Choosing the right cough suppressant for kids can no doubt be a difficult task, with the array of cough suppressants available. The different expectorants, antihistamines, and decongestants further add to the worry…
If your kid is suffering from cough, they tend to become very cranky. This is when the parents rush to the pharmacy to get a cough suppressant for kids. Once the kid has been given the suppressant, it is important to note that taking the medicine will not bring about a change in the condition of the kid immediately. The suppressants will help in making the child feel a little comfortable.
Now this brings us to the question what are the symptoms that one has to be on the look for, so as to understand that the kid needs a suppressant. The first symptom to be on the look for is to check if the child has a bad cough, but does not suffer from nasal congestion. If the kid is suffering from dry itchy throat, which is causing the cough, then he does need a cough medicine. The other symptom can be that the kid continues to cough persistently. If there is wet productive cough, which is hampering the day-to-day activities of the child, then a cough suppressant and expectorant will have to be given to the child.
At this stage the question that arises is what is the difference between a cough suppressant and an expectorant. While a cough suppressant helps in inhibiting the cough reflex, due to which cough is triggered, an expectorant is used when there is thick chest congestion, but the kid finds it difficult to cough up the mucus. The mucus is loosened with an expectorant, which makes it easier for the kid to expel it.
FDA on Cough Suppressants
According to the public advisory issued by FDA, cough medicine should not be given to kids below the age of 4. It is because of the safety issues of these products for the kids under the age of 4. A question has also been raised whether the benefits of these drugs actually outweigh the risks of these drugs. The first reason for this warning is the number of cases of kids harmed with cough medicine is on an increase. There are different reasons for the same.
In some cases, the problem was caused due to accidental overdose given to the kids, while in others the harm was caused due to mixing of different medicines together or due to high dosage given to the kids by the parents. The other important reason is that it has not yet been proved whether these medicines are really safe and effective to be given to the kids. However, there are some recommended brands like Delsym, Robitussin Pediatric cough suppressant, Robitussin DM, Robitussin DM Infant Drops, Vick’s Pediatric Formula. However, these medications should not be given to the kid without consulting a health care professional and knowing the benefits and risks of each one of them.
Homemade Cough Suppressant for Kids
With the side effects and potential risks of the cough medicine for toddlers, the best cough medicine for kids are the natural cough medicine, for there are far lesser risks involved.
The first measure that should be taken is to ensure that the kid is consuming sufficient quantity of liquids. It will help in thinning of the mucus. It is best to feed the child with natural liquids as far as possible. Warm soups along with warm water are the best options which will help in suppressing the cough and also help them to get rid of phlegm.
A concoction made with honey, lemon juice and warm water can also be given to the kid for treating cough. However, giving honey to kids below the age of 2 is not advisable. There are other remedies with honey which also can be used for treating cough. Combine buckwheat honey with a dash of white pepper, lemon juice and water and give it to your kid for curing cough. Honey combined with turmeric powder can also be used for treating cough and cold problems. One of the best cough medicine for kids is to combine warm milk with a dash of turmeric and 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey.
Cough expectorants help in loosening mucus to relieve congestion. Therefore, it is important to keep the respiratory tract well hydrated. Using cool or warm mist proves to be useful for the same. The best option is to sit with the kid in a closed bathroom with the hot shower running for about 20 minutes. The kid will be able to breathe easily. Humidifiers and vaporizers can also be used, but ensure that they are free of mold or bacterial infection.
Before you use any of the natural cough suppressant for toddlers, it is important to ensure that the kid is not allergic to the natural products. If the cough does not subside in a couple of days, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician for the same.