It is natural for children aged between 2-11 years to suffer from frequent attacks of cough throughout the year due to a number of reasons, cold and flu being the top among them. Incessant coughing in children upsets their normal activities and very often they have to pass sleepless nights. Accumulation of phlegm in the lungs or infection in the respiratory tract causes irritation in the throat, and children try to get rid of the excess phlegm through frequent coughing.
According to pediatricians, over the counter medications should not be administered in children for mild to moderate cough. It can be treated effectively through simple home remedies. These medicines often turn out to be disadvantageous compared to the benefits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly prohibits administering over the counter cough medications to children aged below 4 years. Cough in children should be treated naturally through inexpensive home remedies unless the condition is serious.
Top Home Remedies For Cough For Children
Some effective home remedies for cough for children are listed below which can provide quick relief from this ailment without causing any side effects.
This naturally occurring golden liquid has been used since ages in order to treat cold and cough in children. According to healthychildren.org, you can give ½ – 1 teaspoonful of honey several times a day to your children. You can also give little honey to your kid before going to bed.
Honey soothes the irritated throat preventing coughing in the midnight. Make sure that you get pure honey from reputed agriculture farms. Honey is not suitable for children below 1 year as it can cause infantile botulism.
Give Plenty of Fluids
Coughing is the most natural way to get rid of excess mucous but frequent coughing can be extremely bothersome for children. Give them warm water to drink. This will soothe their throat muscles and reduce the irritation in the respiratory tract.
Hot chicken and vegetable soups, milk and broth can also be given to treat severe coughing in children. Let them have small quantities of hot and tasty soups several times a day. This will reduce frequent bouts of coughing.
Inhaling Steam Or Mist
Steam inhalation is very effective in treating croup cough in children. Children make a barking sound in the midnight and wake up from sleep. Take your toddler in the bathroom and run a hot shower. Keep your bathroom door closed to generate enough steam from the shower.
Stay in the steam filled bathroom for 15-20 minutes. Steam inhaled by your child will ease out coughing gradually enabling him or her to breathe properly. You can use a humidifier in your room to reduce the bouts of coughing of your kid at night.
Treatment With Lime Juice
In a cup of hot water, stir in one teaspoonful each of honey and lemon juice. Give this mixture to your child 2-3 times a day depending on the frequency of coughing.
The mixture of lemon juice and honey loosens the congestion and brings out the mucous. Most parents rate this as the best home remedy for cough for children.
Give Milk And Turmeric Mixture
Drinking warm milk adding a little turmeric is another effective home remedy for cough for children. Avoid adding sugar. This warm mixture soothes the sore throat and loosens the phlegm reducing the intensity of coughing. This sugarless drink may not be palatable to most of the kids but is of great help in treating this ailment.
Gargling With Salt Water
Persistent coughing results in a scratchy throat increasing the frequency. Gargling with salt water provides an immediate relief from the soreness of the throat.
Mix a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water and teach your kid the techniques of gargling with it. Gargling for 5-7 minutes several times a day will produce best results.
Special candies and lozenges can soothe a scratchy throat providing some relief to coughing. Kids aged above 6 years can lick flavored hard candies to reduce this problem. Avoid giving candies to toddlers as these may cause choking in them.
Though the reason behind the action of candies in reducing cough is not yet clear, but it has been quite effective in reducing coughing in children. Ginger candies can be an excellent choice to curb this problem.
Apply Saline Spray
Injecting saline spray in the nasal passages is another useful home remedy for cough for children. Add half teaspoonful of salt in a cup of warm water. Suck the solution with a disinfected dropper and inject into your child’s nostrils slowly.
Warm saline solution will loosen the mucous of the respiratory passages and bring it out. Application of saline spray before going to bed will enable your kid to have a peaceful sleep at night.
Treatment With Cayenne Pepper
A home made cough syrup with cayenne pepper, lemon juice and honey is a very effective remedy to treat stubborn cough in children. Mix one tablespoon each of honey and lime juice and add a pinch of powdered cayenne pepper to it. Keep this mixture for 10 minutes. Let your child sip this mixture slowly.
Capsaicin, the potential ingredient present in cayenne pepper helps in stimulating the mucosal layer of the nasal passages loosening the congestion. The heat of cayenne pepper stimulates other secretions acting as a decongestant which in turn reduces the frequency of cough.
Give Ginger Tea
Ginger is known for its antitussive (cough suppressant) and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking ginger tea is another useful home remedy for cough in children. Crush one inch of ginger and add it to a cup of boiling water.
Simmer it for 1-2 minutes. Allow it to stand for 3-4 minutes. Strain the tea and give it to your kid 2-3 times a day. Add one teaspoonful of honey to make it palatable, else your kid may refuse this drink.
Treatment With Onion Juice
You can try a home made cough syrup prepared from onion juice in order to treat cough in children. Cut a medium sized onion in layers and place it in a bowl. Add honey to the onion and mash it with the back of a big tablespoon to extract the juice from onion. Honey aids extraction of the onion juice and also enhances the taste. Keep it for 5-6 hours.
Give one teaspoon of this home made cough syrup several times a day depending upon the frequency of coughing. The presence of sulfurous compounds and quercetin (a flavonoid) in red onions helps in reducing allergic and asthmatic cough in children.