The Best Cure for Your Child’s Cough

by on October 23rd, 2010
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When my two-year old woke up the other day, he suddenly sounded like a pack-a-day smoker with a bad hacking cough. Since he hasn’t been running a fever and has been acting pretty much like himself (read: a typical stubborn, cranky two-year-old), I haven’t taken him in to the pediatrician because I don’t think he’s all that sick. But that cough sounds terrible and I want to help him out. I’d also like to get some sleep…but I don’t want to give him medicine if I don’t have to.

Luckily, with a little research I found out that the good folks at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) back me up and don’t recommend giving small children cough syrup because of some of the ingredients in the medicine can affect children negatively. What they do recommend surprised me because it’s so simple – honey. According to a publication issued by the AAP, honey does just as good as cough syrup when it comes to reducing a child’s cough frequency and severity.

What’s more, honey has antioxidants and antimicrobials, which is a fancy way of saying that honey can help fight off infection and boost immunity. This is something I want for my kids, cough or no cough. The honey also coats the back of the throat, which can help calm the cough and help kids sleep. Guess what? If my little one is sleeping through the night instead of waking up and crying because he’s crying, that means that I get to sleep through the night too. Score another point for honey!

(One important thing for parents to remember, however, is that children under the age of 1 should not be given honey, as a rare but serious side effect in babies is a type of food poisoning called botulism.)

So instead of calling the pediatrician this afternoon, I’m just headed over to the grocery store to buy some honey and I plan on giving it to my toddler tonight before bed. Here’s to some sweet sleep for all of us!

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