Sore Throat and Cough, What Do You Think

Updated on September 23, 2010
J.M. asks from Manasquan, NJ
11 answers

my 5 year old first(who then coughed right in my face) and now i are sick. we both have the same thing. its a red sore throat not that bad and cough. the cough only sounds bad in the morning, then it seems to disappear all day. a few times there has been yellow mucous that came up when spitting after coughing. no runny nose, fever, aches. she is running around playing, happy as can be. my temp is normal, hers is 99.4 but she has never in her life had a body temp of under 99(thats her normal temp). i try not to medicate my children unless needed, and they very rarely get sick. she had strep throat once so i of course gave her antibiotics, but i feel like if i go to the doctor for anything, she just prescribes antibiotics without caring whether its viral or bacterial. i know some people feel comfortable giving their child medication everytime they get any illness, but thats not what i believe in. taking that into consideration, what would you do? do you think this sounds viral? or does the cough automatically mean its bacterial?

the way i feel, it just feels like a normal cold, but my husband is one of those people that never gets sick since he washes his hands 50 times a day, and stays away from anyone ill. so whenever he gets the slightest sniffle, he runs to the doctor, takes all the medicine at the exact time everyday, and never questions any antibiotic. so everytime the kids get anything, he panics. im just not sure what a regular old cold feels like anymore.

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So What Happened?

thanks for the advice, im going to wait and see. honestly, my daughter seems to be much better already, i think ill just give her cough medicine in the morning as long as its the same. im not thinking its strep just because we had it a few months ago and this is not anything like that(but im sure there are varying degrees). yeah, my doctor just seems inconsistent about meds. she says antibiotics whenever its what i would say are cold symptoms. do doctors ever actually check to see if its viral or bacterial? thanks again!!!

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answers from New York on

The only reason I'd consider running to the doctor would be for a strep test. But if it's only a minor sore throat, it's probably not.

I don't think it sounds like you need any meds, or a trip to the doctor, at this point. If the cough is around for a week or more, of if any other symptoms develop (fever, rash, etc) then I'd go to the doctor.

Feel better!

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answers from New York on

It sound like a cold but give it a few days and see how it goes. You can always go in if she gets a fever or other worrisome symptoms. My daughter is still under 2 and her colds were turning into ear infections every time last winter. It can be a matter of going to the doctor as soon as you see something that is clearly more than just a cold.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It sounds like a sinus infection to me. I'd get it medicated. Could turn into an ear infection. We just went through this with my son, who had a cold for about 10 days then fever, vomiting, was sinus/ear infection and he needed antibiotics to kick it. I'm not O. to push pills either.



answers from Topeka on

Let it run it's course in the mean time help her remember to cover her cough,use Kleenex to blow her nose then trash it followed by hand washing.She has no fever & running around like it's not bothering her let it go unless you want a DR. to tell you the same thing "it's a common cold let it run it's course in the mean time extra fluids,rest,cover cough,to ease chest congestin use a humidifier,give Tylenol as needed per age & dose recommendation from Dr. & whatever else makes her comfortable if any more symptoms arrises call back for a recheck"You can call for a strep test only if your office provides such a service where you see only the nurse get a test they tell you + or - in office then you'll know for sure it's not strep.Yes it could be allergies as well ours have started to act up from the windy days in KS & we have yet to turn off the A/C no heat either just that time of year things get kicked up in the air.You don't have to take any medications your Dr/ prescribeds it's up to you.
****my opinion but any regards in health/diagnoses call your DR.****


answers from Saginaw on

If I went to my children's pediatrician stating those symptoms with my daughter and he looked her over...he would say. Its a cold, it has to run its course if it gets worse or a fever starts then bring her back in. Otherwise do this and this to help ease the symptoms.

I very rarely bring my children in for colds. Right now my daughter and I have one also. We are toughing it out. I do give her an over the counter cough and decongestant in the morning before school so she's not coughing all morning, but that's it. By the time school is out, you'd never know she even has a cold.



answers from Indianapolis on

Please be cautious taking any of our advice regarding your health - we all mean really well, but few, if any, of us are medically trained.

I found the following link on regarding the general differences between a bacterial and viral infection:

Take comfort that most medical associations/organizations are really trying hard to prevent the use of antibiotics. We don't have any in development to protect us against some emerging super bugs, and the easiest way to prevent that is to limit the use of current antibiotics. Good news is that if we stop using some, it will only take about 10 years for the resistance genes to be eliminated, and the antibiotics to become more effective again.

In my case, I was very prone to strep (it can only be diagnosed through culture) as a child. I still get occasional sore throats. It took having lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) to realize my sore throats are actually the swelling of my adenoids/tonsils, both of which are part of the lymphatic system, fighting the infection.

I'm a big fan of recommending you speak with your doctor. Just because they write the prescription doesn't mean you need to fill it if your desire is not to do so.

Hope you feel better soon.



answers from New York on

Get a new dr. She's not paying attention to you, creating resistance in the bacteria, and wasting your copays. If you don't have fevers or trouble swallowing it's probably a cold. The cough can hang on for a while and symptoms can hang on for 7 days. If you do feel worse, check in and get throat cultures, b/c untreated strep can lead to more serious problems. If you feel like you are both getting better and have energy, I wouldn't worry. Use a humidifier and saline spray to help your symptoms. Feel better soon!



answers from Joplin on

strep after getting it once can come back very quickly very contagious you are suppose to toss your toothbrush,etc. i would have her checked.



answers from New York on

Sounds like just a cold but if you're posting it on here to ask, you must be slightly concerned. I would get checked. Also, I would switch doctors. Not all doctors are careless with antibiotics. My son's pediatrician has always made sure not to use antibiotics each time he's had an ear infection so that he won't become immune to the meds. Just a thought.


answers from Norfolk on

Sore throats and cough are from post nasal drip. Could be a cold or pollen/seasonal allergies. I got a neti pot and use it whenever my nose gets stuffy or my throat gets scratchy. Rinsing sinuses with saline, and gargling with salt water helps deal with the symptoms. Keep up your fluids (to keep mucus from thickening up - some people avoid dairy for a while thinking it also helps thicken mucus), use a humidifier at night, warm steamy baths/showers can help cough up more mucus. Generally a cold will run it's course in a few days to a week or so.



answers from Kansas City on

I am surprised to hear you say that about your doctor. Our Pediatricians office never gives an antibiotic unless its a confirmed bacterial infection and also doesn't recomment over the counter meds for cold for kids under 6, so with any viral infection that recommed we "wait it out". With that said, if she does start to develop a fever or the symtoms you described above give worst, not eating or drinking etc... then I would take her in. Our dr office also says coughs last about 9 day, but if it last longer than 3 weeks then they want to see the child.
I agree with Dana and we need to be carful giving too many antibiotic to our children to prevent them from building a resistance to them.
I would just keep an eye on her, watch for problems breathing or fever.... but like dana said, I'm not a doctor either!

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