32 answers

What to Give to a Coughing 14 Month Old?

My son is recovering from viral bronchiolitis. We have him on antibiotics, and are doing breathing treatments with albuterol 3 times a day. My question is does anyone know if there is some safe cough suppressant to give him. The cough is breaking up, so he's been coughing a lot harder the past day or 2, and he'll cough so hard that he throws up. My husband is concerned that he'll start coughing up blood. I know that it hurts him to cough, and I wish there were something I could give him. When I asked the doctor who diagnosed him (not his normal pediatrician, I had to take him to a doctor's office that was open late) the doctor said he didn't like prescribing cough syrup to a boy so young. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone who responded to me! Before now, I had never heard of the Vicks on the bottoms of the feet. I tried that, and it worked wonders. He's still got a little bit of a cough, but it's getting so much better, the humidifier helped too, and I'm sure the antibiotics are finally kicking in!! Thanks again!!

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You've already had some good suggestions. Also, realize it's okay if they vomit. Not fun for you, but that's their body's way of eliminating the mucus. I would also try kids chicken soup, the salt helps ease their irritated throats and coughing.

BUT, DO NOT GIVE COUGH MEDICINE TO ANY KIDS!!!!!
I have a friend whose 16 year old (yes, 16 yrs., not 16 months), almost died last year, because the antibiotic he was given combined with the cough syrup suppressed his brain and body functions to a point where his heart almost stopped and he was almost in a coma. It was only his first dose! And it was the correct prescribed dose. If they had listened to the doc who said just have him rest, and not taken him directly to ER, he would be dead. Some people, especially kids, have some sort of weakness to these medicines (which are often given together), and the results can be deadly. That's why so many doctors are saying not to give kids cough medicine now.

1 mom found this helpful

The age for cold/cough medicines has recently risen-to 8? i'd try a little honey. 1/2 a spoonfull. it's thick and will soothe his throat.

I echo what many other mom's have already said - they don't recommend suppressants to children so young anymore. I would use the Vick's Baby Rub on his chest and back as that often helped my son. Also, my son has asthma so when he has a flair and we use the albuterol, they often also recommend a humidifier. They recommend using a cool mist humidier for babies that get coughs and colds also. I would suggest getting one - you can find them at BabiesRUs, Target, Walmart, etc. Some of them are even really cute like little animals and such so it adds a nice touch to their room. I hope he feels better real soon! It's so hard to watch them cough and be miserable while you feel so helpless!

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Rx cough syrup is heavy on the alcohol & codeine (hence, not liking to prescribe it to young children). Call your regular Ped and ask the nurse for a safe OTC cough syrup.

They'll *probably* recommend a combo suppressant/expectorant. The suppressant calms the muscles, while the expectorant helps make the coughs productive. Some typical OTC combo's are Infants Robitussin , Infants Dimetapp, Infants Tylenol Cold'n'cough, Infants Motrin Cough/Flu.

If they do...remember...
- ALWAYS go by weight, not age.
- Double check active ingredients. Guaifenesin & Dextromethorphan are the most common expectorant and suppressants out there. Then look for any others. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can be taken together, but you don't want to double up on either...if you're already giving one for fever.
- The nurse should be able to tell you the correct dosage by weight.

* Any good hospital has a nurse advice line...they can also look up weight/dosages and give good recommendations. Obviously a children's hospital will have you talking with a pediatric nurse...but ANY good consulting nurse can flip through the book and look up the chart on medications and dosages. They're available 24 hours a day, and they're free.

** Honey is an at home remedy for coughs....DO NOT give it to your infant. But a couple years down the road, or for yourself, keep it in mind...especially for minor coughs. This sounds like a cough that may be breaking ribs, so that's not you either...just a general FYI.

Good Luck!!
R

2 moms found this helpful

Hylands makes a homeopathic cough syrup with honey. It worked well for my son and the great thing about homeopathics is that they work with the body. If it isn't what the body needs nothing will happen, but they work well if it is. Check with your local health food store.

1 mom found this helpful

Vick's Baby Rub on bottom of feet, back, chest & take a teaspoon of honey since your littlone is over 12 months.

1 mom found this helpful

One of my children also throws up when he starts to cough hard. It's annoying for us moms but it's nothing to be concerned about. What I found helpful with my kids is honey. I give them a teaspoon of honey a few times a day. The honey coats the airway and the coughing lessens considerably. Since your son is over 1 year of age giving him honey is o.k. You can also give him dark chocolate (the real one with over 70% cocoa content). Chocolate works for one of my sons who doesn't like honey.

My son was coughing so hard and for so long that every muscle in his body was hurting. I hope your son will feel better soon.

M.

