Wheezing/cold question for a toddler.

Momof1 - posted on 05/11/2011 ( 107 moms have responded )

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Hi all.



My son is 18 months and for the past 5 or so days he has been really snotty and coughing. I'd say the cough is like a dry "normal" cough. He coughs during the day and a lot while he is sleeping. We are usually outside all the time and we would take a walk for about 20 minutes about 2 to 3 times a day and in addition to that he would run around the rest of the time. Two days ago we would start on our normal walk and not even half way through it he would want to be picked up. Yesterday he had zero interest in walking. We would still hang outside, but he didn't want to do much. Today I noticed he was wheezing while we were outside and walking and also today he does not want to walk. He doesn't have a temperature and if I hadn't noticed the wheezing, I wouldn't be too concerned. But now I'm not sure if I should call the doctor or if this is a normal part of a cold. My husband thinks he doesn't want to walk because his legs are tired. Which is understandable, but for the last month, every day we have been taking these walks.



Thanks for the help.

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Delilah - posted on 05/18/2011

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He can't walk because he's not getting enough ozygen in his blood to supply the energy necessary to walk. All of his internal breathing apparatusses (tubes), and possibly lungs and/or head, are plugged with mucus. Poor baby...Hows about if we give him a warm bottle of water to loosen that thick phlegm in the back of his throat and in his mouth and clear his throat up first. Next we can use a infant sized nasal aspirator and gently siphon the snot from out of first one nostril, and then the other.Your baby should IMMEDIATELY be seen by a doctor. A doctor should evaluate baby,that it be known rather your baby at this time of the year has indeed a cold, something else or is indeed suffering from sinusitis caused by allergies, which are common this time of the year. Please don't give your baby any milk, or milk products. The milk will only thicken the phlegm making it very difficult for baby to swallow and breath. It will choke your baby. Baby needs a mucus reliver, such as a plain simple expectorant like, Guaifenesin. A doctor should tell you which one, and how much you should give your 18 month old infant. You might also consider giving your child, a vitamin w/ vitamin C included to strengthen your babies resistence to colds. My kids PD always choose POLYVISOL. Personally, Its the best for babies. Please don't make your baby walk. It makes his heart hurt. Its straining from lack of oxygen rich blood. I had the same symptoms years ago, when I first was diagnosised allergic and asthmatic. I couldn't walk a 1/4 of a block w/out stopping to hold onto a parking meter, telephone pole, or street sign to rest and breath. I'd be holding on, so I would not fall. It was indeed very, very uncomfortable. Good luck. May God bless and keep you and baby, safe and sound.

Kari - posted on 05/17/2011

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My son is around the same age. We give him his neb treatments while he is in the bathtub. He can only move limited so I can effectively give him the treatments. For his other treatments we put on his favorite sesame street episode and put him in his portable high chair so again he can't really go anywhere. I always encourage him to bite three mouthpiece and try to make a game of it.

Yvonne - posted on 05/15/2011

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Both of my sons and I have asthma. Theirs is usually brought on by a runny nose. One gets very high fevers, the other never gets fevers at all. Many people DIE each year from asthma. My older son got RSV when he was only 3 months. The only reason I noticed anything out of the ordinary was due to having grown up with asthma. I took him to urgent care on a hunch & he ended up having to be rushed to Stanford's NICU by ambulance within minutes. Little ones can turn so quickly! My 2nd son is worse than the 1st, but now I'm experienced. I spend every winter night giving multiple Neb treatments. If anything is unusual about your child's breathing go to urgent care. Don't wait on calling a nurse or scheduling an appointment for the next few days. You've been lucky so far. The middle of the night is the worst time for asthma sufferers. I used to have nightmares of drowning because I couldn't breath. It's scary for kids. For the little guys you can just point the adult mouthpiece nebulizer unit at their mouth and nose & put your thumb over the other end so all the mist creates a fog at their nose and mouth. They can't breath in without drawing in the mist. This also works when they are sleeping. Using a mask does not work well when they are sleeping because they are scary and will leak if the child is laying down. The medication cups are meant to be vertical and pour all over you if you lay down. My sons didn't like the masks either until they were older so don't force it. That will just make them stressed, making the wheezing worse and every treatment harder. Put on a cartoon or give them your phone to keep them entertained while they get their treatment. My iPhone did miracles for very long treatments. Use stuffed animals to help you "hold" the mouthpiece to make it look less scary. At 4 my younger son is an expert. He doesn't mind the child-sized mask now so we turn on the cartoons, put on his mask and start the machine. At night we still have to do things by hand, but I designed a set-up that really helps exhausted parents. There a lots of causes for wheezing in little guys, but if you can't breath you die so just worry about getting him breathing first, then worry about the causes. If he has outdoor allergies he probably also has indoor allergies too. And if he wheezes with allergies he'll probably wheeze from colds, smoke, dust, fog, stress (being scared), very cold water in the pool, etc. All kinds of things. Just learn his signs, his body language when he wheezes. Figure out his normal breaths per minute so you know when his number goes up he's having problems whether you can hear it or not. My son can stay active & happy even when he's completely closed up. I've had to ask the Dr. to double check his breath sounds because something didn't seem right. It turned out he was so bad he couldn't move enough air to make a wheezing sound. If a Dr. gets mad because you want your child's breathing checked then you need a new Dr. Don't ever second guess yourself when it comes to your child's health. You need to learn about this child's health and your Dr is the best resource. The only time I've messed up is when I didn't take them in right away, it's always been useful to have their breathing checked. And my oldest is now 9. It's long winded, but I hope the information is helpful.

