Suggestion for 8 Year Old Who Is Always Stuffy and Coughing

Updated on February 07, 2008
D.L. asks from Phoenix, AZ
30 answers

My son who just turned 8 for most of his life coughs in the morning and when hes physically active. Hes always stuffy and congested. The Dr. just prescribes allergy medicine which doesn't help. A Chiropractor did help for about a year but now its come back. When I was pregnant they gave me steroids to develop his lungs when I went into pre-term labor. As well as other medications and I'm wondering if these had an impact on him.

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A.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I have heard of this forever and never believed it until I saw it happen in my own family. My sister stopped giving her son milk. She switched to soy however I don't know if it is necessary to swithc or if maybe you can just limit their dairy intake and see if it helps. It is a cheap solution and harmless to try.

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L.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D. L.
My family comes from the centeral America area,
their they have a very simple and runny nose stoper.
You pur a winter knited hat on you head while you sleep.
I know incredibly simple but it really works.
I have four kids, three under 12, and every tiime they have
colds or runny noses I simply slip a winter had on their head,it worms the head, and stops runny/stuffy nose problems.
try it! It realy works. I even do it to myslef when I have
alergies or a cold, and it works really well.
Try it out, and tell me how it goes,
L.

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K.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Go "green" in your home. Try getting rid of traditional cleaning products that contain toxins and buy natural products like Seventh Generation. You can also clean with just white vinegar and baking soda. I have read that the toxins in cleaners can really make kids sick and even cause asthma. It can't hurt to try and its better for the earth too.

Good luck!
K.

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

Our son had the same problem. His doctor switched him to Allegra twice a day and Nasonex once a day. His cough went away in about two days and has stayed away. We travel a lot, and his allergies have not been a problem at all.

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C.Y.

answers from Phoenix on

Are you looking for a natural alternative to help your son? If so, I know of something that may help, I know it's helped me and my family and several of my friends, both adult and kids. If you'd like to know more, just email me or call me @ ###-###-####. I'll also be praying for your son. Blessings, C. Y

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E.M.

answers from Flagstaff on

i would suggest a rainbow cleaning system. we got one because it uses water to filter the air when you clean and vacuum with it. my husband suffers severe allergies and he hasn't had any problems at all since we got it. plus you it is a certified air purifier and will disinfect your home when you use the deodorizer, it contains alcohol which kills the germs. it is a little expencive but definitly worth it!! life long investment.

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K.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi D.,
I didn't tke time to read ALL of the responses--but I read about 10 of them and didn't see anything like this. I was watching Oprah about a month ago and saw this thing designed by an ENT doctor who dealt with allergies a lot. It is called a "neti pot" or "nedi pot"--can't remember. All it is is a little teapot looking thing that you put tap water and a packet of sodium bicarbonate solutin in. You tilt your head and pour it through one nostril, it goes up through the sinuses and drains out the other nostril. You MUST breathe through your mouth while doing it. Anyway--it works GREAT!!! Since I've heard of it I've used it, my sister (who had a sinus infection and didn't need to take antibiotics after using it), my nephew and my 2 sons. Amazing! For people with allergies, they can use it up to twice a day! It might not help the asthma--but it definitely is worth a try. You can get it at Walgreen's for about $14. Better than using lots of meds and chemicals! Hope it helps! Please let me know!
K.

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T.W.

answers from Phoenix on

It sounds like your son may have asthma. My daughter who is almost 6 was like that for a couple of yrs before the doctor looked at her medical records and decided to do an asthma screening. She had a history of pneomonia and broncitis. anytime she would get sick she would start coughing and medicine would not help. Any way when your son starts coughing put your ear on his back and listen, if you hear a high pitch wheezing sound then he may have asthma. Best of luck to you.

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C.J.

answers from Washington DC on

i agree that testing for asthma is a good idea. my doctor told me i had bronchitis for a year until finally i went to a different doc who diagnosed asthma. keep in mind that having asthma does not rule out allergies. in fact, just the opposite, many people have allergy-induce asthma (myself included).

