Should I worry that my 14-month-old's cold symptoms have lasted for more than 4 months?
What exactly are the cold symptoms? An almost constantly running nose in a child who is cared for at a group child care facility is not uncommon because he may be dealing with a series of colds every couple of weeks. Just as one subsides, the next one starts. He does not have to be in full-time day careeven weekly mom and tot groups are enough to expose him. Clear mucus can alternate with some that's yellow or green but in the absence of fever, poor eating, or other signs of illness, your pediatricians are correct. In fact, one of the rules I tell parents to pay attention to is whether symptoms like this bother the child or just bother the parents.
On the other hand, a cough that persists, especially if it keeps him up at night (and you, too, of course), can be a sign of allergies and asthma. Is there a history of asthma in close relatives? Do you or the other parent suffer from hay fever? Is your toddler
rubbing his nose or eyes along with the cold symptoms? This may be a sign of allergies as well. Is your child exposed to tobacco smoke, a new animal in the home or day care, or construction or remodeling? These irritants can contribute to respiratory symptoms. Have the cold symptoms led to ear infections? If not, ride it out.
Unfortunately, cold medicines in children this age do not control symptoms very well. Saline (salt water) nose drops used three or four times a day can help to thin mucus, wash some of it down and away from the sinus openings, and help make him more comfortable. If he starts to seem out of sorts, if green or yellow mucus continues for more than 10 days, if he runs a fever, or if he acts as though he's in pain, see your health care provider to rule out a sinus infection.