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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

How long should i wait until taking to GP with a cough? possible infection?

(15 Posts)
Marne Sun 24-Jul-11 13:06:39

Dd2 (5) had had a cough for 2 weeks, it mainly effects her in the mornings but today she seems to be coughing more, it doesn't sound chesty (just your avarage cough), she's had a slight temp (37.5 maximum) on and off, again mainly in the mornings. She seems happy enough, just a bit quieter and tired than normal. She's unable to tell me if her throat hurst as she has ASD and is almost non-verbal. I don't usually take her to the GP unless she stops eating and drinking (then i know she's unwell). How long should a cough last? Should i take her to the GP tomorrow? I'm reluctent to take her as there seems to be so much going around and i dont want to come back with something worse than a cough smile.

Marne Sun 24-Jul-11 13:43:55

Bump, anyone?

ShowOfHands Sun 24-Jul-11 13:47:51

37.5 is a normal temperature for a child.

DD had a persistant cough and I did see a gp but he said in absence of any fever, secondary infections etc it was normal and could go on for up to a couple of months. It lasted nearly 4wks in the end and at the end the cough was almost habit.

If you are concerned I'd go for peace of mind but with no temp and no problems eating/drinking, no undue lethargy I would think it just viral.

sneezecakesmum Sun 24-Jul-11 21:28:20

Viral coughs can persist for 6 weeks easily. The symptoms you mention are fine but if it worsens get the GP to check her chest.

fatandknackered Sun 24-Jul-11 21:29:44

Have heard the same from my GP as sneezecake - can take up to 6 weeks to go away. Very annoying for your DD though...

Marne Sun 24-Jul-11 21:31:49

Thank you, i will leave it and see how she is in a day or 2, was just worried as it seems to be getting worse not better but some coughs do seem to do that dont they? I think i'm in for a bad night as she is coughing and waking herself up sad.

Ivortheengine8 Sun 24-Jul-11 21:35:01

Agree with above, there is not much the GP will do anyway,especially if it isn't a chesty cough. He might prescribe some syrup or something but tbh that doesnt do much anyway.

DeWe Sun 24-Jul-11 21:41:40

I wait until they're asleep and put my ear to their chest. If you can hear persistant wheeze or (I think it's worse) a squeak as they breathe then you definitely need to check it out.
However the cough is actually a sign that the body is reacting against the infection, the cough is clearing the mucus from the lungs which is good. Dd1 had really bad pneumonia and hadn't coughed at all until the antibiotics started clearing it and the doctor said the cough was a good sign.

Marne Sun 24-Jul-11 21:49:02

Thanks DeWe, i will have a listen to her chest in a minute when i go to bed, she used to get a lot of throat infections but hasn't had one for a while, have checked her throat and it doesn't look too bad. I dont really want her to have antibiotics if she doesn't need them (as they often make her very poorly), my gp seems to hand them out for every cough or sniffle.

Haudyerwheesht Sun 24-Jul-11 21:57:10

So long as her cough isn't debilitating and she doesn't have a high fever and is ok in herself I would just ride it out.

Ds (4) had an awful cough for weeks - he did eventually need steroids but that was due to asthma.

Dd (10m) had a terrible cough making her sick a lot etc but no temp (maybe 37.7 at few points but ok) and was eating / drinking. It lasted maybe 3 weeks but went away on its own.

Haudyerwheesht Sun 24-Jul-11 21:59:24

Oh and yes 37.5 is not a fever.

Marne Mon 25-Jul-11 12:36:22

Thank you, she seems worse today, lathargic, lying around (is usually hyper), i'm popping her in to the gp just to check her throat and ears, temp was 37.8 (still not really high), just want to check she has no infection because it usually takes a lot to make her poorly and stop running around.

DeWe Mon 25-Jul-11 12:52:37

Hope she's better soon.
Depends on the child as to whether I look at low grade fever as a temperature. Dd1 I wouldn't worry at all about it. Dd2 is fine on that sort of temperature, but if it starts rising much, then there can be problems, because if she gets to about 38.5 it starts shooting up and is really hard to get down, so I keep an eye on it. Ds I would get checked out as it usually means he has an ear infection which may well burst shortly. He doesn't get much temperature with them though.

TheOriginalFAB Mon 25-Jul-11 12:53:39

In an adult a cough that sticks around for 3 weeks needs checking so I would definitely say it needs checking in a child.

Marne Mon 25-Jul-11 17:54:19

GP checked her throat and said 'its very sore but not infected' so just a virus, pleased we went though as GP said dd2 has Impatigo (sp), i thought it was just a spot that she had picked. So she now has antibiotic cream for her chin and we will give her calpol for her throat.

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