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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Green snot

 llm8221 - Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:00 am

So, my son gets a cold/virus for a week then is good for a week then gets one again in a week. It has been like clockwork for over a month. He is 2.5 yrs old. I just assuming since it goes away for 5-7 days it can't be bacterial, but everytime his "cold" starts up again he gets thick green snot right away. Everyone i know says green snot usually means sinus infection or something that need antibotics. My mom keeps insistanting it must be the same sickness and it ihasn't compeletly going away. But it seems like it is going away for the 5-7 days. With each virus sometimes he has a low grade fever and once he had a fever of 103 and then another time no fever. Anyway, does this just sound like viruses or could the green snot be a clue it is something else?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:07 pm

User avatar Hi Llm8221,

Children your son's age get an average of 12-15 viral infections a year-almost all of which are in the winter time. So, children very frequently get one cold after another.

It used to be widely believed that green mucous was a sign of a bacterial infection (as opposed to clear mucous). Studies now show that color has little to due with the cause of the infection and both viruses and bacteria can cause green discharge.

If your child gets symptoms that are not going away or are getting progressively worse he should be seen to make sure everything is ok.

Best wishes.
 llm8221 - Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:47 pm

Thank you again so much. On a side note: When all his syptoms from one virus goes away and he is good for about a week, he still has a very slight cough. ONly coughs really when he runs or has a tickle. The reason i do not think this is related to the viruses is because me and my husband cough daily as well, be it from the dry air or a tickle. I truly do not think his cough is "cold cough".
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:08 pm

User avatar There are several possible causes of an ongoing cough. Some viruses can cause a cough that goes on for a while. A runny nose can also cause a cough. The fluid runs backwards down the throat and causes an irritation. Dry air can also cause a cough by drying the back of the throat.

Another consideration would be a condition like asthma or allergies causing the cough.

Best wishes.
 llm8221 - Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:34 pm

Thank you so much. You are such a great resource

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