If a child has a dry cough, there are measures that can help. It is important to note that over-the-counter cough medications including cough suppressants and expectorants should not be used for children below 6 years of age.
Remember that medications pose serious side effects in this age group and might not be effective for young children. Luckily, most cases of coughs are triggered by a virus and settle on their own. If the child has a dry cough, there are some measures that can help.
Measures in managing dry cough
- Provide the child with more fluids to drink. These can help nourish and pacify a sore, scratchy throat.
- Feed the child with chicken soup containing garlic. This combination provides an antiviral property and helps the child feel better faster.
- Cough drops or lozenges can be given to the child but only if he/she is over 3 years of age since they pose as a choking hazard. The lozenges that contain zinc might help in shortening the length of the illness. Those that contain eucalyptus or menthol can help relieve a dry cough.
- The throat and nasal passages of the child should be moisturized by allowing him/her to stay in a steamy bathroom or turn on a vaporizer. The additional moisture can help in calming down a dry, tickling throat and lessen the coughing episodes.
- Provide the child with a teaspoon of honey. This works as an over-the-counter cough suppressant at relieving a dry cough. Combine honey in a mug of warm water or herbal tea.
Get in touch with the doctor of the child if he/she has difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, has fever or below the age of 3 months old.
The child should be encouraged to get enough rest and provide nutritious snacks while he/she is sick. This will help promote faster recovery. Remember that honey should not be given to infants below 1 year old since it might contain botulism spores. Older children and adults can handle this but infants could not.