Lingering Coughs After Having Cold - Warrants Dr.'s Visit??

Updated on April 29, 2011
Y.P. asks from Los Angeles, CA
14 answers

Hello MaMas
My 3 y.o. boy was sick with cold a couple of weeks ago with fever of 102 for a couple of days. His sickness was not that severe - just one of those "usual" cold for kids, acting fine, etc. Approximately three days after his fever went away, he started coughing almost for a week but no fever and everything else is normal, just coughing which was getting less and less, but beginning last night it seems going a little backward in his progress, but I would say still not terribly bad. Is it normal having a lingering cough after having cold for a long time? or does it warrant Dr.'s visit at this point? No wheezing, just coughing once every half an hour to an hour today.

Thanks very much for your inputs in advance!

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answers from Chicago on

I would take him in if another fever develops. Otherwise it might just be taking a while to get over the cough. They tend to linger for a long time. My 3 yo has one right now too!

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answers from Dallas on

One of our twins ended up with bronchitis and the other developed pneumonia. They were three or four. Neither had a terrible cough but the coughing just wouldn't go away after they had colds. It was worse at night. I felt really bad because I had no idea and let it go too long. Thank goodness neither had progressed too far when I took them in. I say better safe than sorry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It could be pneummonia. I'm not so sure my daughter even had a fever when she had it. I would definitely call.

If it has been persistent enough that it made you take pause and ask, it is time to call.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Y.,

If a cough that was improving is now starting to worsen it's worth at least a call to the Dr. In all likelihood, there's nothing going on -- just some residual irritation/inflammation from the virus that's triggered a reflex cough. Other possibilities can range from postnasal drip bringing ona mild allergic response (viruses can exacerbate sensitivity to allergens that would otherwise not provoke any symptoms), to the onset of allergic asthma (mentioned by another mom), to the development of a secondary viral or bacterial infection. If your son starts to run a fever, becomes lethargic, or it looks like he's working particularly hard to breath (taking lots of deep breaths, panting, or really sucking in his gut and raising his shoulders when trying to breath) take him to see a doctor immediately, as these can be indicators of pneumonia. Other indicators that he's not getting enough oxygen because of a respiratory problem are a slight dusky purple tinge around the lips and/or under the fingernails. Most important of all, trust your intuition. If you think he's getting sicker, go see the doctor. At the very least, you'll have piece of mind.

Spring is a major time for viral infections of all kinds. The air is cool and generally drier, which allows many airborne viruses to literally float in the breeze much longer than they can at other times of the year.



answers from Daytona Beach on

my son and daughter had this. their cough lasted for about 2 weeks. it was so bad they even vomited once. i had it also minus the fever, and i had the cough for about 3 weeks.i am still coughing sometimes and have phlem (tmi) when i do cough.



answers from Los Angeles on

I just had the same thing with my 2-1/2 year old girl. She had a fairly minor cold, but had a cough that seemed to hang on forever. It lasted for a few weeks, and was worse at night. She would cough on and off for 30-60 minutes before falling asleep, and every so often during the day. Other than that, she seemed to be feeling just fine.

I am one to want to rush her to the doctor for every little thing, so I told myself that if she really seemed sick I would take her in, but if it was just the cough I'd wait and see if it got worse. It got better very gradually, and now is completely gone, but it took a while.

Also, I had the same thing at the same time (cough hanging on, I had the cold at the same time as my daughter) and I asked my doctor about it. She said it was really going around right now, and to just wait it out.



answers from Columbus on

Coughing with no other symptoms, especially "dry coughing" (as in, he's not coughing up mucus, and it's more of a hack than a "wet" cough) can be a sign of bronchitis and/or asthma. Our pediatric allergist said that a lot of young children's first asthma attacks don't present with wheezing, just a cough that won't go away (or that goes on all night, etc.).

So, I'd get it checked out, (in our case, we know our son is predisposed to developing asthma, so I'm more on the cautious side, but still....)



answers from Los Angeles on

It is normal to cough for several weeks after a cold. However, if it has been a few weeks since you were at the doctor I would go in for a quick listen to your son's lungs. My son was coughing for a few weeks and although he wasn't wheezing the doctor felt that he wasn't getting enough air and put him on a nebulizer for a few days. We also gave him zyrtec at night - which helped - and ran the cold air humidifier at night. Hope this helps!



answers from Seattle on

I would wait and see what it does. Coughs tend to linger the longest I have found, so wait a few more days and keep track of what it is sounding like and how often if you are concerned. If it gets worse and sounds wet etc. Then I would make an apointment with the doctor just because you want to make sure he doesnt get Pnemonia. Few of my family have had it so far this year. So just be careful and watch him.



answers from Tucson on

No, symptoms will linger for a few days, unless a fever returns simply keep an eye on the child. He will be fine.



answers from Los Angeles on

My son is now 6 and I he used to cough randomly alot The doctor said, kids just do that. So just watch it. I have totally gotten into homeopathic remedies and they have been helpful. One time I was coughing at night only and then it was getting worse. I remembered that when that was happening to my daughter, the dr said it was a sinus infection and put her on 10 days of antibiotic. That led to another sickness a month later. Because I did not want antibiotis, I went to the homeopathic pharmacy and asked for stuff for sinus infection. It worked and it went away. Sorry long winded answer, but I have really liked using the remedies there for my family. They have worked well at times and helps avoid doctors visits. Look up Dr. Lauren Feder on the web and in her web site she gives suggestions for coughs (she is a homeopathic MD here in L.A. that we have seen).



answers from Clarksville on

I wouldn't take my kids in for a soft cough ever hour. I would for a cough that was making it hard for my kids to breath through or it was constant coughing.



answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as he seems fine otherwise. It's not uncommon for a cough to linger for a while.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think that a quick answer is Yes. Get him checked out. Do a quick culture test. Most often a cough can linger, with no major illness. But sometimes there maybe underlining ilnesses that he should be treated for. My son coughed for awhile after one cold, then before that cough went away he got another cold, and so on and so forth. He had no other symptoms in between colds other than cough. And he looked healthy and completely not bothered by the cough. long story short, it was then discovered that he had carried Stagh for a long time - sinus, throat, and it started to act up. Your boy is probably fine, but just to be safe you should get him checked out and do a culture at least.

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