It can be distressing to parents when their toddler develops health problems like colds and coughs. Because their immune system is still largely immature, toddlers are very vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections, climate changes, and exposure to extreme temperatures. Some may even have a family history of allergies, making him or her susceptible to hay fever and asthma especially during pollen season.
Most parents instinctively reach for the bottle of cough syrup when their toddler stops coughing. However, medical experts prohibit the giving of cough syrup to children below 2 years of age. In most cases, cough syrups did not reduce the coughs and colds symptoms. Because most cough syrups are expectorants, some toddlers experienced a worsening of their condition resulting from the greater phlegm production.
Rather than go for pharmaceutical products to relieve your child’s cough, there are natural ways by which you can reduce the cough and then ultimately treat it. Here are some remedies that you might want to try out the next time your child develops coughs and colds.
- The respiratory system of toddlers often gets irritated because of dryness or the lack of moisture in the air. If your child is especially prone to coughing at night, you might want to consider buying a humidifier to keep the air inside his/her bedroom moist. Not only will this help soothe the cough, it will also aid in the elimination of irritants in the throat.
- Make sure that your toddler is sufficiently hydrated during the day. Give him/her lots of fluids. If your child is already coughing, his/her fluids should be warm – not cold – so that it will aid in soothing and moistening the throat. It will also promote faster expulsion of phlegm from the throat.
- If your toddler knows how to gargle, let him/her use a warm saline gargle. It will help to relieve sore throat and laryngeal inflammation and irritation. Make sure that you supervise your toddler’s gargling so that he/she does not swallow the saline solution.
- If your toddler is having difficulty expectorating phlegm and/or his/her nose is congested, give him/her steam inhalation. Turn on the hot water tap inside your bathroom until the room is completely filled with steam. Sit on the toilet bowl with your toddler on your lap for 15 minutes. Not only will this reduce throat irritation, it will also aid in decongesting the nose and sinuses.
- For faster relief of cough, prepare a homemade remedy. One very effective remedy for cough is a glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of honey mixed in. Give this to your toddler in the morning and evening.
Take note that coughs that are severe, have blood in the phlegm, or persist for more than 3 days need to be checked out by the doctor. The coughing may be a sigh of a more serious respiratory condition, like bronchitis, asthma or pneumonia.
Learn more tips on how to relieve the coughs of your toddler today!
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