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Old 01-28-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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Ds (turned 5 end of Dec) has had a nasty cough (very bark-y sounding I guess. not sure how to explain- not just a regular cough) since Saturday night. He sounds wheezy occasionally as well. His throat is sore and really red. He looks pale and worn out. He also says his head hurts and he has never said that before. Today his temp is 99.8 (taken in his mouth). He was totally fine Saturday morning and went to a bday party where he spent the day at the pool with all the kids from his preschool class. Nothing like spreading germs to the whole class
His nose is not stuffy or runny at all.
Would you take your child to the Dr.? Every time I have ever taken one of my kids in all that happens is the Dr. says something like "yes, he is sick. Rest and lots of fluids. Here's a bill for a zillion dollars"
But the cough bothers me so I made ds an appt for this afternoon. Would you take your child in?
Eta: add diarrhea to the list...

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Old 01-28-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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Re: Would you take your child to the Dr?

If you listen to his chest and you can hear weazing (you can do this with just your ear on his chest) then I take to the doctor ASAP. If not then just fluids and rest. You can also use a cupped hand to pat on your child's chest to break up the mucus in the chest if you hear weezing. My DD had a infant device to help with her lungs that was essentially the same. She had breathing problems from birth though so I learned a lot.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: Would you take your child to the Dr?

Have you had him on any Tylenol? In general, I do a day of Tylenol and rest, soups and fluids. The wheezing is worrisome so I don't think you are being over zealous with a dr appt.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
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Sounds like croup. I would take him in.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: Would you take your child to the Dr?

I also think it sounds like croup. But I would NOT take him in. A cough by itself with no other symptoms (And the fever you mentioned is very, very low. Not even sure most docs would consider it a fever...) is not very alarming to me.

Croup is a result of inflammation in the lungs/vocal cords. Which SOUNDS scarier than is actually *IS* You can google "croup" and they have sound clips you can listen to, to see if it sounds like your son's cough. Croup is usually characterized by a cough that sounds like a seal's bark, and is worse at night, or when the child exerts themselves.

Young kids get it usually after a cold or other upper respiratory illness. And it's just that their lungs are irritated and taking some time to heal back to normal. It will sound worse before it gets better.

Because it is not an infection or a virus, there is really no treatment, other than to give steroids to make the inflammation go down in the lungs. Typically, it's like 3 days of steroids. The croup will go away after that. But remember, steroids fry the immune system. So if your kid has croup, you go get the meds, the cough goes away (and it likely would have gone away on its own. Croup only lasts a week usually IIRC), but then the kid gets ill again, and then gets croup again. You can make a vicious cycle if you are not careful.

Croup ITSELF is not contagious, and is not dangerous UNLESS there are severe symptoms. You want to watch for things like bluish lips, *true* lethargy (can't wake the kid up at all, kid can't talk, kid is staring into outer space with no "life" in their eyes - sleepiness/crankiness is NOT lethargy), or a high pitched squeaky noise when the child inhales (called stridor). Those things mean your kid NEEDS help to breathe and should get treatment.

Otherwise, it will run its course, it will sound TERRIBLE, it will freak you out, you will be miserable from being up for a few nights, but it will go away on its own in a few days.

Here is some info. I am sure you can find a lot more.

There are some at home remedies that will help, too. Steamy shower, outside cold air, etc.


ETA: We just got over croup a while ago.

The first time my DS had it, it freaked me out really bad. I took him to the doc. Doc gave steroids. Steroids worked. Son got sick the following week and developed croup again. That time, I did not take him to get treated. I read a lot about it and researched it. My other two kids ALSO got it. And within about a week and a half everyone was done with it and no one has had it since. It's been probably 6 weeks now with no one else getting it.

Last edited by Kiliki; 01-28-2013 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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With the wheezing I probably would but we have good insurance and only pay a small copay, $25, so I don't worry about a big bill for dr's visits....
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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Also, all the info above is useful if that's what it is, but I don't use internet docs for my kiddo so personally I'm in the better safe than sorry camp with kids. Since the posters have not seen your child, you will have to decide if you are comfortable with the "it sounds like x and that's no big deal" diagnosis.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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Re: Would you take your child to the Dr?

Yes I would take him in. Hope he feels better.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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Re: Would you take your child to the Dr?

Sounds like what my daughter is just getting over. Took her to the pediatrician on Saturday and she was diagnosed with a sinus infection (and prescribed an antibiotic) and a wheezing cough and prescribed a prescription syrup. Within 24 hours of taking the medicine she was nearly better and now 2 days later you wouldn't even know she's been sick.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:13 AM   #10
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Thanks mamas! I'm going to take him in.
He is miserable. Tylenol isn't helping (the temp I gave in my first post was taken 1.5hrs after a dose of Tylenol)

I looked on YouTube for croup sounds (great idea!) and I'm not quite sure it sounds the same.
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