ZocdocAnswersIs it normal for a toddler to have green mucus?

Question

Is it normal for a toddler to have green mucus?

Is it normal for a toddler to have green mucus? We're new parents and I know we tend to overreact, but it just seems strange. Our toddler doesn't seem too sick otherwise, but he has had a wet cough and today coughed up green mucus. See a doctor or no?

Answer

Small children often produce a lot of mucus and this can be concerning for parents. Fortunately, it rarely requires medical treatment. If you have concerns, you should discuss these with your pediatrician. The first thing to know about mucus in small children is that they tend not to swallow it! Therefore, it always seems as if they have more of it than adults, often running down out of their nose. In the setting of cough and congestion, mucus can be a normal finding as part of a common cold. If your child has high, persistent fever, is not eating or drinking, is breathing rapidly, or appears lethargic, then the mucus and cough might be a sign of some more serious infection, such as a lung infection. Also, if it is just a cold then the mucus should go away slowly over a few days or week. Sometimes, chronic mucus production (such as chronic running out of the nose) is a sign of an allergy in the nose or sinuses, called allergic rhinitis. This can be managed with certain medications prescribed by your doctor. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your child's specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your pediatrician might be indicated.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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