Won't Stop Coughing

Updated on September 02, 2009
P.T. asks from Chicago, IL
11 answers

Hi moms, My 4 year old son started with slight cough a couple of days ago. It's been about 5 days now and his cough is getting a bit worse. He has a consistent, non-stop cough that could last about 2-4 minutes...it almost seems like a cough attack. Thing is my 8 yr old daughter had the same thing about a month ago and just got over it after her pediatrician put her on antibiotics; she had slight pneumonia. He will see the doctor tomorrow morning. It's a bit annoying to me because the doctors won't see them unless it's really bad and it's a bit costly to keep rushing them to the ER. Just wondering if anyone's child has also had this..and what was done about it. Are there any home remedies that can help? He's not eating right and I know his doctor will put him on antibiotic (which I really hate in a way) but I also know it'll help him. Any suggestions would be great!.

1 mom found this helpful

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 Chicago on

It could be asthma. My son had bouts of coughing that I thought was a cold or bronchitis. When we took him to the Dr. they diagnosed him with asthma. They did a breathing treatment in the office and sent us home with a nebulizer. I was shocked, but they said in some children asthma presents as coughing instead of wheezing.

More Answers


answers from Bloomington on

My daughter and mom are just getting over Whooping Cough. It took numerous Dr. appt. to figure out what the cough was. I kept descibing it as "coughing attacks" or sounding like she was choking. Finally, we came up with Whooping Cough. Her test came back negative because it was past the 10-12th day. However, if you listen to the sound bytes on this website and the description, it was exactly what she had. Go to it just to check to see if your sons cough sounds like it. Unfortunately, it lasts a few months, it does get better, but she still coughs 1-2 times a day and it's been over 100 days! www.whoopingcough.net Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

My 6 year old had the same thing and lasted for about a month! I took him to the dr. 4 times - it took 3 times before they put him on an antibiotic to help kit out whatever it was that was causing the mucus that was causing the cough. His cough was so bad that he was wheezing, had trouble breathing (and is not asthmatic) and need to be on breathing treatment several times a day. I kept taking him back to the dr. for fear that he was walking around with pneumonia...lungs always clear. I even took him to the ER because I wasn't satisfied with the Dr. The ER told me the same thing....no pneumonia, just a virus that caused the mucus, that irrated the lungs, that causes the cough that will take a while to reover but will eventually go away. Which, like murphys law, the cough ended a day or so after visiting the ER. There is some virus going around which causes what you described and takes a long time to go away. I know both children and adults who have had it this summer. The anibotic seemed to help the progress. Good Luck and Good Health!



answers from Springfield on

Hi P.,
Have you tried putting Vick's on the bottom of his feet? Do that and cover with socks. We usually do that at bedtime and then the next morning it is gone. If the cough is that bad -and his sister needed antibiotics- I would probably want to see a Dr. too.
Good Luck,
J. J.



answers from Chicago on

Depending where you live, there was some whooping cough going around last winter/early spring. You might want to check symptoms for that? Hope he feels better soon!



answers from Chicago on

This sounds similar to what my son is going through right now. He was diagnosed with Croup a few days ago. If he sounds raspy or like he's barking when he's coughing, it's most likely croup. The barking sound is the signature sign. There isn't anything they can do for it though...just let it run it's course which is about 10 days. Poor little guy. Hope he gets better soon!



answers from Chicago on

My 7yr old had the bad cough last year that ended up me slight pnemonia as well. She was put on antibiotics. I do not like going on antibiotics all the time as well, but if it is pnemonia I would not fool around.



answers from Chicago on


I know sometimes steam helps "open up" airways. If it was something like Croup, that babies get, then they recc alternating between steam and cold (yes, sticking head in a freezer and breathing deeply).

I'm not a dr or in medicine. I swear by Robitussin. I've seen reviews of cough meds and Robitussin is always rated well and recc by our drs too (except the Max Strength - it's missing one of the important ingredients, go figure).

Also, what about sucking on hard candy? If it's anything post nasal drip related, the sucking and swallowing may help keep moving things down.

Finally, if you don't think that your drs office is being attentive enough or taking you seriously (enough so that you need to go to the ER instead) I would seriously look into changing drs. There are plenty of good drs out there, and some have openings they keep for "urgent care" like first am appts on Mondays. Don't settle for what they are dishing out.

Good luck.




answers from Chicago on

Personally, I am just over the worst of the cold that you describe. Yes, I would be VERY annoyed if my doctor wouldn't see my child and, as a result, had to make costly ER visits. Especially if it looks like the cold your daughter recently had. I love my pediatrician and you should love yours too. With that said, consider finding a new doctor.

You can start doing steam bath treatments. Also, try to give him something for his cough. Robutussin w/ guaifenesin (no alcohol) may help thin the mucus and treat the cough. It sounds like his cough is pretty hacking. For my cough, Robutussin did nothing to help my cough and I had to take a prescribed, codeine cough syrup. Yes, I also had a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia - bad cough! Hot liquids (decaf. tea with lemon) will help soothe his chest. If he does have a lot of mucus, after he has had 8 ounces of a hot beverage (preferably), and even after a steam bath, try to give him a back "cupping" massage. in his lung area. What I used to do is lay my child across my lap, while I was sitting on a sofa, have them face down and I'd work on one lung at a time. (as opposed to this video which alternates) Just a few minutes a few times a day - you don't do it hard but if you are doing it correctly, you will feel your cupped hand will slightly suction his back - kind of a bongo/percussion movement. This helps loosen mucus and keep the cough productive.

I found a video on You tube that demonstrates this.

Hope this helps.



answers from Chicago on

It sounds like whooping cough. This is the time of year for it. The vaccine is only about 60% effective at preventing the disease, and does not prevent transmission.

LOTS of vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate will help him. It will help him a lot with the coughing fits and help him to clear the mucous that is bothering him.

Give it to him in small increments until it upsets his stomach. Then back off.



answers from Chicago on

A mixture of honey and lemon juice (half and half) will help somewhat. Just a teaspoon or 2 at a time. Since it's all natural, you can give it as often as you like.

I agree with the other person who said that maybe it's time to find a new doctor. You should never have to go to the ER unless it's truly an emergency.

Next question: Does Any1 Know the Signs and Symptoms of Pnemonia in 3 Yr Old