Michelle - posted on 05/13/2011

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CALL THE DOCTOR! I have two children who have asthma issues and ear infections. Temperature and wheezing can mean pneumonia or bronchitis. And don't let doctor tell you that he does not need to be seen!

[deleted account]

Glad to hear that you got some good advice and took him in. My own little guy (4) was just diagnosed with asthma that is brought on due to his sever allergies. Avvo is also a great resource to check out if you haven't yet : http://www.avvo.com/support/skincancer

Good luck! My little guy actually really likes his nebullizer (the kids mask). The adult one totally freaks him out.

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107 Comments

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Susan - posted on 07/12/2011

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Hi Jeannette, I was just curious as to the results. How is your son feeling now?

[deleted account]

ASTHMA?, my daughter had the same thing she is 19 months, get him to the doctors and get them to xray his chest, my daughter had a terrible attack a couple of months ago and she had to be hospitalised for 5 days xxxx

Loynee - posted on 05/31/2011

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He might be allergic to either the grass or tress or any plant that may be around that area. ALLERGIES . Seems like everyone has them. It has really been bad this year.

Destiny - posted on 05/19/2011

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He may need to have allergy test. I wet thru the same thing when I was a child and my 5 year old daughter is just now showing signs of allergies. About a month ago when the pollen started getting heavy she was wheezing and didn't wanna be outside much. I gave her childrens Delsym cough syrup...it's the best syrup invented lol. But def call your doc I would have some allergy test done.

Rose - posted on 05/19/2011

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My dear,
That baby is not well.... they are very active at that age.. so anytime u notice him not running around and doing things then there is something wrong. I would interest you in some products which would help boost his immune system.. Forever Living Products... get the Aloe Activator or Aloe Berry Nector,Forever Echinacea Supreme. These are not medicinal but they natural alternatives to improving health. Check out www.foreverliving.com Even u yourself could try out these products... they are wonderful and the best in the whole world and you can say bye to those constant infections. Once you have checked let me know.. so we can talk further and u could get to join and do it as a business. (rokema2001@yahoo.com)

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2011

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Hi Jeanette,

First off, yes, you should definitely call a Dr.

Our daughter had similar breathing issues and it turned out to be viral asthma (a type of asthma provoked by colds and such). When it gets to wheezing it can actually turn into respiratory distress if it gets really bad and that is very serious, so wheezing should be taken seriously.



I would say your son is probably not wanting to walk because his airways are somewhat constricted and since his breathing is difficult he is actually more tired than usual.



Finally, please check with your doctor before you give your toddler cough syrup from what I understand it is quite dangerous for them.



Sorry, one last thing. We were also using the neb before seeing our Dr. but when we finally did they told us that it was actually not good for asthma (she has puffers instead).



Of course our experience may be completely different from what is going on with your little one but all the more reason it IS really important to check with your Dr. on it all.



Jen

Mindy - posted on 05/18/2011

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You should take him to see his Dr. My son has the wheezing when he gets sick. He has a nebulizer that helps a lot. They think he may have asthma some day...Good luck!

