My Two year old developed a cold after her Birthday party on August 28th and has had a persistent cough ever since. She had a check up last Friday but it was never checked as we figured it was over. Well, the next day it started again. This morning she has been coughing up the phlegm but I can’t convince her to spit it out when she does. Earlier in the month we ran the Vicks vaporizer in her room, it helped with over night coughs but it was still bad throughout the day. Also our six month old had the same cold and cough but didn’t develop the cough again. What can we do for our toddler now? And for the baby if she gets it again?
I hope you have managed to keep the remaining members of your household healthy with your sick daughters! This was a great question many parents struggle with knowing when their children’s colds are okay and when it’s becoming more worrisome. This appears to be one of those colds that may be on the cusp of getting more worrisome, so I’m glad you asked.
Without doing a physical exam on your daughter, I only have a small portion of the picture. I would need much more information, for example such as the frequency, intensity, and duration of the coughing episodes? If there is any shortness of breath, or gasping for air between coughing fits? Any night sweats? Any fever? The color, consistency, and quantity of the sputum? Any blood?
However, if your daughter’s cough has been ongoing at the same intensity or progressively worse over the last month, I recommend you take her to see her M.D. As a Naturopathic Doctor, typically I try to help the body heal with natural remedies, but there is absolutely an appropriate place and time for antibiotics. Sometimes if the benefits outweigh the risks, they are called for. And the body can absolutely be supported throughout the course of the medication, minimizing their harmful effects.
If, upon a visit with her M.D. it is determined that it is a harmless lingering cough and all serious conditions been ruled out, there are things you can do at home to help her little body fight the cough. Again, without having physically visited with your daughter, I am not permitted to suggest specific prescriptions. However, some good quality general immune support is going to help her a great deal:
– Ensure adequate and good quality sleep
– Ensure adequate and good quality nutrition, more veggies fewer fruits
– Ensure adequate and good quality fluids no sugary juices or drinks
– Minimize / eliminate sugar from her diet until 1 week following the complete resolution of her cough
If the cough is simply her immune system having difficulty kicking the common cold, then it is actually best to let her body fight it off. It gives her immune system a workout that’s how it learns! Also, aside from the diagnostic qualities of her sputum, if your daughter swallows it, it does not harm her. Any bug or germs she coughs up will be killed in the acidic environment of her stomach.
If you don’t already have one, I recommend you find a family N.D. Everyone should have one! Situations like this can be remedied quickly and usually without antibiotics, instead using appropriate botanical medicine, homeopathics, and naturopathic supplementation following an appropriate physical exam and diagnostic assessment.
Good luck! And thanks for your question!
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