How About Treating Kids Coughs?

Updated on October 03, 2013
M.L. asks from Conneaut, OH
17 answers

Does this fall under the category of: they will get better faster if you don't treat it??

No fever, every fall DS gets a cough, have not had him tested for allergies since it's usually a week or so and then he gets better.

Nothing is gushing out of his nose, I do think he has some drainage from sinuses down the back of his throat at night that might be causing the cough. Not complaining of his chest hurting or anything like that. not bringing up mucus.

I know I should be able to tell if its a wet cough or a dry cough, but I can't tell the difference, probably dry but I don't know.

his Ped, has said to give him Dylsum, But I dont' really feel that helps much.

we do give him warm steamy showers and put vicks on his feet and cover with socks,
He is 10 y o.

The cough is disrupting the whole families sleep. Mine especially. and i'm guessing that it isn't too great for his teacher to have him coughing. again, no fever and behavior is normal.

any ideas on how else to treat it???

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answers from Chattanooga on

When my 3yo gets just a cough, with no other symptoms, I give her honey and cinnamon. (About 1 tbs cinnamon and 3 of honey in a cup of water as hot as she can comfortably drink it.)

This was my grandma's remedy for us growing up, and it always worked well for us as well. (Still does, actually. I just don't care for the taste...)

I don't know that it helps her get better any quicker, but it definitely helps with the coughing!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

hyssop tea with a healthy dollop of local honey. i'd toss in a piece of candied ginger while it's steeping too. a humidifier in his room if it's very dry.
and it does sound like autumn allergies. an antihistamine might just do the trick.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

This sounds like allergic rhinitis which causes drainage from the sinuses down the back of the throat, especially at night when the little guy is trying to sleep. I have had this since I was a kid and it is sooooo annoying! It comes and goes with the seasonal changes and depending on how much pollen has been floating around in the air, mold spores, how wet or dry the summer has been...all of that contributes to the misery. The fact that there is no fever and he seems to be acting fine despite the cough is a pretty good indication that irritation is the issue here and most likely from this post nasal drip. The best thing you can do is pick up some Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra from the pharmacy and put him on this. All of these are fantastic allergy medications that used to be prescription but have now gone OTC. I personally think Zyrtec is the best, followed by Allegra and Claritin bringing up the rear. Each of these meds is safe for children so just follow the correct dosing for your son for his age and body weight. If it is rhinitis, these will stop it within two days and the cough will go away. It will dry up those cranky sinus linings and stop the drip....hence, stopping the cough. It works!
One thing to be aware of though....sometimes with kids this age, mild asthma presents itself as a pesky cough that comes and goes. No fever, child is acting normal but the cough is just here and there and doesn't respond to cough meds or allergy meds either. If you start seeing that this might be the case, make an appointment with your pediatrician and have him looked at. I really think this is allergic rhinitis but I have also seen kids with very mild asthma do this too. Give it a go, mom, and give this cough the boot for good!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I give my kids homeopathic remedies, I get them at Wholefood market and they do work wonders with my kids.

Good luck!, there is coughing at my house too but getting way better!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It sounds just like seasonal allergies. Getting them in the Fall is very common, especially for kids. I know I get them also. I would try some Claritin everyday, even if he doesn't seem to need it. Then, give him Benadryl at night before bed. This will help stop the allergies as they cause the mucus to drip down the back of the throat. The other way to get this to dry up, maybe be to keep his room cold at night. The cool air will help dry things up, some people recommend Sudafed PE but this is not the real pseudophederine that we used to get, but you can get it from the pharmacy if you decide to go that route. At 10, I am not sure if it is safe, but I know it helps me a lot. Good luck! It really is allergies and needs to have an antihistamine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hard to tell if this every-fall cough is allergy related or from being back with kids who share germs.

Most over-the-counter remedies just cost money and don't do too much. You usually get just as much relief from a lot of fluids.

It's normal to have more coughing at night when you're lying down. I used to have chronic bronchitis and it was always horrible at night. Then the lack of sleep made it much harder for me to recover. You can try propping him up in bed - if pillows don't do the job or he rolls off or slides down, try putting a folded blanket or two under the mattress to slant the whole thing up.

You might want to re-think the Vicks especially on the feet. It's unclear if it helps, and it may not be a good idea. The company doesn't advocate it, and many authorities think the sustained camphor on the skin is a bad idea:

The steamy shower can work if it's a croup-y cough but it doesn't always work for other causes.

