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Pediatrics/Recurring cold & cough even after adenoids surgery


My son is currently 3.5 years & weighs about 15 kg. Since 9 months he was having recurring cold infections & cough. Till 2 years he was put on lot of medications - Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, Flovent, Albuterol, Singulair, Nasonex, Prevacid but none worked for him. X-ray showed he had enlarged adenoids & mild sleep apnea, he used to snore a lot & have disturbed sleep. Finally at age 2 we got his adenoids removed, that helped a little bit with snoring but not with his cold infections. It starts with mild cold which gets worse in 3-4 days with a lot of post nasal drip. He is constantly gulping something - mostly mucus from nose  (it is not reflux - endoscopy results were normal). At night he gets cough due to post nasal drip & cannot sleep. One of his nostril is always blocked (keeps on alternating). Nasal endoscopy was normal. He complains of headache & sometimes facial pain. The mucus is white but sometimes turns green. He always runs fever of abt 101 to 102 deg. for 3-4 days. We live in St. Louis,USA. Pediatricians dont give any medicine but his condition worsens & we are given Prednisone (Oraped) to manage non stop coughing. Asthama medicines have not helped us. I have got Erythromycin from india & we tried giving him that for 5 days, it helps a lot with his cough but doesnt help with cold. Omnicef helps more with cough but his cold does not go away 100% Amoxicillin & Augmentin didnt help much too. He doesnt get any ear infections, after antibiotics he is fine for 10 days & then he gets another attack. Does it look like allergies or sinusitis? ENT said there is no need of CT-scan, his health will be better as he grows up but he is falling sick twice or thrice a month. I am a stay home mom & take care of his diet by giving him lots of soups,veggies etc. but i am really worried. Please help as to what needs to be done.

Hi Seema,

Every child in 2-6 years of age group suffers from frequent cough/ cold. These children, especially in lower side of this age group can have 6-8 episodes of cough/ cold every year. The frequency of these episodes is even more during change of season and when the toddler starts going to day-care (creche)/ play school/ school, since there are a number of children (all in this vulnerable age-group) in a room that facilitates spread of infection. These episodes appear similar, but in fact there are more than 200 viruses that can cause similar symptoms. Hence, technically these infections are not "same" but by different viruses. Recovery can be fast with some viruses, while prolonged course (occasionally even upto 3 months) with others. The frequency of these episodes decreases somewhat at ~ 5-6 years of age (when the child has unfortunately already suffered from most of these viruses.

Medicines are not always needed, especially in milder cases. In more severe episodes, medicines are given to provide relief from symptoms but do not shorten the course of illness. Parents must know that most of these episodes of cough/ cold are viral infections and antibiotics (like erythromycin, Omnicef, Amoxycillin, Augmentin etc.) have NO ROLE in viral infections. Antibiotics are prescribed only when bacterial infection is suspected.

I also agree with his ENT doctor that CT scan has no role here.

In your son's case, please do discuss the possibility of his having Allergic Rhinitis with his Pediatrician.

Best wishes,
Dr. Puneet Kumar,
Kumar Child Clinic, Dwarka,
New Delhi, India



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Dr. Puneet Kumar


I would be happy to answer general queries on prevention and treatment of ailments in newborn, infant, toddler, child or an adolescent. Needless to say, it will not be possible to answer any query that requires diagnosing, since it is not possible to examine a child online.


I have worked in various capacities (medical officer, resident, senior resident, consultant) in public as well as private sector in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Today, I have over 17 years of experience in the field.

Currently, I am running my own clinic (Kumar Child Clinic) in Dwarka, New Delhi and am attached to Lifeline Hospital, Dwarka as consultant pediatrics and neonatology. I am also developing my clinic website into a comprehensive child health/ parenting website (

(a) Chapter "National Immunization Schedule" in Frontiers of Social Pediatrics, Jaypee Publishers: 2nd edition, 2016. (b) Article, "All about Pertussis vaccines" in special issue of Indian Journal of Practical Pediatrics, July-Sept 2015 (c) Three chapters (DTP vaccines, Pneumococcal vaccines and Poliovirus vaccines) in "Textbook of Pediatrics for Post-graduates" First edition: 2015. (c) Chapter: "Alternative delivery methods of vaccines" in IAP textbook of Vaccines, First edition, 2014 (published by IAP/ Jaypee Brothers) (d) Special Article: "50 years of Immunization in India: Progress and Future" in January 2013 issue of Indian Pediatrics (e) Four chapters in "FAQ: Book on Vaccines and Immunization Practices" First edition, 2011 AND 2nd edition, 2015 published by Jaypee Brothers. (f) Three articles in special issue of Journal of Pediatric Sciences on “Controversies and Challenges in Pediatric Vaccination Today" in Sept, 2010. Co-edited the series also. (f) Regular column, “How do I treat” in Pediascene ( (g) Review article, “Role of Anti-Poliovirus Agents in Polio eradication and beyond” in Polio Pulse, April, 2008. (h) Chapter on “Acute Infectious Diarrhea” in Textbook of Infectious Diseases in Children. (An IAP Publication), 2007. 2nd edition in 2011. (i) Book-Review (IAP Pediatric Drug Formulary, 2004) in Pediascene, March 2005 ( ) (j) Case-report on Osteopetrosis. Jharkhand Journal of Pediatrics, Dec-2002.

After MBBS, I have done DNB residency in Pediatrics.

Awards and Honors
Winner of IAP practising pediatrician's quiz in 2001.

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