Tip: Eucalyptus oil can help clear mucus from the chest and give relief from cold and cough. You can use few drops of eucalyptus essential oil mixed with olive oil and rub it on your child’s chest.
Kids develop a cough so often that parents might worry about their increased medications use. Fortunately, there are some effective home remedies for a cough that you can give to young children in lieu of or along with prescription medicines. These can be useful in providing relief to your little one.
Honey contains many antioxidants and nutrients that are helpful in treating cold and cough symptoms. For toddlers, ½ to 1 tsp of honey before bedtime may help. If a cough is severe, you can give it to your child 2-3 times a day if it suits him/her.
If your child is not averse to ginger, you can mix honey with ginger juice. It also helps to heal a sore throat. You can add honey to whole wheat toast as a topping and feed it to your child for breakfast. Kids can become fussier about eating foods when they are down with a sickness. Honey can add both nutrition and medicinal benefits to your child’s diet.
Buy good quality honey and store it as instructed on the packaging.
Caution – Honey is not safe to use for children under the age of one. It can cause botulism (a bacterial infection) in infants.
This age-old home remedy is very common in Indian households to treat cold and cough symptoms. Children might not like its taste so it is a good idea to not force it on them. But if your toddler agrees to drink turmeric milk, it can provide a lot of relief in clearing the mucus from the lungs and treating the infection.
Turmeric contains antimicrobial properties that can protect against viruses and bacteria. Even if your kid is averse to a full glass of this potent drink, you can give him the just ¼ cup of warm milk and with a bit of turmeric.
To make – Add ¼ or ½ tsp of turmeric to about a medium sized glass of milk and bring it to a boil in a pan. Use sugar if needed. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before consumption.
Tulsi or holy basil contains many medicinal properties. You can boil a few leaves with water and prepare a concoction with it. Give this water to your child to drink throughout the day. You can also boil tulsi leaves with milk and ginger. Your toddler might just love its taste too.
Your toddler might not eat well due to throat pain or a persistent cough. Vegetable or chicken soups can not only provide nutrients to your child but also relief from cold and cough.
To make vegetable soup for treating cough – Boil tomato, carrots and beetroot, onion and garlic (you can use just tomatoes also). Add peppercorns, clove, salt and a pinch of turmeric. Strain and serve. You can also use canned chicken soup instead of making it fresh at home.
Massaging warm mustard oil mixed with turmeric on your toddler’s chest can help the phlegm to clear sooner. You can use plain mustard oil also.
Mustard oil provides warmth to the body and contains several medicinal properties that help the body during cold and cough. The warmth can aid in easing chest congestion. You can massage this oil on your toddler’s feet also for greater effect. Make sure to cover the feet with socks as to help absorb the oil better.
A cough can cause a sore throat and prolong the infection. Gargling with one glass of warm water mixed with 1 tbsp of salt can offer relief from throat pain and reduce coughing. Many toddlers may not be able to gargle properly. In that case, begin with just half cup of warm salt solution enough for a few mouthfuls.
Increase your child’s fluid intake during a bout of cold. Liquids help the body to clear phlegm from the chest. Fresh fruit juices, warm herbal concoctions and soups can all be beneficial during cold and cough bouts.
Eucalyptus oil can help clear mucus from the chest and give relief from cold and cough. You can use few drops of eucalyptus essential oil mixed with olive oil and rub it on your child’s chest. Or apply eucalyptus oil in a handkerchief and help your toddler inhale the vapours from time to time. Vapor rubs containing eucalyptus can also help. Similarly, peppermint oil and tea tree oil are also beneficial to ease mucus build up and treat a cough.
Home remedies are an excellent way to treat a cough. But if your toddler’s condition doesn’t improve with them or she has the fever and has trouble breathing easily, consult her doctor. Adequate rest during cold and cough also quickens the recovery from these ailments.