22 doctors weighed in:

What.Can we give.Our 4 1/2 month old son for a bad cough and runny nose he sounds congested?

22 doctors weighed in
Dr. Henry Ng
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
12 doctors agree

In brief: Humidified air

And nasal saline.
Most cold medications have side effects which are dangerous for children under age 4. I like humidified air via a steam bath. Use 1 inch of cold water in the tub then turn shower on hot. Stand in bathroom and allow warmed humidified air to soften secretions. Stand far enough to avoid burns. A few drops of nasal saline with gentle bulb suction also works well.

In brief: Humidified air

And nasal saline.
Most cold medications have side effects which are dangerous for children under age 4. I like humidified air via a steam bath. Use 1 inch of cold water in the tub then turn shower on hot. Stand in bathroom and allow warmed humidified air to soften secretions. Stand far enough to avoid burns. A few drops of nasal saline with gentle bulb suction also works well.
Dr. Henry Ng
Dr. Henry Ng
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10 doctors agree

In brief: Saline drops

If he is not in any distress with sleep/feeding, saline drops can be instilled into his nostrils to moisturize, loosen up and dilute/thin out more viscous mucus.
If the cough is persistent, or he has rapid breathing and/or persistent fever, seek an evaluation with your pediatrician-it could be wheezing (aka viral bronchiolitis).

In brief: Saline drops

If he is not in any distress with sleep/feeding, saline drops can be instilled into his nostrils to moisturize, loosen up and dilute/thin out more viscous mucus.
If the cough is persistent, or he has rapid breathing and/or persistent fever, seek an evaluation with your pediatrician-it could be wheezing (aka viral bronchiolitis).
Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
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Dr. Kenneth Lin
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
4 doctors agree

In brief: Usually no meds

Generally, cough and runny nose should not be treated in children under the age of 4 or 6 with any over the counter medications.
They are not shown to be effective, and may have side effects. I recommend keeping the baby upright when sleeping, and using a humidifier in the room. If he seems uncomfortable with breathing, breathing fast, having a hard time feeding, has lethargy, he should see an md.

In brief: Usually no meds

Generally, cough and runny nose should not be treated in children under the age of 4 or 6 with any over the counter medications.
They are not shown to be effective, and may have side effects. I recommend keeping the baby upright when sleeping, and using a humidifier in the room. If he seems uncomfortable with breathing, breathing fast, having a hard time feeding, has lethargy, he should see an md.
Dr. Kenneth Lin
Dr. Kenneth Lin
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2 comments
Dr. David Liu
nasal saline can also be an effective treatment without side effects. if the cough is more than a few days, speak to your primary care provider, because albuterol, a medicine for asthma, might be effective.
Dr. Julie Holmon
No cough medicines are good for infants.
Dr. David Liu
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Nasal saline

If it is just a cold, nasal saline and suctioning the nose are usually helpful.
But if there is difficulty breathing, albuterol can help. In most cases, colds are viral and antibiotics don't help. But if your son is not getting better by 1-2 weeks it is important to see a healthcare provider.

In brief: Nasal saline

If it is just a cold, nasal saline and suctioning the nose are usually helpful.
But if there is difficulty breathing, albuterol can help. In most cases, colds are viral and antibiotics don't help. But if your son is not getting better by 1-2 weeks it is important to see a healthcare provider.
Dr. David Liu
Dr. David Liu
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Dr. Kathleen Zabinski-kramer
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No OTC medicines

Most OTC medicines do not work in young children and have a higher rate of adverse effects.
The cough is usually do to post-nasal drip. I recommend infant saline drops and using a bulb suction to get the mucus out of the nose. You can also runny the shower until the bathroom is steamy and then bring the baby in the room to help break up the mucus,

In brief: No OTC medicines

Most OTC medicines do not work in young children and have a higher rate of adverse effects.
The cough is usually do to post-nasal drip. I recommend infant saline drops and using a bulb suction to get the mucus out of the nose. You can also runny the shower until the bathroom is steamy and then bring the baby in the room to help break up the mucus,
Dr. Kathleen Zabinski-kramer
Dr. Kathleen Zabinski-kramer
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Dr. Craig Coleby
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not cold medications

Cold medications are not recommend at his age as they do not work and may be harmful.
The following recommendations are effective and safe: (1) humidifier in the room at night while sleeping (2) nasal saline spray in the nose followed by suctioning out the congestion (3) Give a teaspoon - tablespoon of pure honey (local preferred) (4) Vicks vapor rub on the chest

In brief: Not cold medications

Cold medications are not recommend at his age as they do not work and may be harmful.
The following recommendations are effective and safe: (1) humidifier in the room at night while sleeping (2) nasal saline spray in the nose followed by suctioning out the congestion (3) Give a teaspoon - tablespoon of pure honey (local preferred) (4) Vicks vapor rub on the chest
Dr. Craig Coleby
Dr. Craig Coleby
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