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Old 24.09.2009, 13:04
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Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

My son who is three years old had a persistent cough/cold throughout last winter and we saw him grow thin and pale gradually. We made several trips to the doctor for the ear/throat infection and we got a cough syrup or sometimes a antibiotic. This has been the case from October last year till March/April this year. Out comes the sun and he had no cold and gained a few kilos and looked healthy. Just a note that he goes to the Krippe 3 days a week.

Now the cold has started again and his breathing is quite heavy during the night. I am wondering what the solution could be

1. Flu Vaccinations
2. Humidifiers
3. Something to improve his immunity
4. Alternative treatments - Homeopathy

No complaints against his doctor, but I would have loved it if she for once had a look at his Case Sheet and saw that this is a Chronic problem and told me how to handle it. We do ask every time and are brushed aside with 'Young parents are so anxious' . Do we need to consider changing the doctor?

Would love to hear from all your experiences/suggestions
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Old 24.09.2009, 13:16
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

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My son who is three years old had a persistent cough/cold throughout last winter and we saw him grow thin and pale gradually. We made several trips to the doctor for the ear/throat infection and we got a cough syrup or sometimes a antibiotic. This has been the case from October last year till March/April this year. Out comes the sun and he had no cold and gained a few kilos and looked healthy. Just a note that he goes to the Krippe 3 days a week.

Now the cold has started again and his breathing is quite heavy during the night. I am wondering what the solution could be

1. Flu Vaccinations
2. Humidifiers
3. Something to improve his immunity
4. Alternative treatments - Homeopathy

No complaints against his doctor, but I would have loved it if she for once had a look at his Case Sheet and saw that this is a Chronic problem and told me how to handle it. We do ask every time and are brushed aside with 'Young parents are so anxious' . Do we need to consider changing the doctor?

Would love to hear from all your experiences/suggestions
To me it sounds like he is allergic and might have bronchitis which could later develop into Asthma is some kids. I am an asthmatic and I recommend the flu shot and also an air filter with a humidifier. I have one and I can tell you I sleep perfectly with it.
Vitamin supplements (in the form of special meals) might help but once he can breath better he will be eating perfectly (as you have already seen).
Winter allergy is as common as spring allergies but not so publicized I guess, I am one of them!

Good luck!

A
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Old 24.09.2009, 13:17
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

Hello

Sorry to hear this. I also have the feeling that this cold/flue thing from last year is quite a long time (almost the whole cold season).

And I would not consider it as normal. Maybe you come from a rather warm country? This also makes a difference, when suddenly being in a cold and humid environment.

Personally, I would change the doctor. If you have the feeling that the consulting or treatment is not good enough - go immediately for a change.

Have you considered to have a whole check up at Kinderspital Zurich http://www.kispi.uzh.ch/index.html? Sometimes a chronic disease is a sign for something completely else. They can also give more information on nutrition, vitamin supplements and more.

There you will also get proper information on vaccination. The opinions at this are quite divers. There is a pro-group and a con - each side having sufficient and also good arguments to be believed in.

On the practical side, you can definitely do something to increase his immune power.

What comes to my mind spontaneously - but you can expand the list accordingly:

- healthy meals (e.g. more veggies, fruits, but also more fatty foods or cooked with olive oil)
- vitamin supplement (those for kids)
- more exercise in the fresh air (although it's cold)
- what also helps is a long-term stay in those areas like Davos, known for respiratory diseases.

Best wishes to the whole family.

Last edited by allegra_:); 24.09.2009 at 13:44.
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Old 24.09.2009, 13:43
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

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My son who is three years old had a persistent cough/cold throughout last winter and we saw him grow thin and pale gradually. We made several trips to the doctor for the ear/throat infection and we got a cough syrup or sometimes a antibiotic. This has been the case from October last year till March/April this year. Out comes the sun and he had no cold and gained a few kilos and looked healthy. Just a note that he goes to the Krippe 3 days a week.

Now the cold has started again and his breathing is quite heavy during the night. I am wondering what the solution could be

1. Flu Vaccinations
2. Humidifiers
3. Something to improve his immunity
4. Alternative treatments - Homeopathy

No complaints against his doctor, but I would have loved it if she for once had a look at his Case Sheet and saw that this is a Chronic problem and told me how to handle it. We do ask every time and are brushed aside with 'Young parents are so anxious' . Do we need to consider changing the doctor?

Would love to hear from all your experiences/suggestions

Being allergy and asthma ridden myself, I agree with Angela that it sounds like your son is experiencing the same symptoms as me.

