It is a known fact that coughing is a defensive mechanism in the body in order to eliminate irritants. The coughing action helps expel mucus as well as prevent dead cells from accumulating in the lungs. In most cases, coughing can be connected to certain conditions such as the common cold, asthma and flu or also a symptom of a serious underlying condition such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
If a child does not have high fever and the cough is considered persistent for more than two weeks, there are home remedies that can help alleviate the cough that you should be familiar with. Just remember to consult a doctor in case there are other concerns that require attention though.
Measures in relieving cough
- You have to encourage the toddler to take more naps and enough rest all throughout the day. This will allow the body to rejuvenate and naturally recuperate with sleep. The toddler might wake up in the night due to the cough, thus you need to add extra napping time during the day. You can keep the lights low, tell a story or read a book.
- If a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer is available, they should be used in the room of the toddler. Take note that the steam moistens the air, thus moisturizing the nasal passages and opening up the sinuses to help ease the cough. An alternative is to turn on a hot shower and expose the child to the steam produced. Just make sure that you will accompany the child so that he/she will not get in contact with the hot water.
- Provide the toddler with warm fluids to drink. Always remember that any illness dehydrates the body since energy is used up in fighting off the infection, thus it is vital to give the child plenty of fluids. Broths, warm water and herbal teas can help soothe the throat, replenish fluids as well as improve the flow of blood. If you want to learn more about dehydration, read here.
- The toddler should be dressed in warm cloths if it is cold outside instead of increasing the heat. Take note that the heat dries out the air and can trigger coughing.
- Eucalyptus balm can be applied on the chest of the toddler before naps and bedtime. The eucalyptus vapor helps clear the breathing passages, improves circulation, relieves congestion and has been a proven aromatherapy remedy. Just make sure that you will use one that is made of all-natural plant extracts.
- Monitor the cough of the toddler after drinking cow’s milk. Take note that some children are allergic to cow’s milk which prolongs the congestion, thus worsening the cough. If an allergy is suspected, a doctor should be consulted regarding other alternatives.
- A teaspoon of honey can be given to the toddler before naps or bedtime. This should only be given to children over a year old. Do not give honey to a child younger than one year old since it contains botulism spores that the infant might not be able to deal with.