Cough, croup, asthma???

Specialties Pulmonary


I tell you, when it is your own child why does all your knowledge go flying out the window!!! :uhoh21: I am not a pulmonary nurse but I could use any "opinions" if possible.

My 4 year old child has had a cough for about a week. No other s/s at all. Just would say the cough was bothersome. Seemed to increase at nighttime. This morning he woke up with a hoarse type of cough and I thought I heard wheezing. I ran to get my stethoscope and listened and initially heard expiratory wheezing, respirations at 32 bpm. Stated difficulty breathing no retractions, no resp distress. The cough sounded "generous" if that makes any sense at all. Not full of phlegm but had substance in sound to it, like a dry cough. I kept putting my stethoscope on and then I was hearing all the abnormal lung sounds just because I was listening and looking for them. Oddly enough it has been very humid for the past 2 days. I kept him home with me today and he has improved but has a dry cough, maybe coughing about every 15mins. No other s/s at all.

I really sat here for a long time go over the "facts" and debating, do I call the pediatrician then I thought well, his Well CHild checkup is in a week so I could wait til then or is this more serious. Now I am thinking was this croup? But it really wasn't a barky cough at all and he has had a persistent cough all week. What do you all think? Just looking for some direction here.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

108 Articles; 9,984 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Call your pediatrician and get an appointment today. Don't wait for the well-child exam; there's a reason you heard wheezing, and the fact that you didn't observe retractions doesn't mean it should wait........retractions are a LATE sign that can mean impending respiratory failure.

I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but I've seen too many close calls---several involving my own kids---not to be concerned. Take your child to the doctor ASAP.


433 Posts

see doc straight away please dont wait.. im a paeds nurse and this sounds like asthma. may need salbutamol inhaler and perhaps prednisolone. I have 3 boys and all of them are asthmatic. mainly night time cough and wheezing. i dont want to frighten you but if it is asthma needs madication as asthma is a life threatening disease but very very common and easily treatable but not curable. he may grow out of it as he get older. lets us know how you get on.


15 Posts

Thanks for the advice!! We went to the pediatrician and he thinks it might be asthma and prescribed Singulair for nighttime. We are to follow up in 1 week. This was sudden onset for sure!! Thanks again. :)

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