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6 year old with throat clearing habit

(55 Posts)
Grannyjacq1 Sun 13-Sep-20 19:20:46

6 year old grandson has recently developed a habit of constantly throat clearing - not quite a cough. Otherwise healthy. I noticed it when he came to see us recently, and his father said he has been doing this for a few weeks. I'm not sure if my grandson is aware that he's doing this, and we didn't make any comment. He recently returned to school post-Covid closure, but the 'cough' developed before this. Is it a nevous 'tic' caused by anxiety? Is it best to ignore this or draw his attention to it? I need to find out if he continues to do this in school - I can imagine others in the class finding it annoying. It will probably stop just as suddenly as it started, but just wondered if anyone else had had experience of this in children, and the best way of responding to it. Thank you.

tanith Sun 13-Sep-20 19:52:06

One of my GS did this when he was similar age sadly it drove his Dad nuts and he would get cross with him. He stopped the throat clearing but developed shoulder shrugging instead, his GP told my daughter it was best to ignore it and he did eventually stop.
He’s now 6’ and a confidant 21 yr old. I’d ignore it for now and he’ll probably grow out of it.

MellowYellow Sun 13-Sep-20 20:12:07

My 10 year old grandson, a very sensitive and quite easily worried lad, developed a 'tic' when he was six and I was really bothered by it but as a family we chose to ignore it and it went. And the interesting thing is that I can't remember what he did, it may even have been a cough. Now if he gets worried he draws or makes clay models. I've had two more grandchildren since those days and wouldn't be worried if it happened with them. I hope you find some reassurance.

Hetty58 Sun 13-Sep-20 20:23:58

One of mine developed a habit of constantly sniffing (after having a cold) at around that age. It drove me up the wall. We got him to blow his nose, nothing there, even got prescribed antihistamines for him. We had to ignore it and he soon stopped!

MissAdventure Sun 13-Sep-20 20:25:58

Both of my grandsons had all sorts of strange 'tics' at one point or another.
They have both grown out them, though. Mostly. smile

BlueSky Sun 13-Sep-20 20:50:03

As a child I kept sighing which I now know is a sign of anxiety and I was indeed a painfully shy anxious child.

Chewbacca Sun 13-Sep-20 20:50:54

GD had the throat clearing/coughing tic for a few months. Ignore it and it will pass soon enough.

MissAdventure Sun 13-Sep-20 21:24:28

My older one would make random loud noises.
Really made me jump!
I can't remember my girl doing it.

Chewbacca Sun 13-Sep-20 21:31:10

When DS was about 7 or 8, his best friend went through a stage of randomly stretching his mouth very wide; made no sound but it worried his parents for a while because they thought there was something wrong. But it stopped, just as suddenly as it started. I think maybe stress causes it.

merlotgran Sun 13-Sep-20 21:36:25

It might be a good idea to get him checked out for asthma or an allergy.

EllanVannin Sun 13-Sep-20 21:52:51

Take no notice and just pretend you don't hear it. It'll pass.

silverlining48 Sun 13-Sep-20 22:38:46

A doctor suggested a friends daughter who did this too. give up dairy . It seems to have worked

BlueBelle Sun 13-Sep-20 22:50:00

Definitely take no notice, it will go away as fast as it came
Don’t even think of going down the doctor route at this stage and don’t point it out or tell him to stop
Mellowyellow i remember my grandson doing something with his legs when playing football at that age but I can’t remember exactly what it was he did that’s how unimportant it was

Hithere Sun 13-Sep-20 22:51:37

I would ignore it.

Starblaze Sun 13-Sep-20 23:04:51

I know autistic children who stim by throat clearing. I'd address the anxiety rather than try to correct it, even if it does sound painful or damaging to the throat.

merlotgran Sun 13-Sep-20 23:14:04

Definitely take no notice, it will go away as fast as it came
Don’t even think of going down the doctor route at this stage and don’t point it out or tell him to stop

shock shock

Poor little chap. He could be showing signs of an allergy or a breathing problem. If he were anything to do with me I'd get some professional advice.

Grammaretto Mon 14-Sep-20 07:12:04

If worried, ask a doctor but don't involve the child. I had a similar throat clearing tic as a child, I'm told.
I don't still have it wink
Life can be tough for a sensitive soul.
Children can pick up on anxiety from others and school, with all the new covid restrictions can't be easy.

BlueSky Mon 14-Sep-20 08:19:56

Agree with Merlot, needs to be seen by a doctor, it can be a sign of anxiety even if nothing physical is found.

Oopsadaisy4 Mon 14-Sep-20 08:23:37

DH noticed that I was doing the same thing 3 or 4 years ago, turned out I had Asthma, it might be an idea to get him checked out just in case.

BlueBelle Mon 14-Sep-20 08:35:55

Don’t agree at all at this stage Merlotgran if he were having asthma he would have breathing problems and show signs of being unwell not just clearing his throat and post doesn’t imply there are any other symptoms
It is much more likely a habit or could be a slight anxiety problem which many children go through, especially going back to school after a long absence (although it started before it could have been the build up to the thought of going back)
I m sure as most people have said saying nothing is the best way forward for the time being
I need to find out if he continues to do this in school surely this is for the parents to sort out and you should really be taking a back seat and following their lead anyway I m sure the school would have contacted the parents if it was a problem with much smaller classes it would have been more noticeable
Wait and see

Oopsadaisy4 Mon 14-Sep-20 08:48:19

CVA didnt make me short of breath initially, just a tickly cough, one shot of Ventolin in the surgery and after 20 minutes the coughing / throat clearing stopped. Although I wasn’t doing a lot of running around at the time, maybe if I was I might have noticed more symptoms.
It took a week on Ventolin to sort it out, stupidly I then thought that the Asthma Nurse was wrong so I stopped using the inhaler, I then had a full blown ‘Exacerbation’ and am now on a Steroid inhaler every day.

However, it should be the parents monitoring the child not the OP.

Sparklefizz Mon 14-Sep-20 09:16:40

I agree Merlotgran and disagree BlueBelle ..... When my asthma is beginning to play up but is not actually an asthma attack, my throat feels thick and I have to keep clearing it. I would get him checked. Grannyjacq1

Aepgirl Mon 14-Sep-20 09:36:34

It could be a form of hay fever - I find myself clearing my throat quite a lot recently due to various spores in the air.

BlueBelle Mon 14-Sep-20 09:46:07

Sparkle fizz it’s nothing to do with grannyjacqi So why are you telling her to get him checked she’s not his guardian
Asthma in a child is different from an adult if he is a normal boy he’s running around most of the day and nothing in the original posts suggests he is breathless or coughing

hicaz46 Mon 14-Sep-20 09:47:52

My granddaughter who suffers with anxiety had a similar ‘tic’ along with others at various times. Her mother my DD also had them and I believe I did too. Even now at times of anxiety I can feel myself repeating actions which manifest like tics. I think most people grow out of tics but as an anxious person they may always be there in the background, but hopefully as we grow older we learn how to deal with the anxiety and therefore the tics. Incidentally they are best ignored, but it may be good for the parent to try to find the cause of the anxiety.