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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.

Non stop cough

(11 Posts)
Kookie1 Sat 25-Apr-09 14:33:26

My 2 and 1/2 year old daughter has been coughing for weeks and weeks. In fact, every time she gets the slightest cold (which is often) she ends up coughing for ages to a point where I can hardly remember when she might not have been coughing to some degree. On this occasion, the GP said to try an inhaler as she could not hear any sign of infection in her lungs. She is not wheezy though. Has anyone had any experience of this? We've now been referred to see a pediatrician (appointment due to come in the mail). I am petrified. What could be wrong? There is no obvious phlegm in her cough and her her nose runs clear. Her worst cough attacks are usually in the morning or after waking up from her nap, or after running around, though she does also cough a bit at night. As to the inhaler, it is hard to say whether it could be beneficial as we are having a real hard time getting her to co-operate - I don't know how much of it she has actually inhaled so far - the whole thing happens in a struggle of crying, pushing it away, me trying to get it back on. Any advice? Any expereinces? Thanks.

eclipse Sat 25-Apr-09 22:53:46

Kookie1, my ds was exactly like this and the coughing was endless, especially mornings for ages after a cold. Started using a brown inhaler and the coughing stopped. Still more prone to coughs but they clear up quickly now. Cough returns also when inhaler runs low and I haven't noticed. He's never been wheezy and chest also always sounds clear. But given clear diagnosis of asthma. Which inhaler have you been given? The blue one did nothing for him.

eclipse Sat 25-Apr-09 22:55:21

Sorry, forgot to mention ds hated the mask (only tried it a few times) but has always been fine with just the mouthpiece on the spacer.

3littlefrogs Sat 25-Apr-09 23:12:55

It sounds typical of asthma. You need to see the paed. asap. Does your surgery have an asthma nurse? IME they are the best people to teach you and your dd how to use the inhaler plus suitable attachments properly.

Many little ones hate the mask and do better with the mouthpiece. Ds2 was diagnosed with asthma following RSV bronchiolitis - he had to start with inhalers at 6 months. By the time he was 2, he preferred the mouth piece on the spacer.

The preventer is really important - the idea is to use it regularly and get the dose right so that you prevent the attacks happening. The reliever is for the occasional times when the preventer hasn't been efficient/effective - usually you would need to see the nurse again to check that a dose change isn't needed.

If you can get an appointment with the asthma nurse asap, that would tide you over till you get the referral.


3littlefrogs Sat 25-Apr-09 23:13:56

Forgot to say that asthma very often presents as a cough in little children, not a "wheeze".

smudgethepuppydog Sun 26-Apr-09 09:14:55

Sounds very much like my children when they were small, they are both confirmed asthmatics.

When they were small and resisiting the face mask we'd wait until they were asleep before administering the inhaler, as they got older they too preferred to use the mouth piece.

Kookie1 Mon 27-Apr-09 11:15:21

Thanks for all your replies. Sounds like it is probably asthma. This morning though she woke up unusually late and with a completely blocked up nose - just as I thought she might be getting a bit better... (I managed to give her the inhaler while she was asleep last night). Of course I couldn't resist googling her symptoms and freaked out finding myself on pages about cystic fibrosis. Could a persistent cough and persistent blocked/runny nose be a symptom of that? I haven't seen any green or yellow mucus out of her nose thoguh - it tends to be clear. Really scared now anyway. Any further information would be appreciated. Many thanks.

Kookie1 Mon 27-Apr-09 21:40:56


mooseloose Mon 27-Apr-09 21:51:41

Hi Kookie. My ds7 has asthma. He started with the night time cough, but i don't recall the runny nose...

When he was at playschhol (2.5-3 ish) I reemember he never had the energy to walk there and back. At nursery he would cough at playtime, and gasp for breathe, and then had an 'attack' on hol This is when the doc diagnosed asthma.

He had the brown inhaler in the morn, and he was alot better, so attacks, and i asked if he could come off meds, but then it all revved up, he was tired, and out of breath so easily. he would be triggered by pollen a lot. But he doesn't really have a wheeze ever, its the shortness of breath, and working hard to breath, and the tiredness.

The blue will relieve for 2 hours, and this does make a difference straight away. But if he is having a bad spell he needs a good few puffs. He uses the spacer. It helped him to see an older boy use one.

he is ok at the mo because he has started taking a chewy pill every day, and three months in I am seeing a benefit to him with his energy and stamina.

Hope this helps, so don't worry there is no wheeze. It could be asthma with a cold? or hay fever?

McGill Tue 28-Apr-09 13:31:09

Just to try and reassure you, they check for cystic Fibrosis at birth - the test doesn't catch ALL cases, but most of them. In general, a child with CF will be underweight and not thriving - sounds much more like asthma or simply a chronic cough which she will grow out of - my 22 month old son has very similar - coughs A LOT to the point I sometimes canº't rememeber when he didn't have a cough and frequently gets runny noses etc but otherwise he is well...hope that reasures you a bit! x

kellybelly Wed 12-Aug-09 00:25:30

my son has confirmed asthma. His main problem is a cough at night time and when he does any excercise. He has no wheeze. Recently he had a bad coughing attack and I gave him his blue inhaler 9 times to stop him coughing. When it didnt work I brought him to the out of hours surgery. The cough was so bad that he didnt get 30 seconds between the bouts of coughing. Whilst waiting to see the doctor he vomited mucus on the floor. The doctor said it wasnt an asthma attack as his chest is clear. On a previous visit the doctor told me that the vomit is the bodies own way of clearing the mucus from the airways. I frequently come up against this problem, he has no wheeze so they send me away saying his chest is clear and we end up at the out of hours or needing steroids. When I research it on the internet a cough without wheeze is a common symptom, yet some doctors dont recognise it. How do I tell the doctor I think he is wrong?

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