

My 2 and a half year old daughter developed asthma about a year ago, and we removed wheat, soy and dairy from her diet. It definitely makes a difference...she gets a runny nose after eating any wheat or dairy still. You might consider removing one of those things from her diet...it takes a while for wheat and diary to clear the system, I hear. I am sure the homeopath has mentioned that? Whole Foods or a local health food store can help you with the non-dairy, gluten-free options. Pamela's makes an AWESOME pancake mix! And Gracie loves rice milk.

Good Luck!

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H.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I would definitely try the local honey - specifically Buckwheat honey. It has shown to be more effective than cough syrup in clinical trials. My friend has twins who were recently sick with a nasty cough and he swears by it. Plus, it's cheap and readily available.

Also, an in home air filter with hepa filter would probably help. The air in our home can be more polluted than even the most polluted city so it's important that we air our house out by opening the windows and filtering the air everyday - even if it's only for 5 minutes.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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S.H.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is 9 and also has arrergies. We use Zyrtec and when she is really bad we switch to Allegra. It works better. You should also try Saline nasal spray, there is one that really shoots that sray way up into the sinus cavites. You also want to press it a little into the tissue of the outer wall of her nose. It will help stop it going right down her throat. It really helps me. My daughter will not use it however. Doctors also have nasal spray for kids. If your daughter will do it, you may see a large improvment. We have discovered that my daughters allergies are seasonal, so we just give her meds when it gets bad. Usually 4-6 months a year. My daughter also likes the Vicks menthol rub on her chest. She says it helps her breath. You may want to try that also. It's topical and does not cause any harm.

Anyway hope this info helps. The homeopath stuff sounds good also.

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T.S.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

I have heard great things about accupressure. There was even a chiropractor who offered it. I found out my insurance would cover it as is was to be billed as a chiropractic visit. Might want to look into that.

Definitely have her tested for allergies and narrow it down so you know how to treat it. My kids have both seasonal allergies and food allergies. You have some great advice here already. I just want to add that it helps a bit to buy local made honey, and have her eat it every day. Local honey will be made from the pollination of local plants! Honey is good for you anyway, but when it is not processed is when it helps!

Food allergies can cause chronic runny nose and stuffiness as well as ear infections, sinus infections & pink eye. We found that out when my kids were young. They were allergic to dairy. Their symptoms stopped once we figured it out.

Good luck!

T. Solar
Founder
www.theparentpack.org

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
How frustrating! Has she been to a pediatric allergist and ENT yet? If not, I would suggest getting a referral to both of these docs. Also, I would consider another pediatrician because it sounds like you have one who cannot admit when he/she is unable to figure something out. I have health issues myself and have learned over the years to run from doctors with this particular trait. Of course a doc will try to treat something before sending a patient off to a specialist, but to put your child on narcotics and not send her to a specialist? That doesn't sound right. If you want to try one more approach that does not include meds, an osteopath who specializes in cranial work might be a good idea. I know one in San Jose but I'm not sure if that's too far away for you. An osteopath (they go to many years of osteopathic med school, just so you know, and receive a D.O.) could work on making sure your baby's bones in her face are aligned properly and not preventing proper drainage, etc. Also, he/she coud make sure that there aren't sny constricted nerves leadning to these symptoms. I do think that having an ENT evaluate her would be a good idea, too. I wouldn't give up on more mainstream medicine yet -- maybe just parallel path both approaches. An ENT can evaluate whether there is a structural issue with her sinuses or if her turbinates (not sure I'm spelling right, but those are the membranes in the nose that swell and cause stuffiness) are overreacting, which could be because of allergies or something called non-allergic rhinitus -- basically, an irritant, not an allergy causing her nose to react. In adults docs often use corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Flonase to treat this. Not sure how they would treat a young child. Also, sinus infections are pretty unusual in young kids. However, if your daughter does have one, which she might after this many months of having a great breeding ground for bacteria, you should know that only certain types of antibiotics are useful and that it's tough to get enough antibiotic to actually reach that area (something about blood flow to the area). A good ped ENT can evaluate if your daughter really has a bacterial infection and if, therefore, antibiotics would be appropriate. My guess is that the doc put your daughter on Amoxicillin, which is perfectly appropriate. However, in my personal (and compeletely not statistically significant or professional) experience, I have yet to see Amoxicillin actually fix something. I have taken it for sinus infections in the past as have friends of mine to no avail. My son took it for an ear infection. While he was on it, the infection worsened and he developed one in his other ear. Augmentin is Amoxicillin with something else in it that makes it stronger. Amoxicillin and Augmentin are wide-spectrum and appropriate for these types of infections, but in my limited (veeeery limited compared to a doc!) experience, I have yet to see it be strong enough to work. Augmentin appears to be much more successful. However, if your child does not have a bacterial infection, an antibiotic will not help at all. I'm just saying that one course of antibiotics, especially Amoxicillin, often will not cure a sinus or ear infection. I got so many sinus infections as a teenager that I had to get my turbinates trimmed (by laser) 17 years ago. The coughing sounds like it's from post-nasal drip, so attacking the cause of the nasal/potential sinus issues should take care of both. Also, ear infections can cause a cough -- some nerve link according to our ped -- in addition to any drip. Ok. I'm babbling. I hope you are able to find something to help your daughter soon, poor thing!
K.

