If your toddler has a cough without any other severe symptoms of an illness, you may try the following remedies;
- Give enough fluids to loosen the mucus and prevent dehydration.
- Warm soups and broths may help to ease chest irritation and soreness.
- Warm water may also ease coughing in toddlers.
- Giving half or one teaspoon (2 to 5ml) of honey may help loosen the mucus and ease the cough. Do not give honey to babies younger than one year since it may cause infant botulism.
- Humid air reduces coughing since it has water vapor in it. Hang a wet cloth in the baby’s room to moisten the air.
- Breathing cold air could relieve croup cough. Let your toddler inhale cool air near the window or a fan. You may also take them outside.
- Avoid physical activity until the cough clears since activities may worsen coughing.
- Avoid giving certain foods, such as nuts, popcorn, and hard food bits, to children younger than four years since they may inhale it into the airway while swallowing.
These cough remedies are useful in managing viral dry cough or post-viral cough due to flu or cold. Bacterial illnesses causing cough may require antibiotics to cure the condition. Children with asthma need to use their inhaler prescribed by your doctor.
When Should you see a doctor?
You should take your child to a healthcare professional if he/she exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- Cough not going away after two to three weeks
- Cough that gets worse over time
- Wet cough
- Breathing difficulties
- Rapid breathing
- Lack of consciousness
- Whooping cough
- Ear pain
- Trouble eating or drinking
- Blue/pale lips in light complexioned children.
- Coughing up blood
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above or cannot distinguish the type of cough, seek a pediatric consultation. Timely treatment could prevent complications of cough and its related illness.
The cough treatment may vary depending on the type and underlying cause of cough. Doctors may suggest home remedies, such as giving honey, warm water, and breathing humid air to manage uncomplicated coughs in toddlers.