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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Child with large tonsils

 Pat - Sat Jun 21, 2003 8:14 am

My grandson has breathing problems due to large tonsils. He had his adnoids out about 1 year ago. He is 3 yrs old. He is scheduled to have his tonsils out in about 3wks. I would say in the last 6 wks he has developed a very disturbing cough that always ends up with him throwing-up. At first it was only on a hard cough, but now he throws up when he coughs every time and when he cries or laughs hard. At night when he sleeps he seems to be in a deep sleep but then he starts coughing and ends up throwing-up 2-3 times every night, always arouond 2-3 am.. This episode is repeated every night and he throws-up enough to make a real mess on the sheets and floor. He chokes easily on things that he could eat before, like sliced apple. Any bulky foods like bread going down cause him to gag. He was in our pool (I'm the Grandma), last weekend and was playing and suddenly coughed and threw up in the water. We got him out and dryed off and dressed right away. This was a very warm day and when dryed his skin was warm. He had a bluish gray from the tip of his nose to his chim for about an hour after swimming. I am very worried but my daughter seems to think it's all related to the tonsils and all will be well when they come out. I won't watch him by myself because his day care told my daughter that he choked and was very frightened but they were able to get the food out of his throat. Am I being to worried over this? I have noticed he a lot more quiet than he used to be. I feel he knows anything can set off the vomiting. Is there anything from your experience that explains this? I know you must be careful in what you say, but any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,
The Grandma, Pat.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Jun 21, 2003 3:49 pm

User avatar Dear grandma, Pat

The possible explanation for your grandson condition is that due to his breathing problems, he became mouth breather. Mouth breathing is one of the factors that lead to throat infections (which are mainly viral in this age group). Being allergic is another explanation for persistent symptoms. Tonsillitis usually starts with the onset of sore throat leading to pain on swallowing.
Dry cough and sore throat indicates a viral laryngitis an extension of the infection and inflammation to the larynx, which is usually associated with hoarse voice. This laryngitis explains the attacks of getting choked.
The best treatment for his condition right now is steam inhalations and plenty of fluids. Having his symptoms for more than 2 weeks, have your grandson seen by an otolaryngologist, or ear, nose and throat specialist. This kind of specialist could rule out allergies and can prescribe the best treatment.
Hope to hear he recovered soon.
Thank you

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