Re Re - posted on 05/18/2011

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Take him to the Dr. could be bronchitis and he may need breathing treatments. So don't wait. Please don't forget to post back and keep the circle updated-wanna know how he's doing.

Roberta - posted on 05/18/2011

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Dear Jeanette: I am glad you decided to take your son to the Dr. I am a nurse and thought I would just put in a few words to help moms understand what wheezing is and that it should not be ignored. When a child wheezes the child's airways ( tubes of lungs) are swollen and inflammed. This means the tubes are narrower and it makes it hard for the child to exhale. Of course this can be so severe that the ultimately could die if not treated. This isn't just for children. Inhalers for asthma come in two forms. One is to help the child in an emergency: it expands the airways so they can breathe. The other one is an anti-inflammatory which cuts down the inflammation and restores the airways to their normal size or diameter. Most have cortisone in them which is an anti-imflammatory. What all parents need to understand is the cortisone inhaler doesn't act immediately. It may even take 4 or 5 days or more for you to see an improvement. When my son was growing up he had asthma when he got a chest infection or when he was exposed to dust or molds. My specialist told me to keep Mike on his preventative inhaler(cortisone) for six weeks after I started him on it. You need to check with your Dr. how long to keep him on their inhalers. Hope this helps and hope you have a great day.

Kyla - posted on 05/18/2011

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My daughter is 20 months old, and just 3 weeks ago she had the same symptoms!!! We took her to the doctor and it ended up being asthma. They gave us a nebulizer, and it was gone within 5 days... She couldn't sleep, and her day was full of her horrible cough I felt bad that nothing I was doing was helping her. The nebulizer was the only thing that worked. Hope this helps. Is he feeling better today?

Cherie - posted on 05/18/2011

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It sounds like allergies to me but the fact that he doesn't want to walk is a bit concerning. I would take him in and talk to your Dr about your concerns. He may not want to walk because he is not sleeping well at night and that makes him tired but again I'd seek medical advice. As a mom of 8 children I realize that mom's instincts are top and if you feel something isn't quite right checking it out is important. You'd hate to miss something important because you were ignoring your own instincts.

Patricia - posted on 05/18/2011

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i would have your son checked i always think that it is best to be safe than sorry

Cyndee - posted on 05/18/2011

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Trust your instincts on wheen to see a doctor. also consider taking him off cows milk products until the wheeze has gone. Often asthma is worsened by cows milk.

Nikki - posted on 05/17/2011

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If you think something is wrong you should call the doctor. Sometimes when your gut is telling you something you should go with it especially if it deals with your little one. If it's nothing at least you have a piece of mind that you did what you could.

Trish - posted on 05/17/2011

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This sounds like a pollen allergy. The trees are in flower at the moment and the scent from them is very strong, he could just be allergic to this, hayfever. My younger brother many years ago had this problem and he actually used to go off his legs during the summer time. He was hospitalized at one point, but they could find nothing seriously wrong with him and because there was a pattern to these incidents, it was diagnosed as hayfever. Your son may need inhalers during these bad months, definitely consult your doctor. Hope he is fine.

Julie - posted on 05/17/2011

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I would get him to a doctor. It sounds to me more than a cough.... I raised 5 - I know, it is not usual for a child to want to be picked up while on a walk unless they are not REALLY feeling good -

Christine - posted on 05/17/2011

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Jeanette,
It may be a cold, but it could also be that he has allergies. My son was sick for the firsts six months of his life and the doctors kept telling me that he had a cold. Well it turned out the he was allergic to milk. Even now, he is seven, he has what they call cold induced asthma which is when he gets a cold is when his asthma symtoms start. Good luck, I hope that helped.
Take care, Chrissy

Ebony - posted on 05/17/2011

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It also sounds like croup once the night air comes in or it gets a bit cool for them they will start coughing my daughter has this problem, if the wheezing is very distinct try putting him in the bathroom with the hot tap going so it creates steam this can also help

TerriAnn - posted on 05/17/2011

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i think you should call the doctor because the wheezing could get worst and or the next step coud be lost of appitite

Betty (Betsy) - posted on 05/17/2011

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You need to take him to the Dr. Could be asthma. My son had asthma and my grandson. Hope its not.