The coughing, sneezing, wheezing, lack of appetite (you wouldn't know it to look at me these days though ). It's hard to feel energetic or like anything is so fantastic as delicious food when allergies are causing such problems and days when it gets bad, I do really feel very similar to how I feel if I have a bad cold or the start of the flu.

If you are from someplace more humid, a humidifier will help loads, also, get some anti-allergy covers for all of his bedding... mattress, pillow case and all. A fresh pillow case daily helps, as does making sure he's got a bath every time he's been outside before he lays his head on the pillow (allergens cling to our hair and clothes).


I also agree with Angela that a lot of folks, even doctors, don't necessarily think about winter time allergies unless someone is known to have issues with indoor causes (such as dust mites or pet dander)... which are a lot harder to know when the person suffering is a small child.

So, next time you see the doctor, maybe request a referral to an allergist.

Whatever it turns out to be though, hopefully this winter goes better for you both. ♥
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:02
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

As a mother of a 3 year old that spent all of last winter dealing with colds, throat infections, croup and even pneumonia, I can sympathise completly and I am dreading this winter...
Since August this year Ive started to give my son "Bio-Strath" twice a day. It is a Swiss tonic that has been around for a long time and is supposed to build up their immune systems and boost energy levels (If you believe the box!)
So far (touch wood) he hasnt been sick, whereas several of his friends from spielgruppe have been off with various illnesses.

Its available from all pharmacies, Ive even started taking it myself in an effort to keep this house illness free as long as possible!

Good Luck
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:14
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

I forgot to mention earlier that towards the end of the winter this year the doctor said he has bronchitis and it might also develop into asthma.

I give him a warm bath everyday before dinner and during that time I stem the bath room with eucalyptus oil (a few drops in the bathwater).

I have one of those humidifiers that hang on the heaters in every room. I give him Ornanol (multi vitamin syrup for kids) and always plan a well balanced diet with vegetables and meat.

I was hoping with age he will get stronger and more immune.Also considering the fact that he was born here.

I will try talking to the doctor for one more time and try the complete check up with the kinderspital.

I am also considering homeopathy as I heard that this will provide a long term solution.
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:16
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

I really hope things turn out well this season.

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Old 24.09.2009, 14:20
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

You might find that he will be stronger this year than last. Was last year his first exposure to a day care? If so, this might have been the source of all his bugs.

Also, with the humidifiers, you should make sure that the filters are scrupulously clean otherwise they can be a breeding ground for bacteria, too. If he is asthmatic, these bugs may exacerbate any problems.

Finally, I would wait and see what comes out of the examination at the Kinderspital before you start sourcing your own medicines (homoeopathic or otherwise).
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:20
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

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I have one of those humidifiers that hang on the heaters in every room.

The humidifier you use, is it one with a filter (something like this ) or is it a ceramic one that you simply fill with water and let it do it's thing?

I ask because my apartment came with the ceramic ones already... and they are quite the allergy nightmare inside. If your son does NOT have allergies this is not so bad... up til the point he has bronchitis in which case any mold is likely to irritate the condition.
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:27
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

It is like the one in the picture. And we relpace the pads often before the recommended time just to be sure.

Sangrounder-Yes last year was his first year at day care. And there was one other favourite playmate of his who had broncitis. the doc says it could be contagious too.

If I go with homeopathy it will be with a qualified physician. I dont beleive in self medication or medicating with word of the mouth.
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:54
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

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It is like the one in the picture. And we relpace the pads often before the recommended time just to be sure.

Sangrounder-Yes last year was his first year at day care. And there was one other favourite playmate of his who had broncitis. the doc says it could be contagious too.

If I go with homeopathy it will be with a qualified physician. I dont beleive in self medication or medicating with word of the mouth.

If I may pounce on the opportunity to ask...

Did you buy that humidifier someplace locally or did you order it? I went last year trying to keep our place free of dust and didn't know about such humidifiers as in that picture so wound up slathering myself with all sorts of lotions trying to help my poor skin.

I really should find one of those.


I really hope everything is ok this year with your little guy. Poor thing, bronchitis is miserable!
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Old 24.09.2009, 15:07
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

For relieving blocked noses I often suggest saline nasal spray- it's not 'medicine' but it's the right balance for your nose, and it helps to wash the mucous through.

Was your child premature/born early ? - that can explain a lot of chronic lung problems...

If your child is losing weight over time, that is serious concern, however, kids tend to 'slim down' as they get older...and not put on a huge amount of weight.

Krippe would be a likely answer as the source of most of your child's illnesses - kids of that age are really good for sharing germs around.

