Just a spoonful of “sugar” (honey) for cough!
Just a spoonful of honey may help your little one’s cough!
It is that time of year…snotty little noses and coughs. It is the start of cold season and the peak of seasonal allergies for many kids. When you have a child that is coughing away at night, keeping everyone awake, the only thought most parents have at that time is “How can we stop this cough?” There are all kinds of remedies…and I have heard of some creative ones! There are very few cough and cold remedies or medications that have any benefit for children, and some over the counter cold preparations actually have some risk for kids. In October 2008, the Food and Drug Administration recommended that over the counter cold and cough medications should NOT be used for children under age 4, and children age 4 to 6 should not use these medications unless a doctor recommended them. The risks of these medications for young children outweigh any benefit (if there even is a benefit from the medication). So…what do you do with your precious snotty nosed, coughing child?
1. Drippy nose?
- Use a bulb syringe to suction it out…or if your child is old enough blow it out.
2. Stuffy nose?
- Use an over the counter saline nasal spray to loosen up the stuffy nose and then suction it or blow it out. With an infant who has a cold, do this before a feeding.
- Humidify the air with a cool mist vaporizer, especially in the winter when the furnace is running. Dry heat causes mucous to become thicker and more difficult to blow or cough out. A vaporizer keeps the air moist, mucous thinner, and also keeps little noses from drying out and becoming more susceptible to a cold virus.
- Encourage fluids. Fluids keep your child’s nasal mucous thinner and easier to blow out or cough out.
3. Irritating cough?
- Children age 1 and older can have ½ to 1 teaspoon of honey for a cough as needed.. Research has proven that honey is more effective for soothing a cough than cough syrup! The severity and frequency of night-time coughing is decreased after the spoonful of honey.
- No honey for children under the age of 1 because of the risk of infantile botulism. There is no risk after age one.
So…little snotty noses and irritating coughs are here…give your child lots of TLC, soft tissues for the nose, extra fluids, maybe a little chicken soup and in honor of Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar (honey)” for that irritating cough!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.