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Daughter starts coughing fits in the car

Daughter starts coughing fits in the car — both of our cars, and her grandmothers.  Cant figure it out.  When she is out, it clears up.  We had air filters changed, didnt work.  Anyone else with this issue? 

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  • Kathy P

    Well huh…that does sound odd! Ard the cars newer or older? I know I have issues with older cars. I can usually detect a musty smell and suspect it's from the ventilation system. 

  • MPH

    I would cough violently to the point of throwing in the car. I believe strongly it is 2 things. Cold weather is the worst. But also humidity. Numerous times the car or truck in front of me their exhaust.

    I close the vent and just recycle the air in the car. But the fear there is the exhaust from your own car at rest. But I still have no diagnosis but sure does sound like asthma.

  • Melissa G

    That is very puzzling and I bet very frustrating! Does it happen all year or only certain times of the year? Have you spoken to her dr about this?

  • Tiffany F.

    Hi everyone,

     

    We are stumped because it's multiple cars and they range in age, mine is a 2015 so it shouldn't be musty or rusting yet. Her grandparents is newer than it.

    It seems only to happen in winter, last year and this one both so not really allergy season…

    We don't have any pets, and no pets ride in the cars. 

    I've changed air filters, tried windows open, windows closed, etc.  My last guess is dry air maybe, but not sure how likely that is or how to fix it. 

  • Kathy P

    That is very strange. With a really knew car, it could be all the off-gassing chemicals. My car is a 2016 and sometimes I still get a whiff of newcar smell. 

    What about trying a scarf or bandana over her nose and mouth just in the car? Maybe that would be enough to filter out whatever it is? 

  • Tiffany F.

    @mph I am so sorry to hear you experience this, but I don't feel as crazy after hearing someone else have similar issues!

    I am beginning to wonder if it's dry air in the winter.  The car heater dries the air out to an extreme (very hot air in a small space).  I found a mini car humidifier that plugs into a USB/lighter port.  I am going to give it a go and see if it helps.  Just food for thought with your condition?

  • K8sMom2002

    Tiffany, one thing that I've noticed is that any sudden change in temperature will set off an asthma attack for me — cold to hot or hot to cold. Cars can be the worst for me, because I'm usually leaving a comfortable, stable temperature and moving to a radically different temp and humidity. 

    One thing that helps is to have someone start the car for me and either turn on the heater or the AC (depending on the season). Of course we don't do this in a closed garage.

  • emtwallace

    Cars can be bad places for asthma.  They get dusty etc.  Like others have said keep the car clean but hot dry air/ cold dry air, confined space, multiple irritants etc are all going to be constants.  Brand new cars and even older ones emit toxic gases from the plastics, upholstery and carpets.  Basically the entire inside of the car is made with petroleum byproducts and will emit gasses for years.  I leave my windows cracked as often as possible when parked, especially during the summer, so gases don't build up as bad.  You could try a reputable auto detailer in your area and have them use an Ozone machine to clear the car.  That is about the only way to get cigarette smoke out so it may work with other pollutants too.  I will caution you that I have heard, when I was a detailer, that it made some folks symptoms worse, so use your best judgement.  I know what you're going through because my daughter was like that until she was about 5 and then it stopped.  Best of luck.

  • K8sMom2002
    emtwallace posted:

    You could try a reputable auto detailer in your area and have them use an Ozone machine to clear the car.  That is about the only way to get cigarette smoke out so it may work with other pollutants too.  I will caution you that I have heard, when I was a detailer, that it made some folks symptoms worse, so use your best judgement.  .

    Wow, Brian, I had no idea that auto detailers might use ozone machines when cleaning cars! Thanks for letting me know! I'll know to ask the detailer NOT to use an ozone machine or generator.

    says this:

    Ozone triggers asthma because it is very irritating to the lungs and airways. It is well known that ozone concentration is directly related to asthma attacks. It has also caused the need for more doses of asthma drugs and emergency treatment for asthma. Ozone can reduce lung function. Ozone can make it more difficult for you to breathe deeply.

    There ARE non-ozone generating air purifiers that you can use. I'm wondering if using an air purifier in a car after detailing might help improve the car's . 

    And what a good point about cars being tight closed spaces where dust and off-gassing can become pretty concentrated.