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N.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Hello my name is N.,

I have an 8 year old son. He was going through the same problem. He ended up being diagnosed with asthma. He is now on Singular chewable tablets 5 mg, for asthma and allergies and he is doing great. You should think about asking your Dr. to have your son tested for asthma. There is a test that can be done called Pulmonary Function Test. I now know how to manage his allergies and asthma, he rarely has runny noses and cough. Well hope I helped. Good luck you can do it!!!

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L.Z.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D. -
I would suggest removing all dairy and sugar from his diet first. These create lots of mucus in the body. He may have a mild allergy to wheat too. Also, there is so much pesticide in non-organic foods, that this is a likely culprit. I've found Whole Foods Market to be the best source for quality foods and they are affordable.

Good luck to you. - L.

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L.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

We've dealt with this with my youngest, who is 7, since birth! We finally found a great pediatrician, who, in combination with our allergist, has found a good combination of medicines for him. My son is an allergic asthmatic. So, whenever he get a cold, he coughs and it ends up in his chest. We solved his stuffiness years ago with Singulair and Zyrtec (one in am and one in pm.) We had to remove stuffed animals from his room, cover his mattress and pillow in plastic, etc. (She wanted us to remove his carpet, but I wouldn't go that far!) We also now own a nebulizer, so when his cough begins, we immediately give him 2 breathing treatments a day (not with a steroid, something gentler, sometimes even saline), and his colds are done in 2-5 days, not weeks on end like we used to.
So, my advice, find a good pediatrician who won't just shoo you away, get a referral to a good pediatric allergist, and keep working until your son is not stuffy. He will have such a different lifestyle after you solve this for him! Best of luck!

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S.F.

answers from Eugene on

I've had four preemies, and I've had the steroids too. I don't think there's a correlation based on our family, but I would suggest you look at his dairy product intake. Cow milk has a reputation for creating mucous. I've noticed myself and my 6 year old getting extra mucous when we drink more milk, eat more cheese, et cetera. Just a thought to pass along.

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E.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I would definitely try and have him tested for asthma. My oldest son has asthma and was diagnosed when he was 3 1/2 years old. He would cough at night and during physical activity as well. We did the same thing at first with cold medicines thinking that was the problem, but they do nothing for asthma. It took a doctor 2 years before they finally figured out that is what he had. Since your son was given steroids so early, and was a preemie I am assuming, there is a very good chance of him having asthma. We did lots of medications at first, which as a mom I did not like knowing the long term side effects would not be good, but have since been able to use some other products that have completely changed his life. He has been medication free and symptom free for over 4 years, and has a quality of life now he did not use to have. He is a very active 9 year old and can do all the physical activities his brothers and friends do without all the problems he used to have. If you are interested in what we did you can email me ([email protected]____.com). Good luck with everything and don't give up!

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J.R.

answers from Denver on

I am by no means a doctor, but I have had allergy and asthma since I was 13 (way too many years to count now). It sounds like your son has some allergies and may even have asthma. Asthma can be brought on by different ways - from an allergy (dogs, cats, dust, etc), from having a cold, from severely cold weather (teens, single digit temperatures), and from exercise (running around and even laughing too hard). I have dealt with all four throughout my life and my 5 year old son (who had more bouts with croup than I can count when he was small) now has asthma when he has a cold.

I suggest you ask your pediatrician for a referral to an allergist. The allergist will be able to do testing to for food or environmental allergies. It may be something he is eating, something in his room, or something not in completely in your control (pollen).

For now, I am thinking that if he wakes up coughing every morning there might be something in his room he is allergic too. You can put an air purifier in his room. I would give his room a thorough dusting and cleaning. Put all his stuffed animals in another room maybe? I periodically put my sons in the dryer on low with a damp cloth for 10 minutes. It gets the dust off them.

Your son may very well need to be on allergy medicine (my asthma medication is daily while my sons is only when he has a cold)but an allergist might be able to prescribe one that works better for your son - and maybe even prescribe allergy shots, which do help as well.

Good luck.