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E.J.

answers from Fresno on

My daughter had a similar situation along with asthma, we took her to an allergy specialist and after some blood tests and a string of medicines she is much better. She takes Loratadine, the generic form or Claritin, and it has worked very well for her. It generally takes 2-3 days for the medicine to kick in when she is having symptoms but it has worked well for her. She also uses nasonex nasal spray which helps break up the congestion quite well. She took Zyrtec originally but it wasn't very effective for her.

Good luck!

E. J

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R.P.

answers from Sacramento on

My son had this chronic problem since he was 1yrs old. He was also getting continuous ear infections. Finally I persuaded the pediatrician to let us try allergy meds. We started with Zyrtec before it was over the counter medication. We also got a perscriptive nose spray. It did make a difference but did not completely take the symptoms away. It did however stop the ear infections. He is now 7yr. and the zyrtec no longer is working. Allergies seem to be extreme for most people and kids this year. The Doctor gave us a different allergy med that you need a perscription for and a nose spray and it has helped. He usually takes the meds seasonally.
warm chicken broth also seems to help with the cough as well as a cool mist vaporizor that runs every night in his room. Allergy testing seems a little extreme to me especially since we have a family history of allergies but you might consider it. I would talk to the pediatrician again about trying a different allergy med. Its worth a try. Kids don't get a good restful sleep coughing all night and neither do you. As they get older it can affect their school by being exhausted.

Good luck.
R.

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K....

I'm new to this site and I realize you asked this question a few months back, but my daughter is 3 and suffers from the same symptoms. I know you took her to the doctor, but has she seen a specialist (allergist)? I see one in castro valley and they have my daughter on allegra in the day, extendryl in the evening and a nasal concoction that they formulated for the stuffy nose. My daughter also has asthma and so she is also on inhalers all the time which has helped her with the coughing at night. Has your daughter been tested for asthma?

Anyway hope this helps.

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N.F.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter had chronic sinus infections from 3 weeks to 2 years: runny nose, itchy eyes etc. She was put on antibiotics repeatedly for 2 years. After 2 years, I took her to an allergist for testing. The pediatrician never suggested this. We walked out of that office with a long list of food allergies and a few environmental allergies. Once I removed the allergic foods from her diet, she didn't need antibiotics for one full year. It was amazing. My daughter is 13 now and has outgrown some food allergies, but still has 2 foods left (milk and beef) and these have become life-threatening for her. I wonder if she would have outgrown these if I had known sooner and taken them out of her diet sooner. When she was young, she was normal in every way, she just had these chronic "colds" which is what the doctor treated with antibiotics. I have a name of a great allergist if you are interested.

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T.S.

answers from Salinas on

You need to see an allergist or have your dr. give you a nasal spray. Antihistamines (zyrtec)are pretty weak and 1st line treatment for allergic rhinitis is a nasal spray. Both Veramyst and Nasonex are indicated for children down to age 2. Both are very safe for children. Hopefully it is just seasonal but it sounds like it is not in that case you want to know what is her trigger(s). Dust mites and pets are common. There have been studies showing that children who are suffering from allergies have lower tests scores then when they are normal. It is extremely bothersome. She does not have to have symptoms when there are so many effective medicines out there. I don't think an allergist is going to recommend accupressure. Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

K. -

I am not a doctor, but my kids have been suffering from allergies for a few years now and my son, who is 9, started when he was very young. I, too, did not know they were allergies right away. I now give my kids Claritan (or the the generic Loratadine) FAITHFULLY every morning, whether they are having symptoms or not. When the dry cough and chronic runny nose starts, I give them a decongestant to dry it up, usually Dimetapp and only at night and only when needed. The key is preventative with the Claritan.

The last 2 seasons have been tolerable since I found what works for us. I have a 6 year old and started her on the Claritan as well when she was 4 and things have improved a great deal.

