Helth desk- It is not uncommon for children to become infected with a sneezing cold and cough. Coughing is usually triggered by a sore throat and occurs when the child’s body is fighting a disease. Coughing is the body’s defense mechanism that expels excess mucus blocking the airways.
Although this is a common occurrence, a persistent cough can cause irritation and sore throat, especially for children. Coughing can disturb sleepless nights of babies and make parents helpless. Although there are many medicines available to treat cough, some home remedies, which are known to work wonders to control and cure cough in children, would be better to try.
There are many different types of cough, and it is important to identify its type before treating it. Therefore, before discussing the various natural remedies to cure cough for children, it is necessary to understand the different types of cough on the basis of symptoms.
What are the types of cough?
Cough can be divided into five different types. Following are the names and characteristics of each type of cough on the basis of which it can be divided and identified:
1. Wet cough
Also known as a productive cough, a wet cough is one in which mucus or phlegm is present in the respiratory tract, which can cause a strong wheezing feeling in the chest. A wet cough can also be caused by reasons such as pneumonia, bronchitis or even a cold, fever or flu.
2. Dry cough
This type of cough is usually caused by the common flu or cold and can also be caused by lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis or asthma. It can also be caused by obstructions such as dust or smoke. There is no phlegm in dry cough.
3. Wheezing Cough
This wheezing cough is characteristic of a wheezing cough when the respiratory tract constricts and closes off the small airway due to inflammation, forcing that part to secrete mucus.
4. Croup Cuff
Also known as barking cough because it has a barking sound like a seal, croup is caused by a viral infection that clogs the upper respiratory tract resulting in a barking sound of cough.
5. Whooping cough
It is caused by a contagious bacterial infection also known as pertussis. The symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of dry cough. However, this cough can last for a long time and cause whooping sound.
Home remedies to get rid of cough in children-
It is essential to identify the type of cough that your child has so that it can be cured quickly and effectively. There are various cough remedies available for babies that can be done at home and through which you can soothe your child’s throat and cough in a natural way. Given below are some natural remedies for baby cough:
Perhaps the most common and simplest way to relieve cough is to gargle with warm water. It is good to gargle at least thrice a day and adding a teaspoon of salt to the gargling water provides relief from sore throat.
Honey contains anti-microbial agents that help the body fight colds. The sweetness of honey increases the production of saliva which helps in thinning the mucus. The ideal way to give honey is to mix it with a spoonful of warm water and squeeze the juice of fresh lemon into it. Honey is mixed with many other ingredients to make a good syrup for the treatment of cough.
However, it is important to note that giving honey to babies under one year of age can lead to botulism and should therefore be avoided.
Ginger is a great home remedy to fight cold as it has antiviral properties. There are many sweet pills made from ginger available, but instead of giving it through these pills, it is best to give it directly to ginger. Add honey to neutralize the strong taste of ginger before giving it to your baby.
Give two tablespoons of the following mixture to get relief from cough:
Mix teaspoon crushed or grated ginger with equal amount of black pepper.
Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and honey to it and add two tablespoons of water to make syrup.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Known for its antibacterial properties that can eliminate pathogens in the body, apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy for dry cough in children. Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with crushed ginger for the treatment of cough. Apart from this, the smell of vinegar is known to soothe a sore throat and can be used to soothe the baby.
Lemon helps in improving the immune system as it has healing properties to fight disease. Lemon is commonly an ingredient in many sweet pills and medicines that help to cure sore throat and cough.
As mentioned above, honey with lemon juice is a good cough syrup. You can also ask your child to suck a slice of lemon for relief.
Steam therapy is a good option, especially if your child has a wet cough as well as blocked nose and airway obstruction. The heat of the steam will help to thin the mucus and make it easier to expel. You can steam it in the following way:
Boil water in a bowl or a tub and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water. Let your child inhale the steam through the nose.
Close the door and run hot water in the shower, this will fill the bathroom with steam, which the child can inhale.
7. Ensure Adequate Rest
It is important to rest your child suffering from cough as it helps the body to recover faster. The fatigue of going to school and sitting there can slow down the healing process and can spread cough germs to other children. Proper rest will also help your child recover from the loss of strength caused by the infection quickly.
8. Use a Humidifier
When the environment remains dry, it builds up mucus in the throat which can lead to sore throat and dry cough. Using a humidifier will help moisten and throw out the cough. Make sure to let the moisture out of your window in the morning to avoid mold formation.
9. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that will help fight colds and provide relief from sore throat, cough and tightness.
10. Milk and Turmeric
Turmeric in milk is also a good old home remedy to get instant relief from sore throat and cough. Turmeric has antimicrobial properties that are effective in treating viral infections.
Just mix a small spoonful of turmeric in warm milk and then give it to your child every night before sleeping, till the cough subsides.
11. Give Cough Drops
Cough drops provide temporary relief from sore throat, wheezing. However, cough drops should not be given to children under the age of 3.
12. Use of Suction Bulbs
One of the best baby cough remedies is the use of a suction bulb to remove the mucus that blocks the nasal passages, which can cause a wet cough. The suction bulb is easy to use, all you have to do is press the bulb and insert it into your baby’s nostril and then release it slowly. It will clear the windpipe by removing the mucus inside. You can do this again every few hours and it works wonderfully for 6 month olds too.
13. Salty hot water or drops of salty water
Saline water drops are also one of the oldest and tried-and-tested home remedies for dry cough in children. The salty water is known to relieve a sore throat and help open up a blocked nose. Follow the steps given below for better results:
Mix 1/2 tsp salt in warm water and put two drops of this solution in the nostril of the child. Ask the child to sneeze immediately to clear the mucus.
Older children and adults can also clean their nostrils using salt water. Tilt the head to one side and using a neti pot, pour warm salted water into one nostril and expel it from the other. While this procedure is being done, make sure that the child breathes through the mouth.
14. Vapor Rub
Vapor rub contains herbal oils that can provide temporary relief from cough and cold and help loosen mucus from the nose. The vapor rub also provides warmth that will help your baby sleep.
Note- This article has been written for educational purpose. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner before any use. Thank you.
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