35 answers

Vicks VapoRub & Asthma/Coughing

My 10 1/2 month old son has asthma and he coughs quite a bit during the night. Sometimes it wakes him up and sometimes it does not. I've hear that rubbing Vicks VapoRub on a child's feet at night and then putting socks on makes them stop coughing. Does anyone have any experience with this remedy? I am wondering if he is too young for this or if he could have any adverse reactions to it. Thank you in advance for your feedback. Merry Christmas!

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Thank you so very much for all the advice! Because he has asthma, I've decided to go ahead and call his pulmonologist first to get the OK. However, I think the next time my husband or I have a cold with a cough, we will definitely try this remedy. Thanks again & Merry Christmas to you all and your families!

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Hi A.

Yes I've used this and it seems to be the ONLY thing that works for my son when he's coughing at night. I've used the baby vicks and the regular vicks. both work well. He is 3 1/2. good luck!!

I rub the vicks vapor rub on my sons feet and cover them with socks. Within 5 minutes he is sound asleep and no coughing. It's a miracle worker!!

I've done this with my daughter and it seems to work pretty well. I don't know why. I also use the Vicks cool mist humidifier.

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Every child is different, and if he does have any health issues definitely check with your doctor. That said, used it on both of mine when they were babies that way and it did work well. Good luck, happy holidays.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,,
Yes i've heard that ,but i don't know about a baby i'd call his DR.1st to make sure
Merry Christmas to you

My friends teasingly call me Mama Vicks. The vicks will not compromise his asthma. I have 4 boys, 1 that had severe asthma (and Restrictive Airway Disorder when he was little) and the Vicks was my saving grace! I would use both the vicks on his feet and cover with socks and a humidifier with Vicks liquid in the water to keep him opened up. Most pulmonary specialists will tell you to use it with the little ones to avoid the steroids when it's not necessary over night.

Hope all goes well with your little one. Brightest blessings to you and your family!

Vicks definitely works! They have the Vicks for babies, which is not quite as overpowering as the other. It has a pink lid. I know for a fact that HEB carries it.

My husband laughed at me the first time he had a cold and I told him to rub Vicks on his feet and it would open up his head. Reluctantly he let me do it and now he does it every time he is suffering from allergies, cold, etc.

I did this with my daughter when she was about six months old because I didn't want to give her medications for a stuffy nose and stuffed up head. I never thought that much mucous could come out of such a small child. It definitely works to break up the congestion and stuffiness and did help with the cough as well.

I hope this helps you!

If his coughing is asthma related, no amount of Vicks is going to stop it. You need to control the reason for the cough, if it is asthma he needs his asthma medicine. If it is allergies, he needs allergy medicine. Also, try elevating his head a little by putting something under his mattress on one end. He'll probably roll to the low side, but it helps the cough if the head is elevated. Nothing is worse for a person who can't breathe than having to lay down flat.

This works wonders for coughs and colds. I first used this treatment when my daughter was 3 months old for a cold and it cleared her up rather quickly. There are no side effects or age limits. It works for adults too!

Hi A.,

I'm a 33 year old mom and have a 19 month old son. I heard that from a co-worker when my baby was sick as well. Well, my husband and I tried it on his feet with the socks, and no result. It did not work for us but some sware by it. If you do make sure you get the Baby Vicks. Also ask you doctor about a cool mist humidifier. My son has allergies and they suggested that instead of a vaporizer. We run the cool mist humidifier all the time now, the doctor said that was better for allergies and asthma. (which my son is prone to getting from his daddy's side) Well good luck, and I hope your baby feels better.

As an asthmatic who has two asthmatic children I strongly suggest that you NOT get any of the vapor stuff near your asthmatic child. On one of the web doctor sites (can't remember which one)says that the vapor stuff triggers the asthma. I can verify that this happens. I was using the vaporizer in my children's room and they got worse and worse. I looked it up and found out about this. Also, do not use the Halls cough drops if you have asthma. It has the same vapor ingredient and aggravates the asthma.

I suggest researching all the online web doctor sites to find out for yourself, but that is what I found out. At the time my son was 5. He is now 12 and doing well with his asthma.

I am sure that by now you realize that not all asthma sufferers do the wheezing. A great number of us show that our asthma has flared up by coughing. When either of my children or I start coughing I know it is time to get more aggressive with the asthma treatments.

I wish you a most Blessed Christmas season.

Having had asthma for awhile, and having dealt with a child who probably has asthma (just hasn't been officially diagnosed yet), I strongly recommend taking your son to a specialist (i.e. pediatric pulmonologist) and getting him on a maintenance asthma medication like Singulair or Flovent so that he doesn't have the coughing episodes. People with asthma need to have their asthma under control through maintenance meds, and then have a rescue inhaler (like Xopenex) available for emergencies. Vicks VapoRub is not going to do what he needs. God bless you!

Hi A.

I've tried this recently with my 2 year old and the first night it seemed to make a big difference. The second night not so much. We used an off brand, so maybe we would have had better luck with Vicks.