I also use a humidifier at night when the dry cough was continuous for more than 2 nights in a row.

Hopes this helps for your family. Sounds like all of you need a good night's sleep....

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T.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
The symptoms you describe do sound like allergies so you may want to try additional allergy medicine before ruling it out. Both of my kids have allergies and my son's worst time starts in November and goes through spring. He is 8 now and he takes Singulair, Zyrtec (only during bad times), and a prescription nose spray. The nose spray and Singulair he takes regularly and he has no congestion. The coughing probably comes from the post nasal drip and my son's cough would get so bad he would throw up sometimes. I hope you figure it out. T.

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B.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
My son is allergic to dust mites, and it was always worst in the winter when the air is damp. If dust mites are the problem, and a doctor can determine that with tests, there are a lot of environmental things you can do to help. Replace carpet with wood floors, and curtains with blinds. Buy hypo-allergenic bedding and make sure all bedding is washed frequently. If she tends to sweat at night, let the bedding air out during the day so that it dries completely. Make sure the room is vacuumed and dusted, but don't vacuum when your daughter is around. My son reacts really badly when I turn on the vacuum, so I only do it when he is at school. There are other suggestions that an allergy doctor can provide. Good luck.
B.

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H.O.

answers from San Francisco on

hi K.-- so sorry to hear about your daughter--i see that you got a lot of advice already-- i am a dietician and i have managed my allergies with a simple nutrition supplementation shake... whatever the allregy is to (food, pollen) this yummy and inexpensive shake can help!!! i would love to help you and your family-- i appluad you for taking a natural approach- i didn't want my daughter on meds either!!! contact me if you are interested in hearing what i have done for me and my 3 1/2 year old. (my advice is free for you... by the way!) ###-###-#### or [email protected]____.com
blessings, H.

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H.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I know some kids with similar symptoms and it was a problem with their adnoids. It is also diagnosed as "sleep apneia." Once they had their adnoids removed, the problem went away and they also had imporved behavior because they were sleeping better.

Good luck!

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A.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I would suggest some Propolis. It is a natural antibiotic from bees. If you can find it locally it should help her with immunity from the pollen and such from your specific area. Also an idea, although I am unsure of how to get it in liquid or capsule form, but Quercetin has really helped my husband get through his alleries when the season comes...To open up passages you may want to try an Essential Oil, one good company is Oshadhi. You put in on a Kleenex and put it near her, but out of reach and it will fill the air and open her up to breathe, naturally. The tea tree oil (found in most stores, and their products of pine and fir have been better than a humdifier...) Hope this helps.

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O.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you had your daughter checked for asthma? My daughter was the same way for years; she was also prone to ear infections. Their is something called cougharian(sp)asthma. It usually attacked her at night with the same symptoms that you have described. When she started coughing you may want to pull up her shirt and look at her ribcage. If she is breathing and the muscle starts retracting around the ribcage then she is struggling for breath (it's considered to be like wheezing).

My daughter is now immune to almost all antibiotics, because her pediatrition was not as use to working with asthmatic children. Sometimes kids can be so restricted from air that they don't even wheeze. I would ask to see a asthma specialist for sure. Good luck and I hope that helps!

Ps. We too took up our carpet and put in wood floor, that seemed to help a lot. I wash her stuffed animals at least once a month. I also try to get people not to buy stuff animals for her anymore because of how much dust it attracts. She had slight allergies to cat dander, milk (mild) and pepper trees.

O.
San Jose

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D.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Why hasn't your daughter visited an Allergist yet? This is the person who can best determine why your daughter has runny nose. Have allergist test her for the most common allergies in your area (common trees, grasses, foods, animals) Make sure she is not slighty asthmatic. Have Allergist test her lung capacity.

I would also visit a Nose, Ear, Throat doctor to make sure her tonsils are not too big. Does your daughter snore at night? Does she hold her breath while she sleeps alot (sleep apnea)

What would I do:
1. Visit the real doctors listed above and not alternative doctors. The real doctors can give you real solutions.
2. Review your indoor environment. Limit dustmites by washing bedding in hot water. Encase pillow and mattress with allergy casings. Remove pets from bedroom. Purchase a true HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of all airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns and run at night in daughters room. Spray her nose at least twice daily with a salty/saline solution (can be purchased at pharmacies) to help eliminate irritants from nose.

There are many allergy websites that can assist you as Allergy has become very common these days. http://www.allergybegone.com sells many allergy products. Also look at government sites.
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/states/epa_region9.html
http://www.aafa.org/

Good Luck

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