1 mom found this helpful

The Vicks on the feet works so go for that one and no otc cough syrup. On another note, DO NOT VACCINATE your baby when they are remotely sick, have been on antibiotics, or give Tylenol before, during or after shots as all have compromised the immune system in some way and the shots could cause a more severe problem than you expected.

We have been through what you are going through so many times with our daughter and know how frightening it is. The breathing treatments with a nebulizer was our only saving grace and there were many times we were having to do them every hour to two hours around the clock because of the asthma that came from reactions to vaccines.

Please make sure YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research:

www.909shot.com
www.tacanow.org
www.generationrescue.com

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock
The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave
Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby

1 mom found this helpful

You've already had some good suggestions. Also, realize it's okay if they vomit. Not fun for you, but that's their body's way of eliminating the mucus. I would also try kids chicken soup, the salt helps ease their irritated throats and coughing.

BUT, DO NOT GIVE COUGH MEDICINE TO ANY KIDS!!!!!
I have a friend whose 16 year old (yes, 16 yrs., not 16 months), almost died last year, because the antibiotic he was given combined with the cough syrup suppressed his brain and body functions to a point where his heart almost stopped and he was almost in a coma. It was only his first dose! And it was the correct prescribed dose. If they had listened to the doc who said just have him rest, and not taken him directly to ER, he would be dead. Some people, especially kids, have some sort of weakness to these medicines (which are often given together), and the results can be deadly. That's why so many doctors are saying not to give kids cough medicine now.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, there are several senarios here - If his cough is getting worse, and if it sounds liquidy, it's possible that the antibiotics did not work. I would take him back to his regular doctor and see what he or she has to say - maybe another round of meds and you can ask about cough then. I looked at some of your answers and I got to say unless your kid is very different from mine, it would be impossible to get him to drink tea or gargle:-) So what I do is to do nose saline rinse several times a day (have him lay on his back) and a lot of the saline would go in his throat which helps a lot. I am not a doctor, just a mom who has 2 kids and knows what you are going thru- so take this with a grain of salt-- for nighttime, you could try giving him 1/2 or 1/4 of the cough med (over the counter) for children. You can give it to him in a dropper. The OTC meds now are all labeled for older kids, and they apparently do not work for a lot of kids. BUt I got the permission from my kids' pediatritian and they DO work for my kids. I never give them during the day, just once before bedtime. Again, if you don't feel comfortable, don't! Ask your ped, too. Best of luck. Trust me, you are not alone in this cold season and nothing is worse than when your kids are sick (except maybe when you are sick and your kids are sick..).

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,
Unfortunately, coughs can last for weeks. However, if your son has viral disease, he shouldn't be on antibiotics since they do not cure viruses. I would go have him checked again by his regualar doctor. When my son had trouble breathing he went on Prednisone for a few days (along with the albuterol or a nebulizer) to help clear his lungs. Meanwhile, cold air humidifier in the room will help him. And use saline in his nose to clear it out. I always gave my son pediatric Robitussin but now their saying that these kinds of medicines are not good for children under 6.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have read a lot that a teaspoon of honey is a good for soothing a cough, and I think once your baby is one year old honey is ok? I tried it myself and it seemed to sooth my cough. Hope that helps.

When my kids get like that, I make sure I run the vaporizer in their rooms at night. I use plain steam b/c I discovered that Eucalyptus (in Vicks) is actually an asthma trigger for some people.

I have also had very good luck using boiron homeopathics. My 3 year old has a tendency to get heavy chest congestion. He also has a sensitive stomach and will often vomit when he has mucous. He responds very well to antimonium tartaricum and ipecacuanha. I give him three tablets of one. Then I give him three of the other about 2 hours later. The antimonium is for wheezing (I'm guessing that's an issue b/c you are using albuterol). The ipecac is to treat the "rattle" in the chest that is actually linked to the stomach. I use a dose of two to three for the boiron b/c it recommends 5 for an adult. If you use a different brand, you have to try to figure out the dosage.

I agree with the ped and don't recommend over-medicating. I actually discovered the homeopathics when my son was 4 months old and was not responding well to a month's worth of albuterol and was facing long term steroid treatment. Within three days of using the homeopathics, he was completely well.

Good luck. I hope your little one feels better soon.

I don't think the FDA is recommending ANY cough syrup or cold medications for any children under the age of 6 now. Try talking to your normal doctor about Tylenol w/codeine. It will help relax him and help him sleep. Please do not try any over-the-counter medications without speaking to your child's doctor. Are you using a humidifier in his room at night when he sleeps and elevating his crib on one side so he is not flat? That helps too. You can also bring the child into the bathroom, shut the door and just hold in the room while you run the hot water in the shower so the steam fills up the room (of course you are not in the shower, just in the bathroom while the water is running).

