Soothe Your Child’s Cough Away

Because it’s raining almost everyday, cough and colds are upon us. Unfortunately, there is no cure for common colds, but the good thing is it can be managed at home and will just go away naturally after 3-7 days (although some lasts longer). As for the cough, it usually lasts for 10 days and sometimes needs the help of antibiotic to rid the lungs of unwanted phlegm. A child’s persistent coughing triggers his gag reflex causing him to vomit. It also keeps the child or even the entire family up all night. Below are facts about cough and cough medicines that will help soothe your child’s cough away.

What are the different kinds of coughs and their treatment?

  • Cough with runny nose – caused by mucus running down the back of the throat. It can be treated with  a decongestant (available as over-the-counter medications).
  • Coughs related to allergy – caused by allergens. Antihistamine can be taken to avoid further allergic reactions.
  • Dry cough – tickling cough caused by throat irritation. It can be remedied with lozenges or hard menthol candies.

What are the signs of something worse?

  • Coughing up blood.
  • Coughing with chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Losing weight without trying.
  • High-pitched sound when inhaling.

How to help your child?

Humidity sometimes helps ease coughing. Put a vaporizer near your child’s bed or steam up the bathroom. Fluids can also thin out the phlegm in your child’s throat and make it easier to cough.

Because cough is caused by virus which is air-borne, coughing spreads infections from person to person. Teach your child to cover his mouth and nose when he coughs. Teach him not to spit anywhere and cover his mouth and nose when he sneeze. Have him wash his hands after he coughs or sneezes into them. Also, keep your child from smoke and secondhand smoke.

What are the types of cough medicines?

The types of cough medicines are suppressants and expectorants. Obviously suppressants suppress coughing by blocking the cough reflex so this should not be given to your child if he has productive  mucus that needs to be coughed out. But if your child has dry hacking cough that prevents him from sleeping, then suppressant may give him relief. Expectorants, on the other hand, thins mucus that makes it cough up easily.

Most doctors believe though that cough from colds should not be treated unless it interferes with your child’s activities. All though most cough medicines can be bought over-the-counter, still, self-medication is not recommended. It is best to have your child checked before giving him any medicine.

Department of Health

Photo Credit:
Arvind Balaraman –


  1. My daughter and I have cough now. Taking plenty of water and vitamin C helps.

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