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A doctor gave my son medicine when he isn't "sick"?

My son is 15 months and for the past three nights has woke up at night and started coughing (he usually wakes up and gets a diaper change anyway, but now he can't go back to sleep because of the coughing) and he will usually cough for 30-60 minutes before finally going back to bed. He doesn't have a hard time breathing or any congestion but he can't fall back asleep because of the coughing. He doesn't cough during the day and has had no fever or any other sign of a cold whatsoever. I took him in today just to see if he had anything and the doctor gave me medicine for Bronchitis even though she said his lungs sounded clear. Is this common practice? She said that it could be early signs of Bronchitis (last week he had a low-grade fever for a few days but it went away and he didn't really have any other signs of being sick) and if it was that the medicine would get rid of it early on. I am just wondering if this is normal?


Asked by Ctepanee at 9:46 PM on Mar. 15, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (28)
  • If the coughing continues I would seriously consider taking him to an asthma specialist. Something similar happened to me with my son. I guess he was about 3 when it started. He had a terrible, dry night time cough. We were seriously losing sleep. I'd take him to his pediatrician and he'd give me cough meds. While they worked sometimes, that fact that I was having to give him this every night just to make it thru the night bothered me. My FIL is practices Internal Medicine and told me that this isn't really normal (keep in mind this was going on for MONTHS). He sent me to an asthma specialist and sure enough my son has cough variant asthma. He's 9 and I've still never heard him wheeze....when he has an attack he coughs....and they tend to get worse at night. He's on a preventative now and we rarely have problems now.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:59 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I don't know what normal is for a doctor any more. They are all so weird.

    Dark chocolate will knock out a dry cough in a few seconds. If you can get a tiny 1/4 oz piece for him to suck on, or melt it and mix it with a tiny bit of water (not milk) for him to swallow. Plain unsweetened cocoa can be mixed to make a little home made cough syrup. I know it sounds strange but it works. he just needs a tiny bit.

    Answer by ecodani at 9:50 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • Yes, he could be developing asthma and also, if he is coughing so hard that he wakes up and can't go back to sleep, he needs help to make the cough more productive. My doctor has done that for both my son and I.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:53 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • Why do you say not milk? Is their something with milk that can make it worse? I had told my Chiropractor about the situation today and he suggested laying off the dairy for a little while? Am I missing something? lol

    Answer by Ctepanee at 9:54 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • What about dry air? Could that cause a dry cough? I know my place is very dry, I have a sore throat at times, I put the humidifier on tonight so I am hoping that will him as well.

    Answer by Ctepanee at 9:55 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I dont see anything wrong with it if he had a low grade fever the week before. i trust my doctor....i guess.

    also, i am not saying there is anything wrong with it, but why is he getting up in the middle of the night for a diaper change at 15 months old? My DD has been sleeping through the night FOREVER. She is 20 months now. If she wakes up in the middle of the night it generally means something is wrong. She slept through the night around 1 month....I think. I know I am lucky, but 15 months and still getting up in the middle of the night seems extreme. I was thinking that my doctor actually said that around 12 months was when you should be letting them sooth themselves and sleep through the night. I could be wrong when...I dont have my fact sheet handy. Either way....kudos for you for being able to get up in the middle of the night. if my DD did that we would be up ALL night! ha ha.

    Hope your son feels better

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:00 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • Anon - I had thought about Asthma, he had bronchitis months ago and did this same thing but I also haven't heard my son wheeze. However, my father has asthma, my brother has it and my sisters children have it. The doctor also asked about it and that's what he will be getting tested for if this doesn't stop...I just really hope it's not asthma.

    Answer by Ctepanee at 10:02 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • Anon 10:00 - Habit I guess? My son doesn't do the whole "soothing" thing, I mean he will cry for hours if you let him, and even if he does fall asleep, he will wake up 10 minutes later crying and do that all night long. Believe me, I have tried everything, although he takes fine naps during the day, and at bed time for the most part we read a few books and I can lay him down and he falls asleep fine. But around 11 pm-12 am it's like he's scared or something. And his diaper is generally very very wet, I would feel bad making him sleep in it.

    Answer by Ctepanee at 10:05 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • if it is asthma, as much as it can be a pain to is manageable. my SKs have it and my daughter most likely has it as well. however, my daughter is who is only 20 months will only take a breathing treatment if she is really having trouble. otherwise you have to sort of hold it infront of her face. she is very independent. lol. you can do it. my Sks go to a respiratory therapist and she helps to keep you informed and keep tabs on whats going on. she also helped to set up a plan for what to to when they are having flare that way you dont go to the ER for every cough. Also, it helps you feel better to have a plan of action I think. they havent tested my DD for it yet....and I hoping that her asthma like symptoms pass and she doesn't have to deal with it later on.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 10:08 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I'm anon :59, and didn't realize I clicked anon, anyway, I mentioned asthma to my doc and he said he HAD to wheeze. I know not all doc's feel this way and quickly left his practice after I learned better. My husband has asthma and so does my mom. DH has 21 neices and nephews and quite a few have asthma, some with classic symptoms and some not. If it continues, you really mght want to consider it. And it's not so bad, many children grow out of it.


    Answer by momjoy1027 at 10:11 PM on Mar. 15, 2010