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How To Get Rid of Cough in Children – Commonly parents do not want to let their children sick. However, in this era, children are more common to get caught by cough and cold. Proper treatment like going to the hospital may be needed for some cases, but this disease can be cured with simple remedies.

Some expert says that getting rid of cough in toddlers is simple since they may develop the immune system. In some cases, children can get over it naturally without any medicine. Pediatricians commonly say some advice like getting proper sleep and eating can treat this disease. However, what kind of effort parents actually should do to reduce the cough symptom in their children?

Here are simple tips on how to get rid child’s cough in order to bring back their happiness.

Giving Your Children Healthy Meal

child with well maintained diet are immune to getting cough disease

Generally, toddlers and kids barely have balanced meals because they are usually picky eaters. The child with a cough could have more eating problems since its makes their throat irritated and cause them hard to eat. Moreover, If their throat inflamed, it would be so painful to swallow food and medicine. This symptom also makes them have a poor appetite.

Proper meals are important to bring energy to their body and improve the healing of a child’s cough [1]. This is necessary because antibacterial food could remove malicious substances that infect your child that causes coughs. Without a nutritious meal, their immune will fall off and worsen it. Encouraging them to eat food that may wear off this disease quickly.

Good Food To Get Rid of Cough in Children

Here are tips to make food that is good and nutritious for treating your child’s cough.

  • Soft food – Porridge and clear soup are food that can soothe their throat and are easy to be swallowed. Making broth for your child is also good to relieve child coughing.
  • Honey – Some experts say that this food has good antimicrobial. One spoonful of honey may be good for your child to relieve cough symptoms. However, don’t give honey to an infant under 1 year because they are not ready to eat this food. An infant younger than 12 months can be fatal and prone to have botulism [2].
  • Chicken soup – This food may reduce cough symptoms. In fact, children may like chicken soups with more potatoes and celery. You can add some herbs like ginger to enrich the flavor and make it more healthy.
  • Juice – To keep your child hydrated is not just only drinking water, but you can make healthy juices. Berries and citrus can be options for fruit that can be blended to make juices. However, limit the sugar or add honey as a sugar substitute since if it is too sweet may worsen cough in children.
  • Popsicle – This tip may have pros and cons to parents since this food has the possibility to aggravate the cough. However, this is not actually bad for children if you know how to make homemade healthy and safe popsicles. The first thing you should consider is its hygiene and the second is the ingredient we choose to make it. Popsicle can be a water source to hydrate your child. Keep it sanitated during its production to remove bacteria that may be sticking to popsicles.

Besides this option of food, there are also antioxidant foods that have the same properties to fight back malicious substances and may have reduced the cough in your children such as edible berries, apples, and green leafy vegetables [1].

Bad Food Can Worsen Child’s Cough

Though food can lighten the cough in your child, there is also kind of food that should be avoided because it will aggravate its symptom as follow:

  • Oversweet treats – In general, child more likely to have sweet treats. However, isn’t true that sugar can worsen the cough? yes, it’s true. Too much sugar can decrease the immune system. Moreover, the toddler immune system is less strong than adults. So, children are prone to get sick if too much consume sugar.
  • Fatty food – These kinds of food also contribute to triggering and worsening the child’s cough. Fries foods can make a hoarse sound after consuming them. Fatty food may have not directly to causing coughing, but it prevents curing this disease. Reducing fried food intake can improve cough healing in children.
  • Ice cream – The safety of food for children with a cough is questionable. This claim is related to the hygiene in the production of ice cream. Sometimes, the machine is not properly maintained and cleaned. If our child has a low immune system, it may initiate cough or other diseases. So, we are not recommended to eat this food for sickening children.
  • Food in the dirty refrigerator – This is also related to the previous case. Unhygienic freezer or refrigerator also contributes to this disease. Bacteria and mold can invest in the food and transferred it into your child. Clean it regularly will prevent your child from getting sick.

Some of this food also can trigger GERD conditions. This disorder is sometimes linked to cough symptoms because acid fluid can accidentally go to the respiratory airway and inflamed its lining. The possibility of a child getting this kind of disease is rare but it can occur if their meal is not being controlled. The food to treat GERD may help to prevent triggering cough in children.

Simple Tips May Cure Child’s Cough Naturally

drinking milk can make your child stay hydrate

Parents may be worried about their child’s condition if they are caught by cough and get worse over time. You don’t have to worry about it because curing this disease is so simple. There are some simple home remedies that can help your child to bring down the cough naturally without some medicine or special food. There are simple tips for parents to know how to deal with its symptoms.

