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She has a sudden cough like she is choking and then vomits

hi my names jasmine my daughter is 12 months old all of a sudden she has this cough like she is choking an then vomits but this only happens at night ive taken her to the doctors an all they keep saying is shes fine its just the end of a cold her chest is clear nothing we can do. but this has been happening for about 10 weeks now doesn`t even hardly eat any more if she does she throws up i dont no what to do. she even throws up in her sleep its starting to worry me please help us

Answer: Hi Jasmine, I am glad that you have taken your daughter to the doctors, though it doesn’t sound as though your doctors are giving you the answers you need to hear. I believe it is very important for a parent to follow their instincts, and I think it is important for you to continue to seek help for your daughter – particularly as you are getting so worried. Since she isn’t eating much any more, and she has also been vomiting, has her weight gain been affected? If her weight hasn’t been checked recently, it may be worth doing. You don’t mention whether your daughter has ever been diagnosed with reflux, or whether you have suspected it, but because you have posted on this board, I gather you are wondering whether it could at least be reflux. A child’s signs and symptoms can change as they get older too, so if she does have a history of reflux, but not the coughing/choking/vomiting, then that may explain what you are seeing now. Interestingly, it isn’t unusual for parents of children with reflux, to report that their child’s reflux worsens following colds and other illnesses (as well as things like teething, crawling, constipation, being overtired, change in routine, vaccinations etc). The fact that she has had a cold may help to explain what is happening now, and it can take a while to settle too. From my experience, conditions like asthma can also cause coughing (to the point of vomiting) – and particularly at night, as my daughter used to do that. While her reflux hadn’t been diagnosed at that stage, it was asthma that was causing her problems. Once the doctors got her asthma under control, the coughing/vomiting went away. It was sometimes frustrating though because her chest often sounded clear through the day (meaning when the doctor listens to their chest). I can remember dreading night times too because I knew what it would bring. Has there been anything introduced in the last 10 weeks that may account for her new symptoms? Any new foods e.g. cow’s milk? (Cow’s milk allergy seems to be common in children with reflux). Trying to think back may help pinpoint what’s going on now. Also, there are some things that you can do that may help the doctors understand why you are so concerned. Firstly, it may be worth getting the video camera out so you can videotape the coughing/vomiting episodes. Seeing is sometimes believing. and it may help the doctors to understand if they can see it for themselves. (Alternatively, if you are worried while she is coughing or choking then please get immediate help for her e.g. take her to the hospital). Other strategies you can try are keeping a written record – write down any coughing and any vomiting, what she is eating, details of sleeps too, as well as any other signs you think may be relevant – and show it to your doctor. This can sometimes make it easier for the doctor to understand too. This is another way they can ‘see’ what is going on, and having it in writing seems to help too. You can also consider taking a family member or friend with you to the appointment – someone who can back up what you are saying. This is sometimes effective as well. You may also be able to ask for a referral to a paediatrician, or other specialist. Perhaps they could help determine what is going on, and find a way of helping your daughter. I am not able to tell you what the problem could be, or how you should best handle it, but please continue to trust your instincts and talk to your doctors, and please keep looking for answers. I hope your daughter feels better soon. Best regards, Glenda
Answered: 29 Jun 2009