Childrens Cough and Home Remedies Admin February 4, 2024

Childrens Cough and Home Remedies

Oral over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines can cause serious harm to young children. The risks of using these medicines is more than any help the medicines might have in reducing cold symptoms:

  • Under age 4: Over-the-counter cough and cold medicine is not recommended for babies and young children.
  • From ages 4 to 6 years: Cough medicine should be used only if recommended by your child’s doctor.
  • After age 6: Cough medicines are safe to use. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the package about the right amount of medication to give.

You can easily treat cough and Cold in children without the cough and cold medicines.

What are the home remedies for cold symptoms?

A good home remedy is safe, does not cost a lot, and can help your child feel better. They are also found in almost every home.  Here is how you can treat your child’s symptoms with home remedies:

For a runny nose
  • Suction (with something like a bulb syringe) to pull out the liquid out of your child’s nose or ask your child to blow their nose. When your child’s nose runs like a faucet, it’s getting rid of viruses.
  • For children 3 months to 1 year of age: Infants with a common cold may feed more slowly or not feel like eating because they are having trouble breathing. Try to suction baby’s nose before attempting to breast or bottle-feed.
  • Use salt water (saline) nose spray or drops to loosen up dried mucus. Then you can ask your child to blow their nose or by sucking the liquid from the nose with a bulb syringe. If you do not have nose spray or drops, warm water will work fine.
  • Put 2 to 3 drops in the opening of each nose (nostril). Do this one side at a time. Then suck out the liquid or have your child blow their nose. You can buy saline nose drops and sprays in a pharmacy without a prescription, or you can make your own saline solution (see below).  Do nasal washes whenever your child can’t breathe through the nose. For infants who bottle-feed or breastfeed, use nose drops before feedings.
For coughing
  • Do not give infants under 1 year honey; it will not help with symptoms and can cause a sickness called infant botulism.
  • For children 1 year and older: Consider using honey, 2 to 5 mL, as needed. The honey thins the mucus and loosens the cough. (If you do not have honey, you can try corn syrup.) Research has shown that honey is better than store-bought cough syrups at reducing how often coughing happens and how bad coughing is at night.
  • For children 2 years and older: You can rub a thick layer of a mentholated rub on the skin over the chest and neck (over the throat). As with all medicines, follow directions closely and put it up and away, out of your child’s reach, once you are done using it.
  • Offer plenty of fluids: Try to make sure your child is staying hydrated. When there is enough water in the body, the mucus the body makes becomes thinner, making it easier to cough and blow the nose. See Signs of Dehydration in Infants & Children.
  • Humidity (amount of water in the air) If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier. Moist air keeps mucus in the nose from drying up and makes the airway less dry. Running a warm shower for a while can also help the air be less dry. Sometimes, it can be helpful for your child to sit in the bathroom and breathe the warm mist from the shower.
When to treat and when not to treat a cold?

If cold symptoms are not bothering your child, they likely don’t need medicine or home remedies. Many children with a cough or a stuffy nose are happy, play normally and sleep well.

Only treat symptoms if they make your child uncomfortable, have trouble sleeping, or the cough is really bothersome (such as a hacking cough).

Because fevers help your child’s body fight infections, only treat a fever if it slows your child down or causes discomfort. This doesn’t usually happen until your child’s temperature reaches 102°F (39°C) or higher. If needed, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be safely used to treat fever, remember to always consult with your Pediatrician prior to using medicines.

For expert pediatric care and personalized guidance on managing your child’s cough and cold symptoms safely, consider consulting with the specialists at American Wellness Center, located in Dubai Healthcare City. Offering a comprehensive range of pediatric services from newborns to young adults, their western-trained pediatricians are committed to the physical, mental, and overall well-being of your child. Learn more about their approach and services by visiting our Pediatrics service page.