How do I help a coughing child sleep?
Your child is coughing through the night. The irritating hacks are keeping him awake. One of the best remedies for a cold of any kind is, of course, to sleep. But how can you help your child get some rest through these coughs? There are a few simple tips that can help the coughing to subside, so that she may sleep.
Short of seeking a doctor's advice, here are a few things you can try at home.
If your child's cough sounds like there is fluid behind it, one great tip is to head to the bathroom. Close the door up with a towel and turn the shower on as hot as possible. Allowing the bathroom to steam up will provide some relief for the cough. Kidshealth.org recommends sitting in the room with the child for around 20 minutes. The site suggests reading a book to pass the time.
Lots of Fluids
Drink plenty of fluids is traditional advice, but cooled juices can also sooth a cough. Water and clear broths are also good expectorants, according to "The Doctors' Book of Home Remedies for Children." Additionally, a hot drink can bring comfort for a cough, as well. Keeping the mouth and throat moist can help a dry cough, according to the book.
Turn Down the Temperature
It may seem logical to warm a room to feel snuggly and cosy, but if your child is suffering from a cough, cooler temperatures may help him sleep. The book recommends turning down a thermostat, as hot, dry air can irritate a cough. Cooler air also preserves humidity, which can assist a dry cough. A cool-mist humidifier in the child's room may help, according to Kidshealth.org for the same reasons.
It is best not to give a young child medication. Seek a doctor's professional advice for the use of cough syrups and antihistamines. For older children, an antihistamine such as benadryl may prevent an allergy-related cough, as well as provide sleep. The drug commonly makes children drowsy. "The Doctors' Book of Home Remedies for Children" recommends selecting a cough medicine containing dextromethophan and guaifenesin, such as Robitussin-DM or Vicks Pediatric Formula 44e. Check product packaging carefully for proper dosage and age appropriateness. Do not give a child 2 or under over-the-counter medications. It is best to consult a physician. Cough drops should not be given to children ages 4 and under, as they are a choking hazard, but they may provide some relief in older children.
When to See a Doctor
The advice in this article is not meant to replace the advice of a physician. If your child's cough is accompanied by excessive phlegm, a fever, difficulty breathing or has lasted more than 10 days, you should seek medical assistance. See a doctor, as the cough may be caused by a virus, bacterial infection, asthma or other irritants.