Strengthening the immune system is much more effective. I haven't been sick in years, no more colds or bronchitis or allergies (I had both fall and spring allergies, plus cat allergies). There are safe and natural anti-inflammatories that also strengthen the immune system, with scores of published papers and many, many studies from various academic institutions (none of them funded by drug companies or anyone with an agenda). There's a strong prevention aspect too, including cholesterol and cancer and a zillion inflammatory diseases.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If he's not sleeping, give him something.
If you're not keen on OTC meds...try a teaspoon of honey.
Or try warm tea, honey & lemon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I treat coughs when they're disrupting sleep. Delsym, honey in warm water, spoon full of honey before bed, Vicks, whatever it takes.

It does sound like seasonal allergies to me too, so I'd try daily Claritin. And for next year, I highly advise starting with a spoonful of local honey daily for a month before or local bee pollen daily starting a month before. That's been the best 'cure' for seasonal allergies in my house. The bee pollen contains compounds that prime your immune system to respond to the seasonal allergies quickly. You can usually get bee pollen (or local honey - less effective but still good) at a farmers market.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Wait a minute, Vicks on his feet? Never heard of that. A humidifier seems to help my kids. Sometimes a cough medicine containing suppressant right before bed. If they have a bad coughing spell, I let them have a Dum-Dum (instead of a cough drop) to help soothe the throat. Sounds like allergy medicine is worth trying for your guy.



answers from Cincinnati on

Every fall, my son gets allergy-induced asthma. It started when we moved to Ohio from Arizona. His main symptom was coughing all night. He was given asthma meds. Usually he needs the meds from October until the 1st frost. Delsym will only help if mucus is involved, not if he's coughing because his airway is restricted. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

It sounds like allergys, this happens to my daughter.

The thing we do that helps, is A few teaspoons of Honey. It coats the throat and helps.



answers from Dallas on

Try the zyrtec first (store brand is much cheaper and does just as well).
Mucinex, also generic, is great for thining out mucus. If he sounds like his chest is rattling with mucus, it's a wet caugh, if not, it's a dry cough.
I'd bet it's just a dry hacking cough from a little allergy flair up. The zyrtec should be fine.


answers from Norfolk on

See if Claritin or Zyrtec helps.
If it's allergies, a non drowsey allergy relief medication might do the trick.

Since it's not a snotty cough I don't think Mucinex will help much.
Do not try to dry him out - no Sudafed or any decongestants - they only make the fluid thicker and harder to clear out.
Do keep him well hydrated - water, juice, chicken soup, etc.
He can gargle with salt water and rinse his nose out with warm saline using a neti pot (it can help rinse out pollen).

A humidifier may or may not help.
When it come to allergies, sometimes the humidifier makes dust mites worse (I but I wouldn't think that's the case if it's a happens-every-fall thing).
Another thing to try is the throat numbing spray - it might numb it enough for him and you to get some sleep.



answers from Cleveland on

Have you tried Children's Nyquil?


answers from Columbia on

I agree 100% with Meganthemom. She's spot on.

You won't need cough suppressant or Vick's or anything else if you hit it where the problem is: Allergies. For a week each autumn, SOMETHING out there is either blooming or going to seed that is causing an allergic response. Treat the allergies, not the symptoms.



answers from Kansas City on

Benedryl works best for my kiddo. Sometimes I'll give her a spoonful of honey to coat her throat. I like the halls fruit breezers when my throat is scratchy, so I'll let her have one in the morning. Not before bed because I'm afraid she'd swallow it at night and choke, but when we get up. The fruit breezers aren't medicated, so I don't worry letting her have one to suck on.



answers from Honolulu on

1) originate from the chest, or,
2) from the sinus, as in post-nasal drip, or,
3) both

Or perhaps, a seasonal irritation, like pollens or dust or stuff in the air which you cannot even see.
For example: is there any road construction in the area, that is not the norm? This can cause lots of air pollution. Or, any trees/flowers flowering? Fruit trees and its pollen from flowering? Any other out of the norm type things, environmentally, that may cause irritation, for many people?
Or, is there anyone else at school, that is sick or has this coughing type thing? For example: last year, my son had that. So did lots of other kids. And per the Pediatrician, the "cough" was going around. It was JUST a cough. Coughing that dragged on awhile. Viral.
No other symptoms.

Per "seasonal" type irritations, I have that. Its not serious, but irritating. I've had it since I was a kid. Not a real "allergy" per say but just seasonal. I take Claritin and it helps. I HATE Zyrtec, because it makes me drowsy and grouchy like hell.

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