You might try calling a Doctor who also practices eastern medicine and see if there is some herbal support that would be appropriate. I have had herbal supplements to help break up cough and congestion that have been wonderful. My Doctor is Dr. David Karaba at East West Medical Group in Fullerton. Or you could go to South Baylo University and make an appointment in their clinic.

Hi R.. If I were you I would consult his regular ped first. I would also try these:

- lots of liquids (except citrus drinks) for the throat irritation
- if he doesn't like to drink much, try popsicles. You can even make your own.
- decaf herbal tea with a little honey (pls ask your doc first)
- gargle with salt dissolved in water. I was told this helps break the bacteria in the throat

Hope this helps :)

Don't give a cough "suppressant." Because you WANT the mucous to come out and expel.

I had BACTERIAL Bronchitis a couple weeks ago... my Doc said NO cough suppressants. I had antibiotics.... mine verged on becoming Pneumonia.

I too was on Albuterol.

You want to watch for: (1) fever (2) chills (3) headache etc.
If he gets these, it can be a bacterial infection. This is what I had. Dangerous.

KEEP an eye on him. I know you are.
Do NOT give him over the counter meds... UNLESS prescribed by the Doctor.

If his cough is getting worse, take him to the ER.

Bronchitis, can take a LONG time to recover from... so keep that in mind.

With the way you describe his cough... I would take him to the ER to make sure he is not getting worse.

If given antibiotics... it SHOULD help, if it is bacterial. If not, antibiotics will not help... and/or, it can get worse. Not ALL antibiotics works with some Bronchitis strains. Thus, other types of antibiotics can be tried.

Make sure, if the antibiotics does not help, that you take him back to the Doctor... for re-evaluation.

For me, it took about 5 days for my antibiotics to kick in, before I saw an improvement.

Oh, also make sure he is keeping hydrated....water/liquids will help "thin" the mucous.
You might want to try and ask your Doctor, about homeopathic cough syrups.... ?
take care,
Susan

Hi R.:

Sorry about your son. My son had that similar coughing where the mucous from his nose would just get at the back of his throat and make him cough, gag, and throw up. Have you tried warm water with honey and lemon to soothe his throat? I sometimes make my kids chamomile tea or lemongrass tea (manzanilla) and add honey/lemon to that. They seem to like the flavor and it is soothing warm. Steamy bathrooms and lots of water too. Good luck and hugs.

We've been giving our son ginger, lemon, honey tea since he was that age and it's amazing how it breaks down the phlegm and he LOVES it! There's a recipe on weelicious.com

The age for cold/cough medicines has recently risen-to 8? i'd try a little honey. 1/2 a spoonfull. it's thick and will soothe his throat.

R. : )

As other moms may have told you, a vaporizer in his room, or just sitting in a steamy bathroom will help open up his lungs and ease the cough. A good rub, like Vicks or Melaleuca, on his chest will help. I've heard that putting some on his feet, then covering them with socks at night, will also help. If you can get some really good Melaleuca oil, not the cheap stuff, and put it in the vaporizer, or boiling water, it will help to open him up faster.

Best of Luck to you and your son.

A.
Working at Home to Live a Healthy Life
http://www.ACLiveLifeWell.com

I would contact your regular pediatrician. Or go to your local pharmacy. Also try giving him a little honey on a teaspoon. If he is laying down when he is coughing,prop his back & head up with pillows so he is sitting in more of a reclining possion than laying down. Also have him lay on his side this sometimes helps. Buy a peppermint candy cane & have him suck on it the peppermint may also help.

I was also going to say vicks on the feet. You just rub it all over the soles and put on some socks. It's amazing how well it works! They have infant vicks too.

Call your doctor. It doesn't sound like the anti-biotics did the trick.

By the way there are many other optiond other than putting your little one on anti-biotics. Natural ways like homeopathics that can do a better job and get the immune system working.

http://www.drfeder.com/

Dr. Lauren Feder
6399 Wilshire Blvd.
Ste 401
Los Angeles, CA 90048
###-###-####

Honey is good if it is raw. Raw honey includes bits of propolis which looks like dark specks. Propolis is a natural antibiotic. You don't really want him to stop coughing. That's the body's way of getting rid of the crud. Steaming up the bathroom will help loosen it. Getting a cold air humidifier is good. You also use some aromatherapy essential oils-eucalyptus is good. A great thing that you can do for him is to provide him some reflexology. It's very simple and it feels good. Apply light pressure on his toes, tops, sides, bottoms, and on the pad just below the toes. This area reflexes the lung/chest. It may initially get him coughing, but it will help alleviate it. There are several good, easy to follow books at any major bookstore with the basics of reflexology.

