Coughing, usually accompanied by cold, is common in children. But as a parent, you feel helpless every time your kid coughs. The nights are sleepless for both the child and you. A persistent cough indicates the presence of an irritant in the throat. More often than not, cough associated with common colds can be controlled with natural remedies.
MomJunction has compiled a list of common home remedies for child’s cough. To identify the ideal remedy, you need to determine the types of a cough troubling your child.
Types Of Cough
A cough is the body’s way of removing the excess mucus that may be blocking the breathing passages. A child may cough because of an irritant in the throat, an infection, common cold, allergies or asthma among other health conditions. The type of a cough your child has is determined by what causes it.
Dry cough: A dry cough typically occurs because of the common cold or flu. It can also occur due to lower respiratory tract infections like bronchitis, asthma or allergies caused by irritants such as cigarette smoke.
Whooping cough: Whooping cough is also known as pertussis and is similar to a dry cough caused due to common colds. However, the cough may last long after the flu is gone and can get worse after a while. It usually ends in fits of coughing, forcing the child (or adult) to breathe forcefully, resulting in a “whooping” sound.
Wet cough: This is the result of excess mucus or fluids blocking the breathing passages in the body. A wet cough usually helps in removing the excess fluid from the lungs.
Barky or croup cough: Croup is a viral infection that blocks the upper respiratory track and results in a distinctive ‘barking’ cough, one that sounds like a seal barking.
Wheezing cough: When your child has a wheezing cough, he or she may make a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing. This type of a cough occurs when the airways are clogged and narrow.
A cough in kids can often be treated, or at least controlled, with natural remedies that you can prepare at home. Here is a list of such home remedies you can try to alleviate the discomfort your child is put through due to coughing.
A massage always makes him feel better. It stimulates the body to heal all by itself. There is a tuina massage for cough you can always use to treat, whether your child has a dry, wet, hacking or a barking cough.
Massage your child with warm mustard oil and garlic.
Make sure you heat both the oil and garlic together to make it effective.
Also, massage your baby’s palm and feet for a comfortable sleep.
2. Lots of rest
The body heals faster when it is at rest. If your child has a persistent cough, get him to stay home and rest for the day. The stress of school work, traveling to school and any allergens outside can aggravate a cough. Also, as a cough spreads germs around, keep him at home to avoid the spread of infection to other kids.
You can engage your child in quiet activities like coloring or drawing, or let him play his favorite video game
You could read a book or do puzzles together.
A nap is also a great idea if your kid is up to it.
If your child has a wet cough, combined with blocked nose and breathing passages, steam inhalation can be an option. Warm air from the steam helps loosen the mucus in the air passages and rid it from the body.
Heat water to a boil, in a bowl. You could also fill the tub with hot water.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the water and let your child inhale the steam through the nose. In case you are using boiling water in a bowl, keep your child a little away from it.
You can also run the hot water in the shower and leave it for a couple of minutes with the door closed. This will fill the room with steam, which will provide relief from cold.
Dry and less humid conditions can leave the mucus in the throat and passageways dry. This causes irritation, leading to a dry cough. Using a humidifier may not treat a cough, but it can alleviate it a little. In fact, it is an effective way to keep away your child’s cough at night time.
A cool-mist humidifier will keep your child’s airways moist and clear.
Open the windows in the morning to let out the humidity to prevent the growth of mold in the room.
Saline is always good to soothe the pain. Adding a teaspoon of salt in warm water can provide relief from a sore and scratchy throat. Gargling thrice a day can provide relief from a cough as well.
6. Plenty of liquids to stay hydrated
Plenty of liquids to stay hydrated Getting enough fluids into the body will ensure that the toxins are flushed out quickly. Give your little one enough warm water to drink and keep him hydrated always. Also, drinking water helps in thinning the mucus and makes it easier for it to get out of the body.
Removal of mucus from the body reduces a wet cough.
7. Suction bulb
Excessive mucus can lead to blockages of the airways, especially the nose. Mucus in the nasal region can trigger a wet cough. Take a suction bulb and squeeze it. Hold it like that and put the opening inside one of the nostrils of the kid, and gently release it. This should clear away the mucus blocking the nose and also pull out what’s clogging the airways.
8. Saline drops/warm saline water
Saline dropswarm saline water .Warm saline drops or saline water made at home is an effective remedy to ease a dry cough in children. Salt water has been an old cure to ease a sore throat and relieve nasal congestion. Add half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Put two drops of the warm saline water in the nostrils of the child. Ask him to blow immediately to remove mucus quickly. Your child can also gargle warm salt water to ease the irritation of the throat. Another way to ease nasal congestion is to rinse the nostrils using saline water. This method is suitable for older kids and adults. Tilt the child’s head to a side and use a Neti pot to pour warm saline water in one nostril and let it come out from another. Make sure that the kid breathes with his mouth during this process.
9. Vapor rub
Vapor rub balms contain herbal oils and fragrances that can ease the congestion in the airways of the kid. Here is how you can use it to alleviate wheezing cough and wet cough. Take a little vapor rub and massage your child’s chest with it. Spread the balm over the upper respiratory region that is clogged with mucus.
You can also apply the vapor rub on the back, neck, and the nose. Do not put the balm inside the nostril and around the eyes.
The child may have a slight, negligible burning sensation sometimes, but he will eventually feel better.
10. Suck on popsicle
Suck on popsicle A scratchy throat can often lead to a dry cough. To relieve your children from the discomfort get them (four years or above) to suck on a sugar-free candy, popsicle or crushed ice. This will provide relief to his irritated throat and prevent a cough.