Posted by: Michelle V | 2019/11/07


5-month-old struggling with chest, nose and coughing

My son is 5 months old and since he was 3 months, he has had trouble with his chest, blocked nose and coughing. Our pediatrician first gave us cough syrup and cortisone mixed for 5 days, and also Pulmicort for the nebulizer. He was then better for 3 days and started coughing again. Then the doctor gave more Pulmicort and monte air sprinkles and Avamys. He was better now for 2 days and he started coughing again and chest very wheezy but the nose doesn't seem blocked. why is he not getting better? Doctor said it will take a long time to get better but why?

Expert's Reply


- 2019/11/12

The first question to ask is whether your baby attends a creche? If he does then your experience is very typical of young babies who attend a creche. In fact this is known as the 'creche syndrome' Here babies and young children are exposed to repeated episodes of virus infections especially to a virus known as RS virus. This virus causes symptoms that resemble a cold to start off with and then affects baby's chest causing wheezing and coughing. This illness tends to last for 3 weeks at a time. The next problem is that babies can have repeated infections of this virus and do not develop an immunity to it following each infection. Of course being a virus infection, antibiotics do not help at all. Even if your baby is not at a creche,but has an older sibling who is at school and who may bring this same RS virus infection home. So your question as to why it takes so long for your baby to get better is due to the kind of virus infection he had. Babies of 5 months still have rather small, narrow airways in their lungs and when they get a chest infection it takes a very long time for the coughing and wheezing to clear up. Cortisone and Pulmicort usually do not help much to relieve wheezing in such young babies. It is important to keep your babies nose clear by using FLO-Baby saline nasal spray twice daily and to give him a good probiotic such as Reuterina infant drops for at least 10 days. If your baby does attend a creche review your options such as to put him with a day mother who cares for not more than 3 babies every day.

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