By Aswathy Gopalakrishnan
It's normal for younger children to experience cold and flu multiple times a year, especially during the rainy and winter seasons. The good thing is that this will help in raising their immunity and make them less prone to such diseases as they grow up. And, it's always safer to stick with natural home remedies for kids as they don't have any side effects. If you are unaware of what to do when your child suffers a cold, do not worry; we have it all covered for you.
Dr. Paramjeet Singh Kumar is a renowned Child Specialist, Neonatologist, and Adolescent Physician, at Madhukar Rainbow Hospital, based in NewDelhi. He has shared great pearls of wisdom around natural remedies for baby cough that works like a charm.
Please note that if your kid shows signs of wheezing, noisy breathing, raised temperature, vomiting, breathlessness, barking cough, sore eyes, resists to eat or drink, seek immediate help.
If it is a 'common cold' read ahead to find out simple yet effective dry cough remedies for kids that you can try in the comfort of your home. Dr. Paramjeet Singh Kumar suggests nine natural cough remedies for kids to treat the common cold.
9 Natural cough remedies for kids:
Studies have proved that honey works better than any medicine in relieving dry cough and helping a child sleep comfortably at night. Dark honey, such as buckwheat honey (highly nutritious honey made by bees that collect nectar from buckwheat flowers), may work faster as it has a higher concentration of antioxidants. The best homemade cough syrup for toddlers is a half teaspoon of honey for infants/toddlers (within the age-bracket of 1-5 years) and one teaspoon of honey to older kids (aged 6-11 years) would be very beneficial. However, do not forget that honey is harmful to children less than one-year-old because of the risk of botulism as the presence of bacterias can cause contamination of honey.
2. Chicken noodle soup
Chicken noodle soup is more than an old folk's remedy. Researches have proved that it has anti-inflammatory properties, and its warm temperature acts as a vaporizer, which can help in loosening the mucus in the nasal passages.
3. Warm liquids
Warm liquids, specifically the warm water, are excellent natural cough remedies for kids as they help in thinning out the mucus. Also, they are useful in clearing out the cough that's inside the chest. Moreover, the warm liquids will help in keeping the sore throat well hydrated. Warm juices, water, or decaffeinated tea mixed with the prescribed amount of honey works great in such situations.
4. Soothing treats
The children above the age of four years can use cough drops or sugar-free candies, that will help in suppressing the cough induced by the scratchy or sore throat.
A cool-mist humidifier is one of the best dry cough remedies for kids, especially toddlers coughing at night. Keeping a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room can help with chest and nasal congestion. But remember that bacteria and mold can grow fast inside the humidifier. Hence, clean the unit as per the manufacturer's instructions and change the water inside daily. An alternate option is to have your child sit in a steamy bathroom or give a warm shower.
6. Warm saline gargles
A warm saline solution, a simple mixture of salt and water, is an excellent natural cough remedy for kids. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in one glass of water, and allow the child to gargle it. It can help to ease the cough that causes throat irritation. But, please note that this remedy applies only to older children who can be trusted to spit out the solvent without swallowing it.
7. Propped up sleeping position
Elevate your toddler's head with an extra pillow at night can aid their airways to drain the mucus inside. As a natural remedy for baby cough, raise the head of the crib mattress by placing a wedge or pillow under it.
8. Saline solution
Saline solution is an excellent remedy for nasal congestion. It is available in the form of isotonic nasal drops or isotonic nasal spray. In younger children, the saline drops are more useful, and in older ones, the nasal spray is helpful. The purpose of this is to loosen the clogged up mucus in the nostrils. After using the saline solution, follow up by sucking out the thinned mucus with the help of a sucking bulb.
9. Chest rub
For children older than two years, you can clear the congestion with the help of a chest rub like Vicks baby rub. The product contains aloe vera, eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary, and all these ingredients can help the toddler to achieve a better night's sleep.
It's can be painful to watch your child, especially infants and toddlers, suffer through sickness. No matter what, always keep your child's health a priority and choose the right options. Above all, don't forget to make him/her feel comfortable and safe, showering lots of love and care. Indeed, there's nothing like a mother's jaadhu ki jhappi (magical hug).
The above tried-and-tested home remedies for cough in children (dadi-ma ke nuskhe) have been extremely helpful ever since Aswathy moved to Sweden. She misses her own mother and her mother's mother every single time Aswathy's little one is down with cough and is being handed over a glass full of saline warm water for gargling.