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How safe is nebulisation for my daughter?

Q: I have a 2.5 years old daughter who is quite active. She goes to a nearby play school. A few days back, she developed severe cough but without mucous. She did not even have a running nose. But, she used to cough continuously and had sleepless nights. She also started to breathe very fast. We then took her to her paediatrician, who confirmed that her chest was clear and the cause could be because of weather transition and pollution. Her medication included nebulisation with oxygen (for 2 days), Microsef syrup (antibiotic for 6 days) and salbid expectorant syrup (for 6 days). My concern is, how safe is nebulisation for my daughter? There is no previous history of asthma in our family. I am really worried; will my daughter become susceptible to asthma?

A:I will answer your expressed concern first. Nebulisation is a very good method of drug delivery. It is a very safe and sure method. Your description suggests a differential diagnosis of acute laryngotracheo bronchitis (ALTB) or allergic bronchitis. ALTB is caused by a virus. A previously well child manifests running nose. In the next day or two, the child develops cough and noisy breathing. It is an alarming condition; but, it is fairly self-limiting; the diagnosis is made on clinical grounds and the treatment is mainly supportive. The child becomes alright and the condition is not a recurrent one. Allergic rhinitis also manifests in the same manner. However, in allergic rhinitis, a conspicuous exposure to a known allergen could be discerned. In allergic bronchitis, it is the wheezing which is prominent. Generally, one or two episodes like this are quite common in childhood and your child may not be susceptible to asthma later on.

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