Medical Specialty >> Pediatrics

Doctors Lounge - Pediatrics Answers

Back to Pediatrics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Three month cough in 18 month old

 ranna - Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:52 am

Hi there. I have an 18 month old with a cough that has now lasted 3 months. At first he came down with a cold, and then he started coughing which sounded 'barky'. We took him to our pedatrican who said his lungs sounded clear, and to come back if it was still happening. He did not stop so we took him back. At this point, our pedatrican ordered an x-ray and based on his symptoms, (coughing at night, running, etc) pointed to asthma. Chest x-ray showed infection and she said 'asthma'. We put him on anitbiotics for 10 days, and Flovent for 4 weeks. The barking cough stopped even before we put him on the
medication and same with the night cough. Three weeks ago we went back and she said to take him off the Flovent, and we
would try Zantex, as maybe he has reflux. It has not worked at all.
He sounds like something is irritating his throat, and is not productive. It does not happen at night, and is not barky. He will cough for 1-2 seconds when he begins walking and running, (not all the time though),but can conitnue to do these for hours and not cough. He will alwaysl cough when he first starts to laugh. After that, he can laugh forever without coughing.
I am to take him back next week if it isn't resolved with the Zantex, which I am doubtful will begin working after 3 weeks.
My question is, what could this possibly be? It really sounds quite harmless, and doesn't interfer with playing, running for hours or anything, (doesn't always stop to cough, he just keeps going most of the time) He does not have any signs of allergies, and is very tall for his age. He was 1 month
premature and had wet lung for a total of 10 days in the hospital, came home and had no other problems. Two ear infections and two colds since he has been born. He eats very well, although has only gained about 1-1 1/2 pounds in 6
months, (we have not had him weighed in a month now though).
I am concerned as this has lasted so very long, and truly appreciate any advice
you may have.
Thank you,
 big_kabasa - Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:55 pm

hey my son is 6 months old and he does fake coughs maybe that could be a possibility i'm not very helpful but its just a sugestion llok it up on the net
 Dr. Heba Ismail - Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:30 am

Dear ranna,
I don't see this as any source for concern. There is a cough known as ' habitual cough' that could be the cause of your child's cough, especially that it now disappears on sleeping, which is very characteristic of a 'habitual cough'. It commonly continues after the resolution of a pathologically-based cough.
My advice would be to just observe for any change in character or worsening of cough, or the appearnce of any associated symptoms. Otherwise, don't think about it.
 ranna - Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:46 am

Hi there. Thank you for your advice.
I took my son into the pedatrican's office yesterday, they do not think that it is a habit cough. She sent him for another x-ray. He had one in October and it came back with infection and 'asthma'. She said this should be cleared up now. Also, she said she does not think it is serious, but he shouldn't be coughing anymore. On the x-ray form it said;
atelertsis vs infiltration
what does this mean? What are other reasons for a cough like this? He doesn't have a runny nose, etc., he does not get short of breath, etc. and Flovent didn't do a thing? He is 26 pounds and 6 oz, and 33.5 inches. He is very very active and happy and eats well. Could he have a serious lung problem? What about CF?
Thank you for any info
 Dr. Heba Ismail - Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:15 am

The X-ray findings you've mentioned can be seen with any inflammation or infection of the lungs, and they can take a while to clear up on X-ray, while clinically a person may be free.
I don't believe this is serious, since he is improving, and is in a good general condition.
In some situations a cough may take a while to clear up, so let's just wait for some time.
If, however, it exacerbates or becomes disabling or distressing, seek immediate medical advice.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us