We've been doing this for my almost 5 year old for at least two years. It does work, or at least it seems to for us. No adverse reactions that I've seen. Okay, I didn't read your post well enough, I don't think you are supposed to use Vick's on young ones that little becasue it CAN cause respiratory issues. I'd ask the doc.

My youngest daughter (now 20) has asthma. When she was a small baby the specialists she went to told us that Vick's should never be used on Asthmatics, as it opens the bronchial and can cause pneumonia. They had us use cool air misters in next to her crib. But before doing anything else make sure you cheque with his Dr. :) Good luck and hope all goes well!!

I would put in a call to you son's pediatrician. My sister-in-law wanted to to this to help her daughter when she had a cold and the pedi advised her not to use Vicks at such a young age...something about the vapors settling in her chest and causing irritation. Since your son has asthma this may be a concern. Maybe the Vicks baby rub wouldn't be as strong...but I would still put in a call to the pedi.

I have a 21 month old who has asthma caused from RSV. (He got RSV when he was about 8 months old) The pediatrician told us that Vicks vapor rub (even the one that says it's for babies) can cause pneumonia in small children. We use a cool mist humidifier & that seems to help with the coughing a lot. Hope this helps. Merry Christmas

I have tried it on my little brother, my husband and my 17 month old as young as 5 months old! (used baby vicks it worked just as well) and it has always worked wonderfully. I had some co-workers of mine tell me about it that she tried it and it worked really well.
Put the vicks or mentholathum on the back, chest and feet before bedtime, make sure to put socks on after rubbing them down. Since he is still little USE THE VICKS BABY RUB WITH THE PINK CAP!!! It has never failed me so far! Good luck!

If the cough is asthma or allergy then the cough is caused by sinus drainage in the throat. Vicks won't work on this. The Vicks on the feet works for regular colds/coughs though.

This works wonders for allergy/cold coughs, but I'm not sure about asthma. I would talk to your pedi to be sure that it wouldn't irritate the asthma. It actually helped me sleep VERY well last night with an awful allergy attack. =o)

I have put vicks on the chests of my kids since infancy. You just want the shirt to be loose. Don't put on neck as they may touch it with their hands and then rub their eyes. But, if it's under the shirt, no problems. You can also add it to a vaporizer instead. You can do this with eucalyptus oil as well, at least in a diffuser for oils. It has the same effect naturally as Vicks.


I have used the Children's Vick's Vapo Rub, which does work! The regular Vick's is a little too strong. There is a children's Vick's, so find it! I rub it on the bottom of my daughter's feet and then put the socks on. (She is 2.5 years old) and also on her back and chest-a small amount on back and chest. Someone also told me to dab on the tip of nose, which will clear their nose. This works too, but just a tiny dab on the nose. Hope this works for you like it does for me. Good Luck and Bless you and your family. Foster parents are a gift and your baby will love you forever!

Well, I don't think it stops the cough, but let me give you a pointer. I am 7 months pregnant and was sick all through the holidays. My dr suggested that I boil some water and add some Vicks to it. Needless to say, I was told that the smell filled our house (I had no clue cause I could hardly breathe), but it worked wonders not only for my congestion, but it helped with my breathing and actually relieved some of the pressure I was having along my sinuses. I would think the baby version would be safe for the baby as well. It was my first time doing this and will be something I will do for now on, especially for the kiddos (mine are 9 and 11).

I would caution about the asthma though. I have no idea how it would be on someone with asthma. Sounds like a pedi question.

I rub the vicks vapor rub on my sons feet and cover them with socks. Within 5 minutes he is sound asleep and no coughing. It's a miracle worker!!

Putting it on the feet didn't work for my family except it did make my 6 year old "feel" like it was working. I used the regular vicks on her. for my 2 year old and 9 month old I used the baby vicks as normal and it worked for them.

A mom in my sons preschool class is a respitory therapist she told me this as well. Run it on their chest and feet. She says the feet are the portal to the lungs??? I think it works. It has for my three year old. You may also add a humidifier to the babys room.

If you decide to try it, they make a Vicks baby rub. It is not quite so strong and might be a little safer to try.

Yes, it seemed to help my little guy when he was sick. Either I put socks on him, or put him in pj's with feet. I also made a sauna in the bathroom with vicks soothing vapors. I put some in the tub in hot water & then ran the shower while Clark & I sat in there! It helped clear me up too!!! Good luck!

Hi A.,

Yes, I do that for my children and I tell you it works wonders. But I wouldn't recommend it on your 10 month old baby because they are very delicate and he could get allergic to vic's vapor rub. Either read the label and if it doesn't mention anything on it then call the doctor to check if it's ok....


I agree you should check with your doctor about doing anything major. The vicks shouldn't hurt him, I used it on my daughters feet at a younger age than your son. You may also want to think about putting a vaporizer in his room and talk to his doctor about a nebulizer. *The countdown begins: 24 days to Christmas!!!

