Children develop coughs for many different reasons, especially during cold and flu season. A cough clears mucus and phlegm and helps to protect the lungs, but it also can be a sign of more serious problems. If your child has a severe or long-lasting cough, or a cough accompanied by wheezing or fever, see your pediatrician. For a less serious cough, though, there are some natural remedies you can prepare at home.
Naturally Treat a Cough for Children
1. Give your child a warm bath to loosen up mucus and/or phlegm. The steam from the bath is therapeutic, relieving chest and nasal congestion. Have your child breathe the steam deeply to get the best effect.
2. Give your child plenty of fluids. It is important that your child stay hydrated, or the cough can worsen and become very harsh on the throat. Warm liquids such as warm apple juice or herbal tea are easier to swallow and more soothing to the throat than cold liquids. Warm tea is great for breaking up mucus. Add some honey and lemon to the tea to help to clear up the nasal passages as well.
3. Have your child gargle with warm water and salt. This is an age old remedy that has worked for many decades. Using a small cup, mix warm water and salt. Have your child gargle the warm salty water for a few seconds and then spit it out into the sink. Repeat this technique until the contents of the cup are gone. Have your child gargle in the morning and before bedtime until the cough has subsided.
4. Give your child a warm oil massage with eucalyptus oil. Giving your child a good rubdown with oil on the chest is a great way to soothe the pain in the chest and back that can be caused by coughing. After applying oil to your child’s chest and back, wrap him in a blanket. The body will absorb the heat and oils, and your child will be able to breathe easier.
5. Run a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room, especially at night. Dry air can make coughs worse. Don’t use a hot-air humidifier, because the child can be burned if he spills the hot water on himself.