Ongoing Cough!

Updated on April 15, 2010
C.C. asks from Billings, MT
13 answers

My son has had a cough since Feb! It started out as a simple cold and was fine after a week or so but the come back. The first visit to the doctor reveled ear infections in both ears, common cold, but no respiratory infection. He was put on antibiotics and that seemed to do the trick. The doctor saw him for his 2yr check up (3wks later)and both ears were fine. He was not concerned about the cough and said it would go away on its own. Still the cough persisted. After a few weeks we decided to take him back in. On the third visit (different doctor) we found that he had another small infection in his ear but no respiratory infection. The doctor said it is probably allergies and had us pick up children Claritin. We have given him a dose everyday for two weeks and have seen little improvement. The fits occasionally interrupt sleep but are most disruptive during the day when he is active...And he is VERY active! Sometimes these fits will cause gagging and twice they have caused vomiting. Could this ongoing cough be caused by allergies, cold that just wont go away, or something more serious like asthma? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

same thing here! my son eventually got over it.. but it definitely took SEVERAL weeks. (and my son has no asthma/allergies etc)

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answers from Indianapolis on

My instincts after reading your message are to trust your pediatrician's guidance.

The pollen counts are at record highs this year - if you don't believe that Claritin's doing the trick, there are MANY, MANY other allergy medications (both Rx and OTC) that are FDA approved for children his age. Claritin has been on the market a LONG time,so it has a long track-record of safety, but it doesn't mean it's the right product for everyone.

Our kids have the opposite problem to yours. Occasionally, they'll get a cough that makes sleep almost impossible. But, they're find during the day when they're upright and draining with gravity.

If your instincts tell you to press on (always trust your instincts), call and ask if it's advisable to see an ENT or a Pediatric Pulmonologist for further testing.

Without knowing everything, my instincts are that it's a reaction to the change in seasons, the pollen, and possibly a virus that's agitating the lungs.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

My son, who had just turned 3 at the time........had the same deal going on. And when we finally told our pediatrician that we wanted to bring him in, he took one look and suspected "allergies" as well. He also pointed out the darkness under his eyes. They weren't really "bags" but under his eyes did have a touch of "darkness". He said that's a big sign on allergies. He recommended Claritin or Children's Zyrtec. He said to try both. The Claritin didn't work for us, but the Zyrtec really did. Maybe you should try the Children's Zyrtec and see if you have more success calming his cough. Also, if you're thinking it isn't allergies..........have you ever tried Delsym? It's a wonderful OTC cough suppressant. It works really well for both my kids. Good luck getting it all figured out. I know it's tough.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

During the night time if it keeps him up use some childrens delsym it works wonders. Also ask your dr to prescribe singulair, it works both on athsma and allergies. My daughter had this horrible horrible nagging night time cough that would NOT go away. This worked for her.

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answers from Houston on

For my children my Dr has prescribed Singulair once a day and i give my kids Claritin everynight..You can switch from Claritin to Zyrtec sometimes you have to switch and figure out which one is best . My son has a cough everysingle morning during allergy season .

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answers from Nashville on

My guess is that it is likely allergies, but it could be asthma as well. I wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet though, not without trying some other allergy meds. Like the other posters said, Zyrtek works much better than Claritin for my whole family, so see if that will help. After 2 weeks I would think that he should have some relief from the Claritin if it was going to work for him. Just call your ped and ask what dosage you should give for Zyrtek- it is based on weight. It's doubtful that it is a cold thing since they have checked his lungs and they sound good. When you call the doctor about the dosage, ask how long the allergy meds take to reach full effectiveness, and when you should bring him back in if there is no improvement. I find that it is helpful to ask "what next, and when?" if I am ever asking the doctor questions. When should you be concerned that this isn't working, and what you should do at that time? And what additional symptoms should he be brought in for immediately? Be careful giving cough syrup without doctor approval, my doctor wont let me give my 2 yr old cough meds. Plus it would mask the symptoms and you wouldn't know if the allergy meds were working or not.

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answers from Denver on

Allergies to something is reasonably likely. If the usual pollen suspects turn up empty, consider food allergies, too. I started coughing when I started school and it turned out that I was allergic to milk that they were serving daily.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

This sounds like cough asthma to me. Has he seen a pediatric allergy doc? I would ask for a referral. The first thing they'll do is a sinus xray to rule out chronic sinusitis. But to me this sounds like asthma.
My sister's son has it. When he gets even the tiniest cold, his cough is extreme to the point of gagging and even vomiting. When he does not appear to have a cold, if he runs around with my kids he will start to cough. What has worked for him are albuterol breathing treatments. The regular ped is not educated on asthma. I'd ask for a referral!


answers from Casper on

It could be allergy induced asthma. Just about every year in the spring I get a cold which then turns in to this nasty cough that lingers for months if I do nothing. I usually end up sleeping and living around a humidifier. you could try putting one in his room while sleeping. that should give some relief. Also try to see if you can get him to cough small. So that it is not re-irritating his lungs. There is no need to worry unless his lungs whistle or rattle just from breathing or he is breathing shallow and laboring to breath. If he is doing any of those, you need to take him in again cause he probably has a lung infection. But if his cough is productive (coughing up mucus) and sounds nasty when he coughs, but he is breathing fine, then the cough is doing its job. Try the zyrtec sounds like it works the best.
Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

That sounds exactly like my son. Only we didn't get it figured out until about six months ago and he's almost five! He's been diagnosed with mild persistent asthma and allergies that aggravate it. We had to try a handful of different things before we found what works for him. Singulair didn't work. Claritin and Benadryl didn't work at all. What finally works is a combination of zyrtec (we buy the walmart brand to cut back on costs) and a daily inhaled steroid. He sleeps so much better now, can run around without hacking and vomiting (he used to throw up all the time and I'm so glad that's stopped!), and I breathe better knowing he's breathing easier.
I'd definitely ask the doctor about asthma.



answers from Salt Lake City on

My son, who is now 4 years old, was just like that two years ago! About 6 months into it, our pediatrician diagnosed him with excercise induced asthma. So, I would agree with you that he may have asthma. What tells me this is the gagging and vomiting. Just this past winter, Jan. and Feb., my son did some vomiting. This happens most when his breathing and coughing won't calm down. I then give him an inhaler treatment and within 20 minutes his body calms down.
So, I suggest looking into asthma with your doctors. Talk about it, research the medicine for it and good luck!
My son takes albuterol... just a rescue inhaler. It seems to be better now a days, (two years later). Seasonal allergies will set if off, but you will learn to control it all.
wish you the best of luck!
T. Bartlett


answers from Dallas on

Yes, to all your questions, but I am also wondering if he has a sinus infection brewing. May need more antibiotic. Have you heard any wheezing? That could be something to listen for in the event of asthma.

I would also consider probiotic to boost his immunity and hopefully protect his ears. I am a Shaklee Independent Distributor. Let me know if I can make some recommendations on probiotic and vitamins.



answers from Casper on

I would get a second opinion. There shouldn't have been a high pollen count in February, so if it's allergies, it is something in your home or his diet.

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