I've done this with my daughter and it seems to work pretty well. I don't know why. I also use the Vicks cool mist humidifier.

I have never heaard about the Vicks on feet, but it sounds interesting. I saw your comment about adopting your little guy. Would you mind telling me where you live and what foster agency you used? My husband and I adopted a little boy a couple of years ago and stopped fostering. I have been thinking about getting back in but I'm looking for a new agency-ours was pretty much useless. I hope all goes well with your adoption-it's an awesome experience!

Don't use the adult Vicks - it's toxic for infants. Vicks makes a camphor-free VapoRub called Baby Rub that is sold on the same aisle. It has a pink cap. We love the stuff.

Hey A.,

My daughter also has asthma and her Peditrician told me that thing like Vicks Vapor Rub would throw her into an asthma attack. Might I suggest a cool mist humidifier.

Of course, first I'd call his peditrician and find out what they recommend.

Good luck,

i've read the same thing...tried it w/ my 2 and 4 year old...works like a charm!

I am sure by now you 've gotten quite a response.
I had 4 kids and grew up with Vicks Vaporub, it saved us a lot of money and time.

we have learned a more effective way with a natural fruit.
www.cosmeticsdatabase.com is a site where you can enter products you use and see how toxic they are. try it.

every thing we place in our skin penetrates and goes directly to our bloodstream, sometimes causing more harm than good.
so check out your products, and see why we get disease.

here is something interesting;
Watch this video, ABC news, the first 2 minutes are very informative.

Women put on 168 chemicals in their face thru their makeup and skin products, (lead in lipsticks) and (Antifreeze, Brake fluid and more) What are you using for SKin Care?
www.CosmeticDatabase.com , search your product and learn and educate yourself. even KIDS products, Men's shaving cream has propane!! WHAT!!
What happens when a toxin enters the body
Once a foreign substance enters the body, whether it is ingested, or absorbed or injected, it has to be detoxified and made water soluble so that it can be safely eliminated.
The liver and the kidneys are the main organs responsible for detoxification, while the lungs, skin and intestines also play an important role. Despite the fact that we have these powerful allies working for us, our bodies just can't detoxify and eliminate all the chemicals that we ingest.
When the main organs have more than they can handle, the still active or partially deactivated chemicals are stored in the fatty tissues - possibly even in the brain and central nervous system.
The reactive and toxic compounds can be released into the bloodstream, disrupting the systems of the body and cause premature aging and disease.

Our bodies systems were not designed to handle the plastics and synthetic compounds. Recall the point that the chemical needs to be made water soluble, the sad thing is that many man made chemical are not water soluble so our body can't process them. Some of the compounds used especially in skin care are nanoparticle sizes meaning that the element fits through the pour size of our skin and gets embedded deep inside.
"But relatively little is known about the potential health and environmental effects of the tiny particles -- just atoms wide and small enough to easily penetrate cells in lungs, brains and other organs." -Associated Press

Staggering Fact
Out of 2700 chemicals that are marketed in quantities above 1000 tons per year, there is insufficient or no basic toxicity data on 86% of them. - data from 2003!

Is it any wonder why we are seeing the increase in premature aging and disease?
Just to highlight the effect of chemicals getting into our bodies. The US EPA analyzed toxins in human fat tissue samples.
Here is what they found.
Styrene (styrene based cups) found in 100% of the samples
1,4 Dichlorobezene (house deodorizer, moth balls) found in 100% of the samples
Xylene (gasoline, paints lacquers) found in 100% of the samples
Ethylphenol OCDD (drinking water, herbicides, wood treatments, auto exhausts, incinerators) found in 100% of the samples
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 HpCDD (wood treatments, auto exhaust, herbicides,Incinerators) found in 89% of the samples

OK, OK the list goes on but other than drinking water has anyone purposely gone out to eat one of these things?
Yet they are inside you, this is what I call the ticking time bomb.
For me the benefits of the mangosteen provide a solid defensive line against the effects of these chemicals.
The glimpse line also gives people a healthy chemical free alternative to health.

Art gave an experience of a women he was talking to in the plane and he was mentioning the statistics about the dangerous chemicals and the effects they have.
To make a long story short the bottom line is that she didn't want to know what was in her cosmetics.
SHE DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW! (Ignorance is bliss)
What a shame. Instead of benefiting by this knowledge and protecting herself and making healthy choices she would rather ignore the facts and do nothing.
I hope this information may help others to at least look at what they are doing now and make changes.
Glimpse is Pure Green and Focus, no chemicals , BioActive X3 Complex, Make a Choice! a Healthy choice

go organic, go natural.

god bless,

Hi A.

Yes I've used this and it seems to be the ONLY thing that works for my son when he's coughing at night. I've used the baby vicks and the regular vicks. both work well. He is 3 1/2. good luck!!

If you go to Snopes.com it will dispute the myth about the vaporub on the feet and give you recommendations about suggested age uses. I hope your son feels better soon.

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