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T.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

I went through all this with my boy. We couldn't get his allergies under control. Tried all the allergy prescriptions. Nothing was working so I finally found an allergy specialist. We determined it was Asthma. They did an allergy test and all the asthma tests possible. allergies can affect asthma, might be a good idea to have him get tested. Also, from another experience with a friend... the same thing happened to her daughter and all she had was enlarged tonsils. So, i'm not 100% on her situation, but the asthma might be a good thing to check! hope this helps!

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L.W.

answers from Santa Fe on

It sounds like he miught be having an inflammatory response ... try cutting out dairy, which can increase mucous production...when my son was little and had a congestive illness, his pediatrician told me to get him off milk until it was done, due to the mucous production issue. I remember thinking, if it does that when he's sick, wouldn't it do it when he's well, too? We now use rice milk in cereal, which tastes great and has calcium and vitamin D.

Also, when my son got seasonal allergies, we would take him off sugar. It is a natural inflammatory -- it makes inflammatory responses worse. We sweeten things with maple syrup, which seems to work just fine for his system and tastes great in everything from cookies to yogurt.

Also try only organic for a while, and see if he's maybe reacting to pesticides.

The fact that chiropractic worked for a while suggests that you should maybe look at other alternative things too...a holistic doctor looks at many different aspects of the child's life, for example.

Good luck! Don't give up--he doesn't have to live with it. You just have to figure out what is causing it. Look at his diet first.

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T.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.,
I was just wondering if he has been tested for asthma? My son is almost 3 and was diagnosed with asthma when he was just one. He also begins coughing and short of breath with exertion(sports induced asthma). He also has trouble if it is very cold and windy. Any cold he gets becomes worse because of the asthma. It might be work checking out with the doctor. I hope he gets better.

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J.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hello,
I was reading your request and thought i would respond. My daughter is 8 now but back when she was 3 we discovered
that she had asthma and allergies really bad. She's been on inhalers and different allergy meds since then and that has really helped. I'm not sure if your son does have asthma but I would suggest taking him to an Asthma/Allergy specialist. Sometimes if there not on the right medication it's not going to work. I think they would definitely be able to help you. Let me know if you would like a number to one.

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M.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Diet and environment may be affecting your son. Take note of when his symptoms are worse - what season, morning, evening, after eating certain foods, being upset, etc. Making changes for his benefit (if it comes to that) will be labor intensive for you and your family at the start but well worth the effort. You may need to remove all dust collectors from his room -carpet, curtains, big stuffed toys. Shower and clean hair before bed -every night. (dust and pollens picked up on hair and skin then go on thebed, he breathes it at night and so on) Am I allowed to say that WebMD is a good website for more ideas?
Pick a place to start making changes and go for it. Good Luck.

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E.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.,

Have you ever considered a homeopathic physician? Since the therapy with the chiroprator helped and not the medication, natural remedies might help. I've just started to use natural remedies and they are wonderful!

Be well,
ET

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I.W.

answers from Phoenix on

before you take your son to be medicated (everything is solved with medicines nowadays, poor kids) look into a dairy or wheat allergy. i had the same problem all my life until i changed my diet at age 39 and lo and behold, that's all i was. please think about side effects before you go the allergy med route. have you been on a regime of that before? i bet a stuffy nose is better to him that headaches, thoat pain and feeling quasi sick all day or listless, or hyper.
also, ask yourself: does he dress warmly for school every day?
does he wear appropiate clothing for the season? is he barefoot in the house during the winter?
does he take a hot bath and go straight outside to the cold or with wet hair? all these things can make someone have cold-ish symptoms for a long period of time.
physical activity always moves around the phlegm causing more coughing attacks. i'm glad you realize the medicine is not working, don't let them talk you into a stronger one, LOL
there are great subsitutes for wheat and dairy products, tell your son (since he's old enough) that you are going to try to help him and his part is to eat what you give him.
trader joe's has great substitution products, as does sprouts.
good luck! my heart goes out to you, why do we mums always blame ourselves for our children's illnesses? (i have an autistic 18 yr old). hang in there and keep trying things until you find a solution. :)

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M.O.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi D.. I see that you've already received many responses, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in as well. :)
I give my 3.5 year old son an awesome vitamin punch for kids. He loves it and it tastes really good. It's specifically meant to help combat getting sick! It has all kinds of vitamins and antioxidants to help their little immune systems stay strong. I've included the details below. Hope this helps!