I would also highly recommend chiropractic adjustment. He is not too young, infants can be adjusted. Chiropractic adjustments help alleviate sinus infections which lead to bronchitis. Once you get bronchitis they are still very helpful in getting rid of it. Everything emanates from the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are a great alternative to tubes in the ears for children who suffer from constant ear infections. If you are interested I can recommend two, one in Long Beach just north of Seal Beach, Dr Mark Kennedy or one in the Fairfax area on San Vicente.

My 14 month old has been to the doctor more times since 4 months old than i can count due to coughing and wheezing. We also use Albuterol and have done prednisonein the past when it gets real bad and humidifiers too. What works for our son is doing a breathing treatment with albuterol in the nebu, then we rub vicks on the bottoms of his feet put socks on him then rub vicks on his chest. Squirt Little Noses Saline Solution in up his nose as we are changing his diaper and then put his fan on. Calm him down by putting some soft classical music or soft spa type music that turns off within an hour. This works wonders to calm him help him and help him to sleep while he heals from his cold or asthma or allergy whatever it is that is ailing him. If that doesn't work then he is so sick that he needs to go to the hospital.

I echo what many other mom's have already said - they don't recommend suppressants to children so young anymore. I would use the Vick's Baby Rub on his chest and back as that often helped my son. Also, my son has asthma so when he has a flair and we use the albuterol, they often also recommend a humidifier. They recommend using a cool mist humidier for babies that get coughs and colds also. I would suggest getting one - you can find them at BabiesRUs, Target, Walmart, etc. Some of them are even really cute like little animals and such so it adds a nice touch to their room. I hope he feels better real soon! It's so hard to watch them cough and be miserable while you feel so helpless!

I would call his normal pediatrician and ask for advice. My little one had cold-induced asthma and needed some assistance with that (I never heard of that before he was diagnosed). Not saying that is the situation here; just think when breathing is concerned better to pester the doc ;)

I know this sounds crazy but it works... Rub Vicks vapor rub on on the bottom of his feet and put socks on him and he will rest really well. I do it when they have fallen to sleep so that they don't take off their socks and touch the vapor rub and get it in their eye's. God Bless you & your litle on...and the one on the way :o)

Go to Jimbo's or wholefoods and possibly Henry's and speak to someone in the homeopathic area. There are a couple of possible solutions. I gave Droscerea (they come in blue tube like containers and you twist the lid for small pellets to come out) for her bronchial cough. It worked like a charm. Talk to a helper there in the store.

Vick's Baby Rub on bottom of feet usually works for us. You can also put a dollop on a tissue on his dresser while he sleeps so it fills the room. Just be sure to cover his feet & keep the dollop where he cannot reach it because it's not safe to get it on his hands or face.

I'd call your own pediatrician...

Ours says that you can try honey (for children over 1 year of age). Honey is supposed to be a good cough suppressant and is full of antioxidants.

Why is your son on antibiotics if he has a virus??

Although it is tough to go through and natural to want to give our kids something to help them, most docs will not recommend any suppressant. It's something I've had to train myself to believe in and explain to grandmas but of all I've been told by Peds (one being my sis-in-law) the cough will run its course and suppressants will prolong the body from getting it out. There was an interesting article on the web about studies finding honey and chicken soup are more effective. But I would ask the Dr. before giving honey to a child. I have used it for myself and older daughter. I've also done the vicks on the chest and feet with socks for my 1yr. old recently. Good Luck!

It sounds like your son has asthma. My daughter was in distress after turning 1yrs old and we rushed her to the ER, we found out her oxygen level was low and had to given steroid shots and put on the nebulizer through out the evening. It really helped her alot. Now she's doing okay, but I closely watch her whenever the weather changes and whenever she has a slight cough as these are the signs that I've notice will trigger her asthma. Hope this helps.

Make a visit to your local Health Food store, with information in hand (or baby in hand) like the size, age and weight of your child. There are lots of good, safe herbal cough and cold remedies that are better for your child than Rx or OTC cough syrups. Most health food stores have an informed person behind the vitamin counter, and will probably have a desk copy of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by Balch (Physician) and Balch (Nutritionist) Extra vit. C is always helpful, get a high dose powder than can be sprinkled on food. He can have 100mg. per month of age per day, divided into 3 doses. Zinc is also helpful, but for the cough itself, there are lots of herbs, most will be available in a liquid or syrup. If you are nervous about using natural remedies, copy off the information about it, and bring it to the Dr. when you ask if it is OK to give. I can guarantee he won't look it up any other way. My son suffered a brain injury at two from Asthma medication that the medical community considered "generally recognized as safe" for a two year old, so I had to learn all about treating Asthma without Drs. and without drugs. The herbal and homeopathic remedies, paired with vitamins, work much better and faster than any prescription he has ever used. Good luck.

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