How to get rid of child cough naturally

  • Stay hydrated – Pain can occur when your child coughing because the lining of the respiratory tract is irritated and need adequate water. Breast milk is enough to counter the cough in infants because it has antimicrobial properties. Moreover, Children older than 2 years are needed enough water based on their body weight. Give them water frequently to fill their bodily fluid and reduce cough symptoms. If your child refuses to drink, you can try other forms of water such as juice, milk, or homemade popsicle.
  • Encourage them to have more rest – Sleep is important to regulate the body. However, children are too active to get some rest even they are being sick. Attracting them with some food to make them full and sleepy. If the coughing is worsen during the nighttime and makes them irritated, you could bring them to the pediatrician for further treatment.
  • Use a humidifier – This steamy machine is good to bring up the mucus and relieve the child’s cough. Some experts say that humidifiers also can reduce croup cough symptoms. However, be cautious to use this machine because some types of humidifiers can harm your child if too close to it.
  • Compress with a lukewarm towel – This case occurs if your child coughing with following by fever. The lukewarm towels can relieve the heat and reduce the symptom. Warm compress also makes them more comfortable to rest and promotes deep sleep.
  • Steamy bath – Another way to ease cough in children is to get a steamy bath. Warm water and steam can lower its symptom.

These tips can be useful for parents to early treat a child’s cough. However, it may have a slight effect to relieve it. To fight this condition, It depends on your child’s immune, healthy intake during the sickening state, and how long to get proper rest. As pediatricians say, this disease can be cured naturally if we can keep these three conditions well maintained.

Call the Pediatrician

pediatrician can help you to cure child's cough

If the tips can’t relieve your child’s cough, you should call the pediatrician, make a schedule, and bring your child with you. In some nations, there are also on-call service pediatricians if you can’t bring your child.

Over-the-counter Medicine

If we talk about OTC medication topics such as guaifenesin-based medicine (for cough expectorant) and dextromethorphan-based medicine (for cough suppressant), these medicine doesn’t really work on toddlers and could harm them in some cases. Children with 6 years or older may be safe to use this medicine, but toddlers under 3 years are not be recommended.

If you have been taking your child to a pediatrician and they permit you to use this kind of medicine, you can follow his/her instruction to get over this disease. However, there are some risks that occur if you don’t have a proper pediatrician’s prescription such as:

  • Wrongly take dosing for adults – Using this item incorrectly can overdose them because adults and children have different doses based on their body weight and age. Read and follow the direction in the label thoroughly if you don’t want your child to have other diseases besides coughing.
  • Poisoning – This case occurs by overdose cough medicine. It can lead to damaged liver or kidney. In some cases, the parent could place the medicine carelessly and children could accidentally drink it. Secure the medicine far away from them to prevent this happened.
  • Prevent them for have ‘good’ coughing – This note is important since the parent usually uses this medicine to relieve this disease. However, coughing sometimes is good to bring up mucus. Using cough suppressants can reduce ‘good’ coughing and affect your child’s breath.

Besides OTC medicine, pediatricians also suggest taking a saline drop or saline spray to relieve the clogged nasal and effective to treat wet cough in some cases. It’s safer than medicine and you can find it in the apothecary.

Further Examination in Worsen Cases

If the child’s cough getting worsen over time, it should have further examinations to know these disease. It needs several medical tests to understand the infection such as chest x-ray, blood test, pulse oximetry, etc.

Sometimes, the cough has delayed symptoms and it could be undetectable. For example in COVID-19 cases, the child may have no symptom of it but after infection (2 to 14 days incubation period), it appears and may be contagious to other children. Paying attention to the development of your child’s cough may save them before too late.

Prevent It Before Too Late

preventing cough makes children happy

Children get coughs once or twice a year is common. However, as parents, we don’t want our child get this disease regularly. Maintaining a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cough. Encouraging them to have a proper and healthy meal, drink more water, and get used to keeping sanitated can prevent this disease.

There is also one tip to prevent this disease. You and your children should get vaccinated. In some cases, a vaccine is important to lower the risk of serious cough diseases like pertussis, flu, pneumonia, and COVID-19 [3] [4] [5]. However, be cautious about these matters because there is numerous misleading information about vaccinating.

If you worry about taking the vaccine, you can call a doctor or pediatrician to check your body. People with conditions such as autoimmune disease and having high blood pressure are prohibited to take vaccines.


Cough in children is common and it can be cured naturally. We as a parent want to give the best effort to cure the disease immediately. However, don’t rush it, there are simple tips to reduce a child’s cough.

The first one is to keep a balanced meal with healthy food, and the second one is to have good rest and if necessary to give them some herbal remedies such as honey. Moreover, keeping enough water, and using the humidifier may fasten the healing of cough.

If the cough in your child worsens, you need an expert to give you a solution to overcome this disease. Some tests may need to detect what kind of infection your child has since cough is commonly caused by bacteria and viruses.

The pediatrician also does not recommend OTC medicine to treat a child’s cough because parents could mistake cough medicine for adults. For this matter, you should ask your pediatrician and follow his/her instruction.

To prevent this disease relapse, your child can get some vaccine to strengthen their immune system. Keeping a healthy diet and being aware of hygiene can control and preserve their health issue.


[1] – Good diet for children under 5 years old with cough symptom

[2] – botulism caused by honey

[3] – Pertussis vaccinated via nassal drop

[4] – Flu vaccine for children

[5] – The importance of COVID19 vaccine for children under 12 years old

Dr. James Stunt Sp. PD
Dr. James Stunt Sp. PD
You can call me Dr. James. I have been a doctor for almost 10 years. Experience in Siloam hospital.


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