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By Heidi Tetzman Roepke , Published January 09 2014

Five natural cough and cold remedies for kids

Recommendations advise parents not to give any over-the-counter cold or cough medications to children under age 6.

Luckily, there are some time-tested, natural suggestions that are worth a try if your little one is feeling under the weather. Some may even work just as well or better than an over-the-counter cough or cold remedy (Always consult a medical professional if your child is ill).

1. Keep your child hydrated. This may go without saying, but its importance cannot be overstated.

Try juice, water, popsicles or even ice. Warm, caffeine-free tea is also an option (check to make sure it’s not too hot). Try chamomile tea, which has calming properties.

Don’t underestimate the power of chicken soup or broth, which is another way to introduce more liquids and is easy on the stomach.


2. A spoonful of honey.

A Penn State University study showed giving a child age 2 or older honey 30 minutes before bedtime was as effective as regular cough syrup at calming coughs. Honey’s good taste is also a plus. (Honey should not be consumed by children younger than 1 year old).


3. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a vaporizer or humidifier. For children age 5 and older, mix a few drops with a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil and rub it into the soles of their feet or their chest to calm coughing. A parent’s touch can be healing in itself.


4. Onions in a bowl of warm water. At least one blogger insists that this simple method works to calm coughs, and is safe for all ages. Chop an onion and place it in a bowl of warm water. Place the bowl in the room where the child is sleeping.


5. A soak in the tub. A bath can feel great and act as a humidifier to loosen mucus and calm coughs. Make the bath cool, or give a cool sponge bath, if the child has a fever.