It arrives with a cold, without a fever, but with lots of discomforts, with a dry nose or a very “snotty” nose. It is a cough, which shows a physical manifestation that this winter is really affecting the children and it can last for several weeks. How to treat the annoying symptoms and when to go to the doctor?
Are home remedies safe?
The first step is always to consult with the pediatrician, who will give the recommendations of the case. That said, scientific studies support the consumption of homemade products to lessen the symptoms of a cough. Among the top cough home remedies include the use of honey, citrus fruits, and steam baths.
Cough Does Not Mean Flu
A cough is a natural manifestation of the body to clear the airways. But, if it becomes persistent, it can be a sign of a cold, an allergy or a major disorder such as asthma. In children, it can appear suddenly and last up to four weeks or more. It does not bring fever.
1. Lots of Steam
Have the child take a steam bath, because it increases the humidity in the air and can help relieve a dry or irritated throat. A vaporizer in the room will make the infant’s sleep not drastically altered by coughing fits.
2. Nasal Drops
A cough can appear with nostrils full of snot and with dry noses. For the second option, it helps a lot to use drops, which simply consists of saline solution – water with salt, which is why it is considered “homemade” – and which serves to hydrate the nasal passages and prevents irritation.
The Medical Appointment
It always calms the anxious mothers upon hearing the doctor’s voice although, 95% of the cases, they say that “it is a virus that is already going away.” However, if fever, expectoration with blood or difficulty breathing appear, it can be a little more complicated.
3. Chicken Soup
This food is much more than Grandma’s recipe. Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Centre proved that iron and zinc contained in the chicken broth accelerates recovery in an intense cough, especially if there is a lot of phlegm.
4. A Spoonful of Honey
According to Natural Standard, a study published in the magazine “Paediatrics” in 2012 proved that honey, consumed before sleep, relieves a night cough. This effect is even more intense if the child suffers from an infection of the upper respiratory tract.
5. Tea with Honey and Lemon
Lemon, especially the green one, along with honey and citrus provide vitamin C (there are many alternatives to lemon, which contain vitamin C), which slowly helps improve a cough. It is true, many children do not like tea, but the sweetness of honey can be tempting.
Doctors usually recommend over-the-counter antitussives, some of which have acetaminophen, with the same purpose to lessen the coughing a little. Its use is not recommended for children under 4 years. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with the pediatrician before buying it.
The Nebulizer Friend
If a cough is very doggy, it can be a Croup, which is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a virus.
Do not be scared if your little one’s cough sounds like an old smoker with bronchitis. This infection causes the closing of the vocal cords and a nebulizer helps a lot to improve that horrible cough.
6. Hot Chocolate
At Imperial College London, in the United Kingdom, they found that theobromine, an essential component of cocoa, has the power to relieve persistent coughs that appear in children after a viral infection. “An essential remedy available to everyone,” said Dr. Peter Barnes, who led the study.
To See if Everything is Fine
In the almost inevitable to visit the doctor -which calms the worried parents- the pediatrician will listen to the child to see if his lungs and heart sound good, he will palpate the tonsils and look deep in the ears and throat to confirm that there is no infection.
30 years ago, cough syrups were every child’s nightmare. Today, the fruity flavors of cherry and grape, make the child take them with pleasure. Like the homemade options that are usually tasty, healing is no longer a punishment.
Important: Avoid Cough Infection
The problem with these persistent coughs is that the same schools are “infectious foci:” many children suffer from them and infect each other. A tip, teach your child how to cough to avoid infecting others.