Congestion / Cough

Colds and coughs are common illnesses of childhood. Children will average 8 colds, or more, each year. Most cold remedies are ineffectual and are best not used in infants and small children. Coughs are effective mechanisms by the body to clear mucous. Unfortunately, most babies do not cough effectively and do not fully clear mucous.

You may try some of the following therapies:

  1. A cool mist humidifier to loosen the secretions. The humidifier should be cleaned on a daily basis by running with vinegar, or a cleaning solution designed for humidifiers, through the humidifier for five minutes. You may use Vick's Humidifier Solution in the humidifier. 
  2. Elevate one end of the bed, propping the mattress, or with pillows in an older child, to a 45-degree angle. An infant may sleep in a car seat. An infant should not sleep with pillows. 
  3. You may dilute milk, or formula, if the child is very comgested. You may also offer water. 
  4. You may use a steamy bathroom for 20-25 minutes, as long as the child is comfortable. 
  5. As mentioned previously, you may use Vick's in a humidifier, or placed on a t-shirt.
  6. Cold medicines do not cure colds. Cough medicines prevent the body from clearing the mucus. Rarely do cold medicines provide much relief.
  7. Do not use honey, as a cough suppressant, in an infant less than one year of age.