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Top Five Cough and Cold Home Remedies for Children

Updated on October 22, 2014

Top Five Cough and Cold Home Remedies for Children

Photo by Kourtlyn Lott
Photo by Kourtlyn Lott | Source

Top Five Cough and Cold Home Remedies for Children

My kids were sick this week so I did some research on cough and cold home remedies for children. Learn how and why to use each of these five home remedies (humidifier, honey, saline nose drops, liquids, and acetaminophen) to help relieve cough and cold symptoms.

WebMD published an article where they included information from the FDA warning against using some over-the-counter medicines with children under the age of two years old because of the possibility of serious harm or death.

For this reason, many parents are opting to use natural home remedies wherever possible. I hope the below information is helpful to you in treating your child's cough or cold symptoms. The unfortunate news is that no known home remedy will assist in getting your child well faster. Symptoms will last between one and two weeks.

#1) Humidifier

Humidifiers work exceptionally well at relieving congestion for short term use. Use a cold or warm humidifier in your sick child's room to increase moisture in the air. Using a humidifier can help to ease breathing.

I wrote a hub recently on a few different warm mist humidifiers. Click HERE to read it. After each use of your humidifier, it is recommended that you change the water and disinfect the machine to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

Natural Cough Home Remedies for Kids

#2) Honey

Honey can be used to relieve coughing. However, honey is not to be used in infants one year or younger due to the risk of infant botulism. According to the Mayo clinic, in one study, children age "2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep."

  • 1/2 Tsp Children Ages 2 - 5
  • 1 Tsp Children Ages 6 - 11
  • 2 Tsp Kids 12 & Older

According to the National Institute of Health

Did you know that kids get six to 10 colds a year on average?

See results

#3) Saline Nose Drops

Saline nose drops are a natural remedy that can be used to relieve congestion. Using saline nose drops can help your baby breath as the solution breaks up nasal congestion.

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, this product works by liquefying nasal secretions and thereby decreasing the risk of crusting in the sinus cavities.

Children breath through their noses, not their mouths. Therefore, the use of saline nasal drops is recommended by doctors in order to make it more comfortable for your child to breath. As a result, your baby will be able to nurse or suck on a bottle more easily.

Children get Between Six to Ten Colds Per Year

Photo by Cynthia Page
Photo by Cynthia Page | Source

#4) Plenty of Liquids

After you've helped your child ease their breathing, they will need plenty of liquids in their system to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. The Mayo clinic suggests giving your child water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey. Give your little one the fluids that they normally drink but avoid caffeinated beverages like soda because those can make dehydration worse.

Babies under the age of six months should only be given breast milk, formula, or pedialyte, but not straight water. Giving an infant this young can cause an electrolyte imbalance because their kidneys aren't mature enough to process it sufficiently. If your child is older than twelve months, you can give them water, diluted juice, or milk.

What Parents Need to Know about Acetaminophen

#5) Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is used to lower a child's temperature when they have a fever. There are a few things to consider when administering acetaminophen to your child.

Make sure to use the dispenser which comes with the medicine. The reason being, infant drops and children’s liquid fever reducers both come in different strengths and therefore will include different sized medicine dispensers.

Never use aspirin because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome which can damage the brain and liver.

  • 3 Months - Check with Doctor
  • 3-6 Months - Acetaminophen Dosage - Check with Doctor
  • 7 Months & Up - Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen Dosage - Check with Doctor


About the Author

Melinda Longoria, MSM writes product buying guides and reviews on Hubpages. She also operates a successful Facebook fanpage where pregnant moms connect, Maternity Clothes Online, which has over 940 followers. She is also a mommy to three little cuties. Please feel free to post your comments and questions about this article in the below comment box.

Comments Please...

Do you know any helpful home remedies for treating children's cough or cold? Please include verifiable sources for your information. What remedies have worked for you in the past? We would love to hear any helpful feedback on this subject.


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    • Melinda Longoria profile imageAUTHOR

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 

      3 years ago from Garland, Texas

      You're welcome Larry Rankin. I am glad that my hub was helpful. Have a wonderful week. :-) Sincerely, Mel

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Some wonderful tips here. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 

      3 years ago

      Great hub, six to ten colds per year and there was me thinking it was just my kids, very interesting, very well put together article, thanks for sharing, voted up, Lee

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Yay! Your children will reap lifelong benefits from breastfeeding, Melinda. Glad to know I'm not the only one. When my son was old enough to talk, he'd tell me he wanted "milkies". Too cute!

    • Melinda Longoria profile imageAUTHOR

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 

      4 years ago from Garland, Texas

      Bravewarrior, I'm also nursing my children till two years of age. So I don't think that's absurd at all. :-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Melinda, I don't recall my son having a lot of colds when he was young. He was breastfed until he was almost two, so he has a pretty strong immune system. I know, some people think that's absurd (breastfeeding for that long), but it is what it is. I stayed home with him until he was almost three, so he avoided daycare and being susceptible to the various airborne germs that get passed around in schools and daycare centers. When he did get fevers, I'd give him Children's Tylenol and put the humidifier on in his room. He was always a thirsty sort of boy, therefore he stayed pretty hydrated. I'm sure that helped as well.

      I commend you for seeking natural alternatives. That's always the best route.

    • Melinda Longoria profile imageAUTHOR

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 

      4 years ago from Garland, Texas

      Billybuc, thank u so much for your comments. I appreciate your feedback. :-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I like your approach on this one....instead of listing a bunch of drugs, you took the natural route, something I'm very supportive of.


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