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6 year old night coughing help?

Hi. My son is 6 and he has the usual winter asthma cough. I managed to keep his asthma under control in summer with daily piriton and montelukast at night time. He hasn't needed his inhaler for 6 months but now hes having it 3 or 4 times daily (through spacer,10 squirts as advised by paediatrician) my question is, his cough is worse at night, it keeps him up and I'm scared he will go back to being sick while he's half asleep because of the constant coughing. This night time cough has affected him for 4 years! I have to have him in bed with me when he is like this so i can keep an eye on him and prop him up/give inhaler/water.I literally get no sleep (not easy as I have a stinking cold myself and i am 20 weeks pregnant) Is there anything I can try to stop the night time cough?

I've tried, vicks on feet, he has brown inhaler, window always open, humidifier, I have given him phenergan in the past for post nasal drip.

Thanks in advance. Just preparing myself for the night shift and I am dreading it.

8 Replies

I am finding the winter a bad time too. I have noticed that if it's too hot (and dry, central heating car heating) then I'm coughing if it's too cold (early in the morning for example) then I am also coughing.. so it literally needs to be just right..

There is also the fact there are a lot more germs going round which can also trigger asthma... I posibly have a viral infection (according to doctor) but no other symptoms except it's caused an asthma flare up which has had me coughing for days

It might be worth a trip to the doctors to discuss a change in asthma medication? or a short term increase in medication to get back in control (the doctor currently has me taking 8 puffs of fostair a day to get the asthma back in check)


hi jc1985, can I ask if you double up on preventer inhaler as soon as you're son start cough at night ?

I self managed my son asthma for 12mths old under the guidance of respiratory nurse, the first thing I done when he started coughing when asleep was to double up the preventer inhaler, also given reliever inhaler every 4hrs.

I also given med to dry up a runny nose, but piriton will do that, my son would also vomit and slept most nights with us, it will get better just need to control everything thats affecting him, might be allergies or post nasal drip, even reflux that what I think my son as now that making his asthma uncontrollable, till I started him on silicol gel im still using preventer inhaler and reliever when needed but if I didn't try reflux medication he would still be coughing now, see if you can find out what changes this time of year for your son might just be the change in weather that would affect my son. Thinks do get better as they get older my son is 14 yrs old is asthma been great for a few years till last year it been a nightmare since.

hope I helped a little.

hope you're son better soon take care 😊

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I've noticed a couple of people think it is a good idea to sleep with the window open. I am unable to cope with that as the draught makes me cough. I find warm air much better.


Same here!

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I wouldn't sleep with the window open, but I would recommend opening the window every morning after getting up throwing back the bedclothes and humping up the pillows to form and arch to make sure that the bed, and the bedroom come to that, are thoroughly aired out. I would also recommend towelling down the windows if there is any condensation to help prevent mould.


I find a warm bedroom much better than fresh air at night (set thermostat to about 18degrees)I wake up coughing less and sleep better. Anyone else noticed this? Also improved post nasal drip by using sterimar nasal spray ( allergy and sinusitis one) every morning . It may help. Good luck !


You may have done all this, but can I just check, and sorry.

Removed all feathers, down, wool from the room. Vacuum the bed as often as you can. I too cannot sleep unless I have the window open (not so much now as when I was young). Check the humidity in the room - invest in one of those battery clocks that show date,time,temp,humidity. Wipe down any condensation on the windows, as if left, this can result in the growth of black mould. Piriton is good. When coughing, ask him to put his arms up to reach the ceiling. It often stops the coughing fit. My Mum used to give me soda water and that seemed to help as well, but no idea why. I feel for you. Honestly though, it will get better. Could the bed be propped up at all, or extra pillows, or wedge pillow?

The reliever you are using. I assume it is ventolin\salbutamol? Is the

paediatrician an Asthma Specialist? If not, could you get your son referred to the Specialist Asthma Clinic, as I am concerned about the 10 squirts of ventolin. It is not recommended as a long term dose, only in an emergency. Has he had prick tests for his allergies? It sounds to me that he needs his preventer looked at, and changed or added to.

It has been a long time since I was six, but I have decades of experience of Severe Asthma.


Thanks all. I'm petty much at the end of my tether. my son has a constant cough that's just getting started 7 days ago and it's just getting worse. I've tried everything suggested but nothing is helping. He can't even say a whole sentence without needing to cough. the doctor said there is nothing we can do as he is on maximum asthma medication. I just want it to be better but I'm literally at a dead end now and having to sit and listen to him coughing and heaving and not being able to help makes me feel like such a failure to be honest. :(


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