I would not humidify too much unless it seems to actually relieve the symptoms...same as other people, I'm sensitive to mould and it doesn't work for me...however, it also depends on your heating and location - we found it dryer in winter than we are used to, but not uncomfortable...my children have a habit now of taking water bottles to bed with them so that they don't have to get up at night to have a drink....

A serious doctor would do an asthma/lung function test and also take some samples and find out if your child has a specific infection...the best doctor I've had would also always give an 'action plan' and tell me when to come back (as in...if XYZ happens or if she's not better within 4-5 days, do come back)...
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Old 24.09.2009, 15:17
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

Hello.

My son, who is 3 and was premature, tends to have the same problems. Here is some of the advice our ped gave us:

- give 'Broncovaccine' for a month. It's like Bioflorin, but for the lungs. It helps create antibodies for the respiratory bugs, and thus prepare for the winter. It's not magical but it helps, though it's not reimbursed by the basic health insurance (not very expensive anyway)
- cut an onion into two and place it on your heater. It disinfects the air and helps breathing through a congested nose (a few drops of essential oil of eucalyptus in a bowl of water helps too)
- heaters are very unhealthy: warm + dry air = dream for a virus. Keep your house on the cool side - it's good for you and for the environment
- for heavy and lasting cases, corstison nose spray helps fighting an everlasting cold.

And don't worry: with age it gets better... Or so they say
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Old 24.09.2009, 15:22
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

My children had what seemed persistent colds when they were toddlers too. The doctor explained that it was most likely a number of cold viruses, caught one after another, making it seem to be just one "persistent" cold.

If you are very anxious I would recommend seeing another doctor to get a second opinion. I wouldn't go to the Kinderspital (children's hospital) unless it is a genuine emergency (or unless you like waiting for hours...).

I also find it a little problematic diagnosing or suggesting allergies on this forum or via the internet in general, even if the signs seem similar. And I don't see how a flu jab would help against the multitude of cold viruses out there. Still, I'm not a doctor myself...
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Old 24.09.2009, 15:29
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

Yes - he is a Pre-term baby but touch wood, other than this problem he has no issues. He is what I like to think 'my miracle baby' with a birth weight of 720 grams. Also at 3 he is a head taller than most around his age as well.
He is not alarmingly losing weight or abnormally thin, he has always been over the 50th percentile with his weight. But I like to think that if he was not ill for so many months in winter he overall development would be much better.

PegA - I got on a shop on seefeld, a couple of blocks after migros. It is a DIY sort of a shop where you will find a lot stuff from hardware ware to kitchen items.

Last edited by Bindu; 24.09.2009 at 15:38. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 24.09.2009, 18:18
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

sounds like could be childhood asthma with rhinitis which causes the runny nose....the only treatment (at this age)is a 4 week trial with low dose inhaled steroids, it would take about 5-7 days after treatment had started for it to start working, if the cough goes then that is what the problem is.
you should discuss this with your gp as untreated asthma can cause problems when older and inhibits growth too
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Old 24.09.2009, 19:02
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

Have you tried doses of honey and powdered cinnamon mixed in hot water and left to cool a bit? Apparently, this helps improve one's immunity.
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Old 24.09.2009, 23:13
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

If you have him checked for allergies make sure they check him for Alternaria (Schimmelpilz). A typical allergen for winter allergies which is often missed.

I can recommend Dr Jörg in Oerlikon.
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Old 24.09.2009, 23:46
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

My son had asthma as a baby. Thankfully gone now by age 3. Ventolin opened the airways and helped him breathe. Ventolin does a syrup too that helps open the bronchial tubes.

For colds, the doctor suggested leaving a onion cut in half in his room to clear his sinuses and to keep the room cold. Hanging a couple of pieces of wet washing in his room was suggested to to keep the humidity level up. Warm baths leaving the tap running hot water for a while beforehand to steam up the room was also suggested and helped him breath easier too.

Saline nasal spray, pulmex (sp?) chest rub and inhaling the same stuff as a vapor in hot water under a towel helped too.

Allergy testing is extremely expensive and was only done when my son had low iron count to check for intolerances. When they did the specific tests he ended up having a dust mite allergy.
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Old 24.09.2009, 23:53
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Re: Chronic cold for a toddler during the winter

May I suggest you get him an x-ray and get it checked by a specialist as well as the pediatrician.
Check his breathing when ill (shallow, deep ?), check his fingernails and lips. Keep the doctor informed if you notice a change in color.
Fever ? what kind ? low grade and constant, high and short termed, high and for many days ? every morning or every night ?

Write it all down for the doctor.
You are and always will be the best observer.
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