Connie - posted on 05/17/2011

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My daughter had the same thing recently and I took her in to make sure her lungs were clear. They were clear and they thought it was allergies. She has had allergies from birth but wasn't diagnosed until her one year visit. Claratin usually keeps it under control but mold and pollen have been especially high this year due to rain. Hope this info. Helps.

Danielle - posted on 05/17/2011

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Most kids colds last for about 10 days or so. Just let him rest, that's probably all he needs. Don't make him walk if he doesn't want to and try to give him some extra naps if you can :) My daughter sleeps about 16-18 hours a day when she's not feeling well.
If he's not better after 7-10 days, then I wouls see a doctor. Also, put a ucalyptus waterless vaporizer in his room. You can pick them up at any drugstore, right by the vicks. They are just a little plug in thing. It works wonders for their little lungs. good luck and don't freak out.
If you see that he's having enough trouble breathing that the skin is being pulled in between his ribs, then I would see a doctor immediately, it could be RSV. My daughter had that, and it's commonly mistaken as a cold and can be very serious and takes a couple months to get rid of such as pnemonia.
:)

Jacqueline - posted on 05/17/2011

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I know I forgot to mention that his nostrils closes up sometimes I even showed the doctor one time and he gave me some spray, but it didn't help what the hell is going on with these doctors, I told him that if it was his little boy what would he do. can I get some help

Lisa - posted on 05/17/2011

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Take him to the doctor. He could have allergies that develop into asthma symptoms. After a while they could turn into other bronchial problems if not taken care of early on. My child who has viral induced asthma will develop bronchitis or pneumonia if we don't do something about it early on.

Jacqueline - posted on 05/17/2011

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Thanks girl, I'm going to try it one more time with his doctor and if he doesn't do anything I will go else where. I hate to go off on someone about my grandson if anything happens to him he is my world. I will let you know the out come.

Thank so much

Lisa - posted on 05/17/2011

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My daughter was doing the same thing...There is a few different kinds of asthma and my daughter had the one where she just coughed uncontrolablly all the time..Even while sleeping and it wasnt allergies...I am not a doctor by any means...but it sounds similar...good luck

Jacqueline - posted on 05/17/2011

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Thanks Lisa, but what I would like to know is if he has allergies or is he allergic to something, isn't there a different

Lisa - posted on 05/17/2011

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It took me a long time too to get them to listen to me....tell the Dr he needs an inhaler....You will notice a BIG difference within about 2 days!!!

Jacqueline - posted on 05/17/2011

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My grandson is almost 3yrs old and I have taken him to the Dr several times about his coughing and eyes running water all the time it seems like he always has a cold and dry cough, but the Dr says hes ok, but I think that he has some type of allergies, but they won't give him anything, he coughs all the time even when he eats it is so sad to watch him like that what can I do I have tried all kinds of cough syrup and nothing seems to help. The Dr won't do anything is he to young to be tested for allergies.

Rachel - posted on 05/17/2011

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Call the doctor!!!!! Could be nothing but better safe than sorry. Wheezing, losing interest in normal activity is not good. Could be a cold could be a heart murmer. Please get it checked.

Cheri - posted on 05/17/2011

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yes take him to the Doctor,thats how my daughter started when she got hayfever/asthma.

Lisa - posted on 05/17/2011

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If you havent taken him to the doctor yet...its asthma...take him he needs an inhaler. The wheezing is the dead giveaway...BUT, coughing a lot especially while sleeping is another sign...thats what my daughter had that started at birth. She is now 10 and grew out of it about 3 years ago. now it only flares up when she has a cold.

Tina - posted on 05/16/2011

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if want to talk to mothers that have children with similar health issues check out the community (children with asthma and related respirtory ailments). I know it can be very distressing seeing your child struggle. But you're not alone and their are so many people that can relate. I hope your son is doing better.

Cristie - posted on 05/16/2011

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I would call his doctor if he's wheezing. It's probably RSV, an upper respiratory virus. My daughter is 6 1/2 months and she also has the exact same symptoms. I took her to see her doc, and she has RSV. If he has that, then there is medication for it, but would probably have to be used by a nebulizer compressor machine, otherwise it would be an inhaler through a little chamber.

