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All Natural Cough Remedies for Kids

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 3/13/2009

There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding the use of traditional medications for children who are suffering from a cough. As a parent, home cough remedies and natural healing alternatives may offer a better choice for treating a cough associated with a cold or flu.

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    Why Choose Natural Cough Remedies?

    According to the FDA, cough medications should not be given to children under the age of two. Accidental overdose is common with over the counter cough remedies, and parents aren't always aware of the dangers of giving children too much medicine. People have an inaccurate belief that because a drug is bought over the counter, it's safe to give a child a larger dose than recommended. Cough syrup dosages are usually calculated according to a child's weight, and many times parents give more of the drug than the child would actually need because of weight estimation errors. Since too much cough medication can cause serious reactions, such as heart problems, seizures, and hallucinations, children's cough home remedies make sense.

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    Home Remedies for Child's Cough

    Here are some all-natural, medication free children's cough home remedies. Try one or several for even better results.

    Cool-mist humidifier: Run a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room. This will help those dry, unproductive coughs that keep kids awake at night by adding moisture to the air.

    Hot Steamy Shower: Run a hot shower with the shower curtain pulled. Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the bathtub. Sit with your child in the bathroom and read a story together. The hot, steamy air is sure to help a cough and thin out secretions so your child can cough them up. (don't let your child go near the hot shower)

    Pineapple Juice: Bromelain, the enzyme in pineapple juice is effective in dissolving mucous, so give your child sips of pineapple juice if the cough is caused from a build up of secretions in the throat. The juice will help loosen the mucous, therefore stopping the cough.

    Water: Water has been called the best expectorant. Let your child drink as much water as he is comfortable with, sipping throughout the day. The water will thin out any secretions, ease irritation to the throat, and help decrease coughing symptoms.

    Honey, Ginger, and Lemon Syrup: In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons honey. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger. Mix well and give a teaspoon to your child when he is having a coughing episode.

    Fruit Juice Ice Pops: Buy or make your child fruit juice ice pops. The cold temperature of the juice will numb the back of the throat and temporarily slow down a cough that is caused by throat irritation.

    Herbal Teas: Herbal teas soothe irritated throats and loosen congestion, which helps calm a stubborn cough. Let older children sip on peppermint, ginger, or chamomile tea. (Make sure the tea is not too hot)

    Warm Chicken Soup: Always a favorite, warm chicken soup really does soothe a cough and congestion. According to University of Nebraska Medical School researcher, Dr. Stephen Rennard, M.D., it appears to inhibit the movement of neutrophils, a common white blood cell. This reduces inflammation in the upper respiratory tract, which in turn helps improve cold and cough symptoms. Different varieties of soups were tested, and most had anti-inflammatory effects, so go ahead and make your favorite homemade or commercial soup.

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information you have just read.

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    Resources

    1. ABC News: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/Drugs/story?id=3488351&page=1

    2. University of Nebraska Medical Center: http://www.unmc.edu/chickensoup/newsrelease.htm