Staying hydrated is vital for those with a cough or cold. Research indicates that drinking liquids at room temperature can alleviate a cough, runny nose, and sneezing.
However, kids with additional symptoms of a cold or flu may benefit from warming up their beverages. The same study reports that hot beverages alleviate even more symptoms, including a sore throat, chills, and fatigue.
The symptom relief was immediate and remained for a continued period after finishing the hot beverage.
Hot beverages that may be comforting include:
- Clear broths
- Warm water
- Warm fruit juices
2. Salt-Water Gargle
This simple remedy is one of the most effective for treating a sore throat and wet cough. Salt water reduces phlegm and mucus in the back of the throat which can lessen the need to cough.
- Stir half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until it dissolves.
- Allow the solution to cool slightly before using it to gargle.
- Let the mixture sit at the back of the throat for a few moments before spitting it out.
- Gargle with salt water several times each day until the cough improves.
Be very careful with the children, this remedy is not for very small kids.
Honey is a natural sweetener that can help soothe a sore throat. Honey also hasTrusted Source antibacterial properties and may help fight infection.
Honey isn’t safe for children who are under one year of age because there’s a risk of botulism.
For toddlers over one, you can give a spoonful of honey as often as you like, but be aware of the sugar intake that comes with it.
You can also try mixing the honey in warm water to make it easier for your child to consume the honey. This has the added benefit of helping to hydrate your child, too.
4. Apply Vapor Rub
It’s controversial whether vapor rubs that contain camphor or menthol are beneficial. Caretakers have been rubbing this balm on children’s chest and feet for generations, but one animal study suggested it may actually increase mucus, which can dangerously block tiny toddler airways.
Ask your pediatrician before using any vapor rub. If you do use a vapor rub, applying it to your child’s feet may be safer than on the chest where toddlers might touch it and then get it in their eyes.
Never use vapor rub on babies under two, and never put it on a child’s face or under their nose.
5. Talk A Walk In Cold Air
If it’s cold outside, you can try this folk remedy that uses the power of fresh air and exercise to relieve cough symptoms.
Bundle your child up for a walk in cold weather and aim for just a few minutes outside. You don’t want to exhaust your toddler, but there are many anecdotal stories of this helping coughs and shortening the length of a common cold.
Some parents even try opening the freezer door and standing their toddler in front of it for a few minutes if the child wakes up to a coughing fit in the middle of the night.