Suzette - posted on 05/16/2011

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My daughter was the same and was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 1. She is chronic asthma meds now and needs to be nebulised daily. The wheeze has gone now for about 2 years and only returns when she reallly gets sick like bronchitus sick. The nebuliser really made a huge difference! Take him to the pediatrician just to see what he says - you can't go wrong.
S

Sheila - posted on 05/16/2011

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colds cause congestion, asthma cause wheezing, in either case he should be evaluated by a pulmonologist, medicine and inhalers can increase his tolerance for exercise and free play...make the appt asap, its better to know what you are dealing with instead of just wondering and avoid a full blown asthma attack, nothing is so scary to child and parent as not being able to breath and catch your breath...i am a mom and an ER nurse, so i know

Nadine - posted on 05/16/2011

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PS Google bronchiolitis. A severe case of bronchiolitis can cause breathing difficulties, so keep an eye on your baby for signs he is having trouble breathing. Take him to emergency or call an ambulance if:
he is wheezing (a coarse, whistling sound as he breathes)
his nostrils are flared
the skin between his ribs, above his collarbone, or below his rib cage appears to suck in with each breath
he grunts, or tightens his tummy muscles when breathing
his lips and fingernails are blue
he is breathing faster than 60 breaths per minute
he stops breathing for a few seconds at a time

Nadine - posted on 05/16/2011

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My little one had a virus at around 13 months old, and this caused an asthma-like reaction for which he had to be hospitalized for a few days. Their airways are smaller than ours so it takes less to knock them off their feet. Take him to the doctor just to be sure, as it can become very serious.

Christy - posted on 05/16/2011

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This sounds more like asthma to me. The difficult part is getting a doctor to believe that it's allergies. If he's not getting enough oxygen to his body while going for a walk, he would feel weak, which would explain why he wants to be carried. I would seek the advice of as many doctors as it takes until one is willing to investigate the possibility of allergies/asthma. Start a journal of symptoms, when they get worse, and how long they exist. For example, a regular cold should have run it's course in 10 days. My guess is that your little guy will still have these same symptoms, not worse, but not better, in a week or two.

I very well could be wrong, but do seek professional help. It could be as simple as teething, though. Teething would cause post nasal drip which will cause a cough. But the wheezing makes me lean more towards allergies or asthma. If you don't like what one doctor tells you, go to another doctor, and then another. Do some research and work through the options to see what helps.

Christy
mother of 4!

Yasmin - posted on 05/16/2011

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If he is wheezing, I would certainly take him in. Has he had his whooping cough vaccine? It commonly causes wheezing and has been popular this season among children. Always best to be safe than sorry, I can't tell you the amount of times I have taken the kids to the doctor and it been nothing, but again, always better to be on the safe side!

Melanie - posted on 05/16/2011

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How are his sats now? I remember when my daughter was admitted when she was 5 (now she's 10), her oxygen sat was the main concern - it was too low and they didn't want to demit her until it was close to 100 I think. or 90? Can't remember exactly. It was in the 80's when we were admitted. Fun times. Sounds like he's on the mend though - wonderful to hear.

Wendy - posted on 05/16/2011

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How's he doing? Is he still fighting the treatments? My little guy would tolerate his if I let him keep his pacifier in his mouth with the mask on. I also found it easier to do treatments when he was ready to go to sleep. Just recently, he felt so bad, that he actually asked me to give him a treatment.
My oldest outgrew the asthma by the time he turned 2, but my youngest is going to be 2 at the end of the month. Not sure if he is gong to outgrow it.

Melissa - posted on 05/16/2011

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Sounds like my son a few weeks ago when the pollen was high - he had an upper respiratory infection. I put vicks on the bottoms of his feet, chest and back and it helped him sleep greatly. There is also a saline spray called little noses or arm & hammer makes one called simply saline that is safe for infants to toddlers. Keep his nose lubricated and my son's dr. recommended a humidifier in his room. It helps him sleep a lot better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 05/16/2011

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I have 3 children and ive learned if ever in doubt, call a doctor..... the wheezing can be a indacator of a chest condition such as Bronchitis or walkin Pneumonia.. I would not waste time on this , specially since ur son is so young, Good luck I hope he feels bettter :) Also if there is smoking in the house and or around him that will speed up the process of whatever he is ill from. hope this helps!! sincerly JENN

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