As a parent, you will likely deal with the common cough as your child is growing up. KidsHealth.org lists frequent coughing as one of the most common symptoms of childhood illness.
The good news is that, while constant coughing can keep a child (and therefore, everyone they share a home with) restless through the day and night, it is most often not a sign of a serious condition.
Causes of Coughing In Children
Coughing is a natural reflex humans have that serves to clear the throat and lungs of foreign particles, bacteria, fluids and mucus. It is often accompanied by a cold or flu and can result in spitting up of mucus.
Regardless of what you suspect the cause for your child’s cough to be, it is a good idea to see a doctor to rule out the possibility of other serious conditions.
Once you’ve done so, if your doctor has determined your child’s cough to be simply a symptom of a cold or flu, try the following natural remedies to soothe his or her coughing.
#1 – Ditch the Dairy
When your child’s cough is severe, avoid giving your child dairy products. Dairy can make his or her existing phlegm thicker and provoke the coughing further.
This is due to the fat content of dairy products.
Soy products with a similar fat content will produce the same cough-provoking results as dairy and should be similarly avoided.
#2 – Honey
Studies have shown that children aged 2 and older with severe coughs had reduced symptoms, and their quality of sleep improved.
Honey is as effective as the common cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan. As a bonus, honey is much cheaper and more widely available. It also has anti-bacterial properties.
You can give your child raw honey on a spoon or mix it with warm water and lemon.
Never give a baby under the age of 12 months honey as this can result in fatal infant botulism due to babies’ immature digestive systems. Rely on one of the other methods to address symptoms.
#3 – Pineapple Juice Recipe
In 2010, researchers looked into pineapple as a cough treatment. They found that a mixture of the following ingredients helped loosen mucus and reduce coughing:
- Raw pineapple juice
Give your child this remedy a few times a day and once before bed to help reduce coughing symptoms.
#4 – Onion
You can use onion to make an effective cough syrup for your child.
Begin by dicing one large onion into very small pieces. Place these pieces in a metal strainer over a large bowl.
Use a wooden spoon to press on the diced onions, letting the juices flow into the bowl below.
Next, mix the onion juice with honey and place it in a sealable container. Let it sit for four hours and have your child swallow one teaspoon of the mixture twice daily for relief of cough symptoms.
Onion works effectively for this purpose because it is a natural anti-microbial.