Children Cough Remedies
Children may develop a cough for a number of reasons: choking on food or toys, asthma, inhaling smoke or chemical fumes. But upper and lower respiratory tract infections during the winter months are the most common cause. Fortunately, most coughs can usually be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter cough medicines.
Before buying any over-the-counter medications, try using natural home remedies. A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier will add moisture into the air, which will help loosen the mucus in your child’s nose and lungs and allow him to get a better night’s sleep.
Also, encourage your child to drink a lot of fluids. Drinking plenty of water and warm tea with honey and lemon will help soothe the throat, and therefore decrease coughing symptoms.
You may also try giving your child hard candy or lozenges to temporarily relieve throat irritation. However, because it can be a potential choking hazard, this remedy is not recommended for children under 4.
If home remedies are not working and your child’s cough is preventing him from getting enough sleep, you might consider using over-the-counter cough medicines. However, keep in mind that there are varying opinions about the use of cough medicine for children. In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that they were against the use of over-the-counter cough medicines for children under 6. But in 2008, the Food and Drug Administration said over-the-counter drugs should not be used for children under 2. Because of these conflicting views, if you have any questions or concerns about the safety of cough medicines, it is best to consult with your medical professional.
When to See a Doctor
If your child has not improved after a few days or his symptoms have worsened, he might have a more serious condition. Therefore, it is best to schedule an appointment with his pediatrician. Severe chest pain or shortness of breath are symptoms that need immediate medical attention, as it could be a sign of pneumonia, asthma or a collapsed lung. Also, if your child is experiencing severe coughing fits, he or she could have pertussis, or whooping cough.