Home Remedies for 3Yo Chest Congestion?

Updated on April 24, 2010
A.C. asks from Cape Coral, FL
10 answers

My daughter is 3 years old and woke up this morning with her first chest congestion ever. I am looking for things I can do to soothe her and break up the congestion. Can she have any kind of hot tea? She has never been on antibiotics and I would like to keep it that way if possible. (I will be calling her doctor if it gets worse) Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Warm/steamy baths before bed, elevate the head of her crib/bed. Get her used to saline nose drops or spray now. Warm decaf tea with lemon and honey.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Congrats on NO Antibiotics to age three!!! Awesome! Yes you can keep it that way. Hot steam is really good to get congestion loose. You can let the shower run hot and sit with her in the bathroom on a chair with the shower curtain draped over the both of you and sing to her. Another thing I'd try is rubbing in Vicks vapor rub on her back and a steam vaporizer (you may have to ask because most of them seem to be cold humidifiers which is not what you want) usually there is a place you can put Vicks or eucaliptus essential oil. It will help her at night. You can give her a spoonfull of honey (antibacterial) squeeze lemon drops on top (vitamin C) twice a day. Camomille tea with honey is wonderfully calming. Lavish her with your attention while she's sick. Put her on the couch where she can be near you and read to her. You don't need a doctor unless her fever stays high for several days.
Good luck,

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answers from Minneapolis on

Boost up her immunity by giving her vitamins and probiotics. You can look for foods that are high in probiotics, like yogurt, but I suggest taking supplemental probiotics. Florify probiotics are great supplements and VERY affordable, compared to others on the market.

Also, I am a BIG proponent of chiropractic adjustments for everyone, including infants. I have been seeing a chiropractor for years and totally believe in the benefits of chiropractic care. I got adjusted during both my pregnancies and my children have been adjusted since they were days old. We have given our chiropractor the title of our primary family physician and we see him before we go to the medical doctors (that’s how much we respect his expertise!). If you go this route, be sure that you see a pediatric specialty chiropractor for your daughter…there are chiropractors that will adjust infants and children without specialized training and it may not be a good experience.

Finally, when my girls get congested I rub them down with essential oils, R.C. and Raven. I order mine online through Young Living, but I’m sure you can find them at natural food stores. The oils usually help clear out their sinuses and get the gunk out. It doesn’t treat the infection or virus, but keeps them more comfortable. I use the oils all over their hair, clothes, bed sheets, blankets (avoid the eyes) etc. and reapply 3-4 times a day until their symptoms clear.

At night, I crank up the humidifier and rub my girls down with essential oils again. If they have a cough that bothers them at night, I prop up their mattress so they are sleeping at a slight incline.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Baby/Childrens Vicks Vapor Rub is awesome, I usually only put it on night if my daughter is having troubles sleeping due to cough or stuffiness.

I have done warm water with honey & lemon juice mixed in but my daughter was not a big fan of it, the one time she drank it all it seemed to help. I do give my daughter a tsp or so of honey because she likes that better then the water w/honey.

Warm baths to help loosen everything up or even just sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running (not in the shower but sitting on the toliet or chair) can also help.


answers from Fort Walton Beach on

A really good humidifier (I bought a great one from Walgreens the other day - it's cool mist sonic something). And a chiropractor appointment that will see children.

Good luck trying to stay off the antibiotics... didn't work out so well with my son who has chronic ear infections.



answers from Dallas on

Hello A.,

Anise seed tea will help break the congestion. Lots of advice already, so I'll keep it short. I make a concoction and give it to my kids 1 tsp at the time:
1 Tbsp anise seed
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp peppermint or spearmint
1 cup water
put it in the blender for a minute or 2
strain it (cheese cloth or something similar)
add some honey and put in a jar in the fridge.
depending on how congested they are (or WE are)... take it 2-4 times per day.
Good luck!



answers from Madison on

You could make her very warm water mixed with honey and lemon juice to drink. This was recommended to me by my doctor recently when I had a sinus infection and chest congestion.



answers from Indianapolis on

I'd always see what your particular pediatrician recommends - just in case there's some medical evidence that contradicts old practices (such as kids under 6 years old not to receive cough/cold medications). For a congestion, they may recommend an expectorant such as Mucinex, but her age will make it important to call.

Here's what the American Academy of Pediatrics has to say....you'll need to scroll down a little to cough medicines:

Regarding antibiotics, there's really no harm in your child receiving them as long as it's medically necessary. About 15 years ago, they were way over-prescribed and created superbugs, but physicians have really cut back on using them only as necessary. There hasn't been a new antibiotic developed in many, many years, so physicians really have to be careful to keep what is on the market as effective as possible by only prescribing when there is truly a bacterial infection.



answers from Kansas City on

for my kiddos I put Vicks on the bottom of their feet and put socks on then I rub a little on their chest. They have children's vicks.



answers from Augusta on

vicks and a warm ( as warm as she can stand) wet was clothe on her chest. I do this with my son who has asthma and it breaks things up pretty well. When he was 18 months old we had to deal with pneumonia.