Toddler Cough Remedies

For parents, hearing a toddler coughing at night is not a pleasant experience – at times like these, we want to do everything we can to help them to feel more comfortable. A cough is a natural reflex: a way for the body to tell us it needs to clear mucus or another blockage from the throat. But the more we cough, the more our throats become irritated – and for toddlers, this can be very uncomfortable indeed.

Coughs can be caused by all manner of things: flu, asthma, colds, viral infections, whooping cough and bronchitis, among others. For the most part, coughs will clear up within two weeks, but most parents will not just want to wait until the cough has gone. For many – especially if they’re witnessing a persistent cough in children – they’ll want to offer some relief. Normally, this relief is administered in one of two ways: either over-the-counter cough medicine for toddlers or todder cough home remedies.

Cough syrup for toddlers is readily available from GPs (family doctors) and chemists, and is formulated especially for children of a very young age. You’ll find a choice of syrups: some for dry coughs, some for chesty coughs, and different syrups will have different properties. Almost all will contain demulcents designed to coat the child’s throat and soothe irritation caused by the cough. However, you may also find toddler cough syrups that contain expectorants (to help to bring up mucus), suppressants (to reduce the cough reflex) and decongestants (to reduce congestion and inflammation).

There are cough syrups that are designed specifically for children under 2 years of age, which would not be allowed to be sold if they weren’t safe. However, it is always important to read the information contained in the packaging thoroughly before giving cough medicine to anyone, especially young children. This will enable you to understand any potential side effects of the cough syrup, and will also ensure that the correct dosage is given: an overdose of cough syrup – especially if it contains paracetamol – can be dangerous for small children.

Because of worries over choosing the correct dosage and the possible side effects of giving over-the-counter cough syrups to toddlers, many parents will choose home remedies when their little ones are suffering. Some home remedies include sleeping with pillows propped up to ease mucus pooling in the throat, while others will ensure that their children are drinking plenty of water to thin the mucus. Another home remedy is to let them suck on boiled sweets (hard candy) – this acts in the same way as the demulcents in cough syrup, soothing the throat to help to reduce irritation. Alternatively, menthol-based rubs are often used by parents to ease congestion and help their children to breathe more easily, especially at night.

It is also possible to make homemade alternatives to shop-bought cough syrups, with many a homemade cough syrup recipe from which to choose. The traditional combination of honey, lemon juice and hot water to create a soothing drink is widely used (although bear in mind that honey should not be given to children under one-year-old), while other recipes for homemade treatments include ingredients such as garlic, onion, ginger and herbal teas.

It’s not nice to see your toddler suffering with a nasty cough, but fortunately there are plenty of ways in which you can help to alleviate their distress. Whether you opt for an over-the-counter remedy or choose to make your own at home, it is important to thoroughly research your choice to ensure that there are no issues.