It is a known fact that coughing is a mechanism of the body to eliminate excess mucus in the airways. Even though most cases of coughs do not need to be suppressed, coughing can be irritating and can lead to a sore throat, lack of sleep and sore chest muscles. If a child is suffering from a persistent cough or high fever, a doctor must be consulted for proper assessment. As for mild cases of cough, they can be managed at home with several remedies. To learn to recognize and manage respiratory issues such as cough, sign up for training in first aid with a credible provider near you.
Increase the moisture
A child who has a cough that sounds similar to a bark might indicate croup. A mild croup can be managed at home. All you have to do is to bring the child to the bathroom and run the shower with the water in the hot setting. Instruct the child to inhale the warm air for about ten minutes.
Another option is to use a humidifier in the bedroom of the child. Once the child shows signs of respiratory distress such as difficulty breathing, wheezing or bluish fingernails, it is best to seek immediate medical care.
In case the cough of the child originates from a ticklish throat, you can provide him/her with cool drinks or cough drops to ease the irritation. It is best to avoid any carbonated beverages and orange juice since they can sting an already irritated throat. Just remember not to provide children below 4 years old with cough drops or hard candy since they are considered as choking hazards.
If the child is having difficulty in falling asleep due to a cough, you can provide him/her with 2 teaspoons of honey before going to bed. Take note that honey is considered as an effective cough suppressant just like with over-the-counter remedies that contain dextromethorphan. In case the child likes to drink tea, you can provide him/her with a warm cup of sweetened honey to help soothe the throat. Honey should not be given to babies below one year old since it can cause infant botulism.
There are also some herbal remedies that can help ease a cough. Just remember that it is best to consult a doctor first before any herbal remedies will be used. Take note that some remedies are not suitable for the age of the child or might react with other medications currently taken.
Peppermint contains menthol which is considered as a natural decongestant and also works as an expectorant. Another popular remedy is eucalyptus that is used for coughs and colds. There are cough ointments in the market that are made from eucalyptus and menthol. Other herbal remedies commonly used for cough include licorice, slippery elm, thyme and sundew.