9 Natural Remedies for Cough in Kids
Being a mom is a whole new world of discoveries and possibilities as you would have come to realize by now if you are a mom.
One of the things I have come to discover in the five years of being a mom to two kids is that I constantly have to become a doctor, even if I didn’t formally train to be one.
Kids being kids, will always have one allergy or ailment that most times would require a quick attending to.
The common cold, which is a more common cause of cough, is one infection that affects adults, but kids seem to come down with this a lot more than adults, up to eight times a year.
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What Causes Cough in Kids
When I first discovered cough in kids is not exactly a bad thing, but is actually a symptom of your child’s body trying to get rid of an irritant or any other foreign object, I was mildly surprised.
This doesn’t stop this time being uncomfortable for your child though, with you wanting to bring your child back to good health as quickly as possible.
However, managing and treating this cough starts with knowing what type it is in the first place.a
Here are some of the common causes of cough in kids as well as how you can treat them:
Every child will get a cough infection once in a while and you can identify this by the mild to moderate hacking cough your child produces.
This type of cough, like the cold, flu, or croup, is caused by viral respiratory infections that inflame or irritate the airways.
Most cases don’t require antibiotics as you can treat them with other medications.
When you as an adult have acid reflux, you can expect to experience heartburn, chest pain, and sometimes difficulty swallowing.
In kids, acid reflux presents with many similar symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and bad breath.
Studies have found that Gastroesophageal reflux is one of the three common causes of cough in kids.
Thankfully, this type of cough is quite easy to manage and requires you eliminating the reflux trigger from your child’s diet. Some common causes of acid reflux in kids you want to look out for include chocolate, peppermint, caffeinated drinks, and citrus fruits.
Asthma cough is a lot more difficult to diagnose. However, here are symptoms that will show clearly that what your child is experiencing is no ordinary cough.
A child with asthma will produce a wheezing or whistling sound when coughing. You will also notice that these coughing episodes come up a lot more when he engages in increased physical activity, while playing, or when exposed to cold air.
Other symptoms that could come up include fatigue, shortness of breath, and a delayed recovery.
Your child could also come down with a cough as a result of an allergy. Cough caused by allergies sometimes lasts longer and could be accompanied by other symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, and a sore throat.
Treatment typically involves identifying and eliminating the triggers. Some common triggers include pollen, dust, pet dander, and certain foods.
Other causes of cough in kids include whooping cough and having an object stuck somewhere in the throat.
How Can I Help My Child Feel Better
These ten natural remedies for cough will bring soothing relief to your child while helping his body fight off the cough
1) Steam Therapy
Steam works for cough by adding moisture to the throat, which in turn reduces the soreness and scratchy feeling in the throat.
It will also thin out mucus, especially if the cough is accompanied by catarrh, to clear out congestion.
There are two ways you can use steam for cough relief:
- Bathroom Steam: For this, you would need to steam up your bathroom by boiling water. Close the bathroom door and let the steam build, then sit in there with your child for 15 -20 minutes.
- Steam Inhalation: Although this steam therapy works well, most people seldom use it for kids, unless you can ensure there will be no accidents.
With steam inhalation, you breathe in the hot water vapour for 5 minutes. For a more effective treatment, you want to drape a towel over your child’s head so much of the vapour doesn’t escape during the time duration.
Its important to note here that while steam bath and steam inhalation will bring obvious relief to your child by easing all feelings of irritation and swollen blood vessels present in the nasal passages, it won’t exactly cure the cough. You might still require some natural or OTC remedies for this.
2) Give Honey
Honey is great for cough as it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also works to coat the throat, bringing that soothing relief your child needs.
This means giving your child honey won’t just calm them, it will also treat the cough in the long run.
To use, mix two teaspoons honey in warm water and give this to your child twice daily.
You can also brew a cup of honey tea or give honey drops and let her take as often as possible. A third possible way to give this remedy is to give a teaspoon of it to the child without diluting it.
Please, note honey shouldn’t be given to a child under one year as it does nothing to alleviate their cough symptoms and could instead cause a potentially fatal condition called infant botulism.
3) Give Lots of Fluid
Warm fluids like tea, chicken soup, and warm water will also help your child’s cough in the following ways:
- It will soothe that scratchy feeling in the throat. Warm water helps a lot in this case, bringing instant, although short-lived soothing relief to the discomfort your child feels in her throat.
- It will help with dehydration.
- It also helps your immune system fight off the cough.
You should give warm fluid as often as possible so your child fights off the infection a lot quicker and in a slightly better state.
4) Use a Humidifier
A cool-mist humidifier performs very similar functions to a steam bath in that it adds moisture to the air to alleviate the scratchy throat feeling.
5) Give Cough Drops
Cough drops or throat lozenges are made from menthol which works to cool the airway passage, bringing that soothing relief.
However, while they are great for bringing instant relief, you should only give time to children aged 4 and older as younger kids might choke on them.
6) Opt for a Dietary Change
If your child’s cough is brought on by acid reflux, then a dietary change is just what you need.
Eliminating the cough triggers will alleviate the cough as well as ensure there are no repeats. You want to find out what these triggers are and eliminate them temporarily from her diet.
7) Salt Water Gargle
A salt water gargle is great as it soothes your child’s dry, itchy throat. The salt is also antibacterial and will work to eliminate the viruses present in that region.
Salt water gargle is recommended for kids who can handle it and won’t swallow the solution. Younger kids might need some extra monitoring to ensure they spit it all out after the gargle.
To use, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in warm water and let your child gargle as often as needed.
8) Bulb Suction
If the cough is accompanied by a runny nose, then a bulb suction might be needed. Your older kid might be able to blow his nose, but a younger child would require assistance.
A suction bulb would come in handy at this point to help clear your child’s runny nose.
9) Saline Drop
If the nose is blocked or congested, then a few drops of saline solution will help thin out the mucus as well as relax the airway passage
As your child’s nose runs and he blows, he also eliminates the viruses.
When To See a Doctor
Home treatments are great, but you should consider seeing a doctor if any of these situations present themselves:
1) If the cough has lasted for more than ten days.
2) If your child has difficulty breathing.
3) If she’s breathing faster than usual.
4) If she has a high fever.
5) If she has a fever and is quite little (younger than three moths).
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