Ongoing Runny Nose and Cough

Updated on June 07, 2010
M.U. asks from Tampa, FL
9 answers

My son, who is almost a year old has been getting colds the past 2 months (he is in daycare). His cold finally cleared but he continues to have a runny nose and cough on and off. There is no fever, he is active and eating as usual. He also started teething 2 weeks ago and his second pair of top teeth are coming in. The teething is really bothering him, he keeps biting everything, even his fingers. As far as I can tell, the medical community does not believe that teething causes runny nose and cough. I'm worried it may be allergies, even though no one on either side of the family has them. Any idea how to differentiate teething, cold, and allergies?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Miami on

You can try elimination diets such as no dairy, no wheat or you can go get him tested the NAET way. It's the best! Find a practitioner on

More Answers



answers from Sarasota on

Here is what my almost 2.5 yr old daughter's ENT said about all this:

1. Children in daycare in the first year or two will most likely get a cold at least every 14 days. They usually experience runny noses, coughing, upper respiratory distress, etc. Fevers, if any, are usually mild and can be easily treated with Tylenol if they spike over 100 or 101. If the fever hovers around 99 or 100, the ENT said you have the choice of treating or not with Tylenol, but make sure the child gets plenty of fluids to ride out the low fever.
2. Teething will aggravate these conditions and prolong the recovery from these colds as it DOES cause inflamation of the sinuses, excessive saliva, etc. and can increase the runny/stuffy nose and coughing symptoms due to this.
3. Allergies/asthma in a child going to daycare can not usually be diagnosed properly until AFTER they have gone through the 1-2 yrs of colds and are done teething...he suggests waiting until the child is 4 years old (3 if the child has gone to daycare since 3 months of age or younger) before worrying about allergies and asthma. At this time the child's immune system has built up enough antibodies to all the viruses that go around daycare that these little colds, etc. should not be affecting them. If you still see these long lasting symptoms and they seem to get worse at 3 or 4, then that is when you start worrying about allergies/asthma.

My 4 yr old who has gone to daycare since she was 21 months old has reached that point where this past winter she did not get sick at all. Prior to that and during teething time, she would be sick, get sinus infections, even vomit when the pain from teething got bad. Now she is really healthy and even when her little sisters had colds this past winter never caught anything.

Here are some things you can do for the runny nose:

1. Spray saline solution as frequently as possible up the nostrils to clean out the nasal passages. My kids HATE this, but it works and they always get relief from it!

2. Try to raise your son's head up whenever he is sleeping. By the age of 12 months, we used a pillow, but if you are not comfortable with this, you can stick the pillow UNDER the crib mattress to tilt the mattress just a little so that things drain properly and he does not get saliva and mucus collecting at the back of his throat, which will make him cough.

3. Lots of water to drink. Cut back on the milk, substitute yogurt for calcium and vitamin D (Stoneyfield fortifies their yogurt with vitamins A & D to make this possible), and give your son water to drink. This will help cut down on all the mucus from the colds and teething.

Hope this helps!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My 4-year-old also has a runny nose and although it comes and goes, we used to think it was a cold due to the daycare and being exposed to kids. I have found Claritin for kids to help her though so I am thinking it's an allergy, plus the mucus is clear. If your son still has that problem after teething, try Claritin and if it improves, then that means he most likely has an allergy.



answers from Redding on

Oh my.
The medical community does not believe that teething causes runny nose and cough? Which medical community are you speaking of?
No offense....
My kids both had terrible runny noses when they were teething and they also coughed due to the extra saliva and everything that goes along with it.
My daughter got the worst diaper rash everytime she teethed. Horrible.
A little boy that was born one month before my daughter developed the worst cough I'd ever heard in a baby and his mother had taken him in numerous times to be checked out. He had no fever, ate fine, wasn't grumpy other than the teething pain....his cough was due to teething.
It could be allergies, it could be a cold, but if he's teething, it might just be that. Like I said, everytime my daughter got diarrhea, I knew she was getting a tooth. She wasn't sick, she ate, no was just teething.
When their top teeth come in, it hurts and it will make their noses run. And, they tend to salivate a lot and that can lead to coughing.
I'm not a doctor or anything, but I've done daycare, have kids of my own, and seen with my own eyes that teething can cause these symptoms.
Teething is tough.
Give him plenty of things to bite on, maybe wedge him up in bed a bit for the cough. Give him baby motrin or pain and just try to ride it out.
If the symptoms persist or are accompanied by fever or lethargy or not wanting to eat, contact his pediatrician.
For now, to me, it sounds like teething.

Best wishes.


answers from Dallas on

I would suggest you research Shakleebaby supplements for boosting his immune system. There is nothing safe or more effective. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you some info. They sure saved me lots of worry and trips to the pediatrician.



answers from Tampa on

Get him checked by a referral fr the Int'l Chiropractic Pediatric Assn-that will differentiate.
Best, k



answers from Houston on

I've had this same experience and I believe it was largely caused by two things in the daycare. 1) not changing AC filters on a regular basis and 2) some of the cleaning products were not being diluted properly.

I notice the same thing in our home when I forget to change the filter in our system. The "allergies" can just be from the extra dust in the air and the cough is from the drainage going down the back of his throat.

I was told that most allergies can't be definitively identified until children were at least two years old.


answers from Dallas on

This is tough. A cold should not last beyond 10 days unless it has become a secondary infection. Not to say you can't catch another one quickly. Not so unusual for children in daycare.

What do you use to clean your house? Asthma is on the rise and cleaning supplies are a contributing factor. Especially if the cold gets worse when cleaning. Contact me if you would like to know more about this and non-toxic cleaners that work.


answers from Columbia on

It's allergy season, and you have listed the symptoms for allergies. Worry not, my dear...they are common.

Teething does not cause runny nose or cough. Seasonal allergies do. Teething symptoms are irritability, fever, drooling, mouth pain indicated by chewing on anything not nailed down (and some things that are), and the occasional bite.

It's likely that those on-an-off colds have actually been infections caused by your son's seasonal allergies. Mucous builds up in the sinuses, add a few extra viruses, and, viola! A cold.

I suggest that you head to the pediatrician and get their opinion. It's likely that a prescription for a toddler-friendly antihistimine with decongestent is all he needs. Please do not purchase over-the-counter medicines without consulting your ped as many are dangerous for little ones. Also, as your little one already has other symptoms for pain (his teething), you might be overlooking an ear infection, which can be brought on by colds and seasonal allergies. Conveniently enough, if your little one has had ear infections before, you'll find that the allergy meds will help tremendously with keeping those away.



Next question: Teething and Cough/runny Nose?