Arbonne Smart Nutritional Hybrids:
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Daily Power Punch for Kids: This great-tasting power punch drink mix combines super food antioxidants with core vitamins and minerals known to support children's health. It has no artifical flavors, color or sweeteners.

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Key Ingredients: Vitamins and minerals, whole food fruit and vegetables

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Enjoy and good health!

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Arbonne International
Executive Area Manager and Independent Consultant
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S.L.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi D., I was wondering, do you live in an older home? When my son was 5 he started having very similiar symptoms as you have described. Our doctor put him on zyrtec and he still takes singulair now. He was diagnosed with seasonal allergies, and mild case of asthma. We lived in our home for 5 years after this and he whizzed all the time. We moved into a new house 3 years ago and the symptoms have almost completely gone away. It is remarkable! He has to use his inhaler still but hardly ever. I know it is not easy to just pick up and move but I would look into it. You could have mold if it is a older home. Much luck to you and your son. I know how hard it is when you can't seem to make it better.
S.

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S.F.

answers from Tucson on

I noticed that you work from home and was wondering what you do. I too have an "at home" business. Our products may help you as they have helped me because I have a lot of allergies--even take allergy shots and have for years.

Have you tried safe and environmentally friendly cleaning products? My business has over 350 products that are all safe and environmentally friendly. You can join as a member and then buy wholesale over the internet or 800#.

If you are interested in further information, please let me know. You can call me at ###-###-#### or ###-###-#### for full no obligation information.

Hope you are feeling better.

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J.C.

answers from Las Cruces on

If you are willing to research and spend two months trying a specific diet I think you will be very surprised. Cutting out or down carbohydrates helps many people with coughs. I would be very strick for the first two weeks and then see if it is helping but I would definitely give it a couple of months. Look up more information and educate yourself about low carbo diet and anti-fungal diets. Give it a real chance. White potatoes, corn (which is most everything) and ice cream are very unfriendly! I wish you the best. It is not easy but it could make life much easier in the long run. I woudl rather find this out now and not at the age of 32!

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A.V.

answers from Phoenix on

I have 4 kids that I had the steroid shots with it did not and would not have a long term impact on children like that along with most meds given during preterm births. I would look at environment. Mostly the dry allergens, use a humidifier along with the allergy meds and when you see it getting better don't stop, then you know that's what it is. Keep him hydrated so he can move the things his body doesn't like out of it.

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K.S.

answers from Denver on

Hi D.. My suggestion would be to have him evaluated at National Jewish. My daughter (also 8) had similar symptoms and never got a clear answer either. At N.J. they determined that she has mild asthma. Now she takes singulair in the mornings and is greatly improved. She used to have colds that always turned into bronchitis. It's been about a year since she's had anything. Not sure what diagnosis your son would get, but I would definitely take him to get a comprehensive evaluation. Good luck.

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M.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear D. L --

Have you considered the concept of changing your cleaning products, especially your laundry soap and making sure that you have killed all of the dust mites in your mattress and pillows and sheets for your son? He has his head in that pillow for one-third of every day breathing in what is there. Most laundry soap -- even the ones that are marked "clear" -- do not completely wash out of the fabric.

We had this problem in our family and we found the answer with a great line of products that are non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, biodegradeable, green and safe for kids -- and not costly.

If you are interested in learning more, please call or email me and we can make an appointment to talk on the phone. ###-###-#### 1-888-869-3236 [email protected]____.com

I market for this company but do not sell their products. Two websites for you to look at are www.M..whywellness.com or www.M..parentsunited.com

I wish you and your children well.
M. W

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B.W.

answers from Denver on

D., I have a 7 year old girl who had same issues. Yes allergies. But doctors just give medication which treats the symptom not the underlaying issue. Here are two practioners I recommend you see which can most likely help. Anya Walewska, Naturopath, ###-###-####, or a Nutrionist, Kaaren Chinello, ###-###-####. Both are wonderful. Good Luck, B.

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