While modern medicine has provided a number of answers to a wide range of conditions, home remedies for some of the most common conditions remain popular for a reason – because they work. Even doctors will often recommend a number of these tried and true home remedies for some of the most common afflictions. Children can often get coughs in the winter, which may not go away for some time. However, there are a number of ways you can help ease your child’s cough. Below we present to you 12 of the best home remedies for cough in kids.
Learn how to help your kid find relief with our home remedies for cough in kids
Coughing happens for a number of reasons, one of them is that it is the body’s way of trying to clear up congestion, which is often caused by dry or thickened mucus. Heat and moisture are two of the best ways to thin out dry mucus so your child’s body can expel it, which makes steam one of the very best home remedies for cough in kids.
- Shut the doors of your bathroom and run a hot shower.
- Sit with your child in the steamy room for 15 minutes before going to bed at night.
- Repeat in the morning.
- Continue treatment each morning and evening until their cough clears.
2. Orange Juice Popsicles
Orange juice is packed with Vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system which can help fight off a cough. When your child has a prolonged cough, it can also give them a dry scratchy throat. Freezing orange juice into a popsicle is one of the best home remedies for cough in kids because it’s not only beneficial but fun and delicious as well. Therefore, the orange juice popsicle will not only give them a healthy dose of Vitamin C, but it can also help soothe the irritation that comes from frequent coughing.
- Fill an ice cube tray with organic orange juice and place in freezer.
- Take the tray out after an hour and place toothpicks in each compartment.
- Continue freezing until solid.
- Serve popsicles 2-3 times per day.
3. Chicken Soup
The use of chicken soup as a remedy for cold and bronchial symptoms dates all the way back to the 12th Century. Because it is not only healthy, but also tasty, it remains one of the very best home remedies for cough in kids. While store-bought chicken soup will offer many of the same benefits as homemade chicken soup, the manufacturing process kills off many of the key nutrients that can provide additional benefit. However, chicken soup is actually very easy to make so here are the instructions on how to make your own homemade chicken soup.
- Bring 1 whole chicken and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot filled with eight cups of water.
- Add 3 three thinly sliced medium onions, 2 stalks of sliced celery, and 4 cloves of crushed garlic.
- Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove chicken breast, and set aside.
- Add 6 sliced medium carrots and simmer partially covered for 40 minutes.
- Remove remaining chicken, allow to cool slightly and remove meat from bones.
- Cut the desired amount of chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and return to soup.
- Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.
4. Coconut Oil with Eucalyptus and Peppermint Oil
Eucalyptus oil has been used for thousands of years to cure colds, coughs and chest congestion. Eucalyptus is a natural expectorant that helps clear mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract as well as a natural decongestant. Peppermint oil is a menthol, which is one of the main ingredients in most mentholated rubs. Menthol helps to open up bronchial airways to help your little one breath better, which can also help eliminate a cough.
- Place 1/4 cup coconut oil in a small, clean glass jar or measuring cup.
- Place the jar in a saucepan of water and turn the stove on to low heat.
- Heat the coconut oil until melted.
- Drop 3 drops each of eucalyptus and peppermint oil into melted coconut oil.
- Massage the rub onto the chest and neck of your child after it has cooled.
- Use it as often as necessary.
*Do not apply to the eyes, nose or anywhere else on your child’s face.
Persistent coughing can create painful inflammation in the throat. Not only does honey help soothe that inflammation, but can also help suppress a cough, which makes plain honey one of the best home remedies for cough in kids. However, be careful that honey should not be given to children under the age of two, they lack certain enzymes in their intestines that provide an adequate defense against spores found in honey that can lead to infant botulism.
- Give your child one of the below doses based on age.
- Give 2-5 years old toddlers 1/2 teaspoon honey before bedtime
- To 6-11 years old children 1 teaspoon honey before bedtime.
- Give 12 and over kids 2 teaspoons honey before bedtime.
- Repeat each night until their cough has cleared.
6. Bulb Syringe
Since coughs are created by congestion, when there is congestion in the chest, there is generally congestion in the head and nasal passages as well. When children are too small to blow their own noses well, parents can use a bulb syringe to actually draw dried up mucous out of their nasal passages. However, it is not recommended that you use a bulb syringe more than 2-3 times a day or you can damage the lining of the nasal passage.
