6 Ways to calm a child's cough the natural way
Want to help your coughing child breathe a little easier, so they can sleep through the night? Try exploring these natural alternatives paediatricians don't often tell parents about.
Has your child ever had a nasty cough that kept them awake at night? If yes, then you can surely relate to feeling helpless, wishing for an instant cure to provide cough relief and make your little one feel better.
If you find yourself unsure about how to relieve your child’s symptoms or if over-the-counter cough relief medication isn’t doing the trick, there are non-medical alternative measures to try.
However, you must consult with a paediatrician before trying any of the following cough relief measures.
6 Alternative cough relief tricks parents need to know
1. Try a paediatric massage for cough
Licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Robin Green touts the benefits of Tuina massage for general wellness as well as cough relief in children. This special massage involves applying gentle, but firm pressure to certain areas to stimulate the body’s ability to “self-heal.”
For cough relief, pinch the area under the shoulder blade gently but firmly to stimulate the lungs and chest function. After pinching the muscle tissue, push upward with your thumb and continue to gently pull down or squeeze this area.
Continue this for 30 seconds to two minutes until the skin “pinks up” or when it stimulates a pleasant feeling that helps provide cough relief.
2. Give your child ear acupressure
In the same way that Tuina massage promotes wellness, ear acupressure helps trigger healing properties.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cough and asthma symptoms can be kept at bay when gentle, firm pressure is applied to the lower part of the outer ear canal.
3. Give your child honey and lemon
Remember: Honey should not be given to babies under 12 months of age.
When paired with a warm drink, honey is great at loosening sticky mucus. Just two teaspoons in a caffeine-free drink is enough to do the trick.
Choose herbal teas that are safe for kids, like those with licorice, ginger, raspberry, or mint.
4. Give them Asian pears
If your child has a dry cough, you can try feeding them half or an entire poached pear before bed. You can either add a dash of cinnamon or top it off with a dollop of honey, recommends Holistic doctor Karen S. Lee.
Asian pears have been known to be packed with vitamins C and K. They are also low in cholesterol, sodium, and fat.
5. Say goodbye to dairy
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, dairy products – milk, yogurt, cheese – promote excess mucus production.
So steer clear of them if you want to provide relief from phlegm. But take note that if your little one is breastfeeding or relying on formula for their caloric intake, don’t totally remove milk from their diet.
What’s more, if your little one’s cough is compounded by fever, eliminating dairy will also help prevent their temperature from shooting up.
6. Harness the power of essential oils
Essential oils have been known to clear up nasal and chest congestion. They work like vaporised rubs in soothing and calming a child’s cough.
Be sure to consult a paediatrician as to what type of oil best suits your little one. Caution must be taken, however, as certain oils have not been declared totally safe for kids.
Once you get your doctor’s go-signal, just mix one tablespoon into olive oil to whip up a home remedy.
Massage your child with essential oils or give them a warm, comforting essential oil steam bath.
Or you can simply sit with them in a steam-filled bathroom to help calm a phlegmy, barking cough. This can be done every morning or before bed, while patting your child’s back to loosen mucus.
Hopefully, this will ease your child’s discomfort and help her sleep soundly through the night.
Again, be sure to consult your child’s paediatrician before trying these cough relief alternatives!
We hope you find this article useful. Let us know what cough relief tip worked for your child in the comments below.