How to Soothe Cough in Children: Effective Remedies and Tips

Coughing is a common symptom in children, often caused by respiratory infections, allergies, or irritants. It can be distressing for both the child and the parents, as it disrupts sleep, affects appetite, and can lead to discomfort. In this article, we will explore effective ways to calm cough in children, backed by research and expert advice.

Understanding the Causes of Cough in Children

Before diving into remedies, it is important to understand the underlying causes of cough in children. By identifying the root cause, you can better address the issue and choose the most appropriate treatment. Here are some common causes of cough in children:

  • Respiratory infections: Viral or bacterial infections such as the common cold, flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia can trigger coughing in children.
  • Allergies: Allergens like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mold can cause an allergic reaction leading to coughing.
  • Asthma: Children with asthma often experience coughing as a symptom, especially during exercise or exposure to triggers.
  • Irritants: Environmental factors like smoke, strong odors, or air pollution can irritate the airways and cause coughing.

Effective Remedies to Calm Cough in Children

When it comes to soothing cough in children, there are several remedies that can provide relief. It is important to note that these remedies should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, especially for children under the age of one. Here are some effective remedies:

1. Honey

Honey has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for cough. Its soothing properties can help alleviate coughing and provide relief to children. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, honey was found to be more effective than over-the-counter cough suppressants in reducing coughing and improving sleep quality in children.

2. Warm Fluids

Encouraging your child to drink warm fluids like herbal teas, warm water, or warm soup can help soothe the throat and reduce coughing. Warm fluids also help thin mucus, making it easier to expel.

3. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation can help relieve congestion and ease coughing in children. You can create a steamy environment by running a hot shower or using a humidifier. Ensure that the child is supervised during steam inhalation to prevent any accidents.

4. Saline Nasal Drops

If your child’s cough is accompanied by a stuffy or runny nose, saline nasal drops can help clear the nasal passages and reduce post-nasal drip, which can trigger coughing.

5. Elevate the Head

Keeping your child’s head slightly elevated while sleeping can help reduce coughing, especially at night. You can achieve this by using an extra pillow or raising the head of the bed slightly.

6. Avoid Irritants

Identify and eliminate any potential irritants in your child’s environment. This includes cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, cleaning products with strong odors, and air pollution. Minimizing exposure to these irritants can help reduce coughing episodes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I give over-the-counter cough medicine to my child?

A1: It is not recommended to give over-the-counter cough medicine to children under the age of four. These medications may have side effects and are not proven to be effective in young children.

Q2: When should I seek medical attention for my child’s cough?

A2: You should consult a healthcare professional if your child’s cough persists for more than a week, is accompanied by high fever, difficulty breathing, or if you notice any other concerning symptoms.

Q3: Are there any natural remedies that can help with cough in children?

A3: Apart from honey, other natural remedies like ginger, turmeric, and warm saltwater gargles can also provide relief from cough in children. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before trying any new remedies.

Q4: Can allergies cause a chronic cough in children?

A4: Yes, allergies can cause a chronic cough in children. If you suspect that allergies may be the underlying cause of your child’s cough, it is advisable to consult an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Q5: How can I prevent my child from getting a cough?

A5: While it is not always possible to prevent coughs, you can take certain measures to reduce the risk. Encourage regular handwashing, ensure your child receives recommended vaccinations, maintain a clean and dust-free environment, and promote a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise.


Coughing in children can be distressing, but with the right remedies and care, it can be effectively managed. Honey, warm fluids, steam inhalation, saline nasal drops, elevating the head, and avoiding irritants are some of the effective ways to calm cough in children. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance. By understanding the causes and implementing appropriate remedies, you can help your child find relief and improve their overall well-being.

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