- Squeeze the bulb syringe and then gently insert the rubber tip into the nostril.
- Gently close off the other nostril with your finger to help get better suction from the bulb syringe.
- Slowly release the bulb to draw in air and suction out mucus from the nasal passages at the same time.
- Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb into a tissue to expel the collected mucus.
- Wipe off the syringe and repeat with the other nostril.
7. Ginger Tea
Ginger is a root plant native to Asia and has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of maladies and illnesses including cold and flu symptoms such as coughing. This root can also help reduce inflammation, which can soothe the scratchy feeling in your child’s throat as well. Since ginger tea will also apply heat and help keep your child hydrated, it is one of the best home remedies for cough in kids.
- Peel the ginger root and slice off several thin slices.
- Bring two cups of water to a boil.
- Drop in the ginger and simmer on low for 10-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool until it is just above drinking temperature.
- Stir in a tablespoon of honey.
- Serve it hot to your kid and ask them to breathe in the steam from the tea as well.
8. Saline Solution
A saline solution will help thin out dry mucus, which can also help clear up nasal congestion. This, in turn, can help ease the chest congestion which creates a cough. Unfortunately, the saline solution also provides an excellent home for bacteria, so you shouldn’t store saline solution for longer than 24 hours. However, saline solution is easy to make so you can make your own at home.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces of hot water and stir well until all the salt is dissolved.
- Allow it to cool until just slightly warm.
- Have your child lay down and place a rolled up towel behind their head, so their head is tipped back but supported.
- Drop 2-3 drops of the saline solution into each nostril and have them hold their head back for 30 seconds.
- Have them blow their nose, or use a bulb syringe to remove saline solution and mucus.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day for up to 4 days.
*Do not use this method for longer than 4 days or it can dry out the nasal passages, which will make things even worse.
9. Homemade Cough Syrup
While individual ingredients can help soothe a sore throat and suppress a cough, they can work even better together. You can make your own cough syrup at home to attack your child’s cough on a number of levels. Commercial cough syrups can contain a number of artificial colors and other ingredients that may not be best for your child. So, by making your own cough syrup at home you know exactly what you are giving your child.
- Combine one cup water with 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Bring mixture to a boil in a saucepan.
- Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a cup and stir in one cup of honey.
- Continue stirring until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy.
- Pour into an air-tight container. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- For children 2-5 years old you can give 1/2 – 1 teaspoon every 2 hours. For children 6-11, give 1-2 teaspoons every 2 hours and for children 12 and over, give 1-2 tablespoons every 4 hours.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
A cough is generally the result of congestion and this is often caused by an infection of some kind. Apple cider vinegar is a strong astringent which can help prevent the spread of the infection. In addition, it can also soothe inflammation in the throat, which can help alleviate the pain of a dry, irritated, scratchy throat as well. While apple cider vinegar is one of the best home remedies for cough in kids, the strong bitter taste may make it difficult to get some kids to take it.
- Mix one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Stir mixture into two ounces of warm water.
- Have your child drink this mixture once or twice a day.
11. Lemon Juice
Like apple cider vinegar, lemons have astringent qualities which can help keep infections in check. Like all citrus fruits, they are also high in immune-boosting Vitamin C. While apple cider vinegar remains one of the best home remedies for cough in kids, it may be hard to get tots or small children to take, so lemon juice comes in a close second.
- Mix one teaspoon honey with one teaspoon lemon juice.
- Stir mixture into 2-4 ounces of warm water.
- Have your child drink this mixture 2-4 times a day.
Turmeric contains an active anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin. It has been used for centuries in India as a treatment for bronchitis, among other things, which can help calm and soothe a dry cough.
- Bring one cup water to boil in a saucepan.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper.
- Continue boiling for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, pour into a cup and allow to cool.
- Give your kid to drink this 2-3 times a day for relief from a dry, hacking cough.
While many of the best home remedies for cough in kids are the same as those for adults, getting your kid to take them may not always be so easy. The good news is, there are a wide variety of great home remedies that provide options for kids of all ages. Some remedies – such as steam and humidity – you don’t even have to fight with them about. Let us know in a comment below which remedy worked best for you kid.