How to Stop a Toddler's Cough

Little blond boy drinking healthy watermelon juice in summer.
Give your child plenty of fluids to help soothe her cough. (Image: romrodinka/iStock/Getty Images)

If your toddler's coughing is accompanied by a runny nose, low fever, headache or a feeling of general malaise, she may have the flu or the common cold. In some cases, a cough may be the sign of a more serious condition, such as asthma. Consult your child's pediatrician to determine the severity of your child's cough. If he approves, you can treat your child's cough at home with over-the-counter remedies and at-home care, according to KidsHealth.org in the article "Your Child's Cough."

Step 1

Give your child plenty of liquids, such as juice, water and lemonade, to help loosen the mucus in his chest and make coughing more productive. In addition to cold drinks, give your child hot drinks, such as herbal tea or warm apple juice.

Step 2

Run a cool-mist humidifier in your toddler's room while she sleeps, recommends KidsHealth.org. A humidifier will help loosen the congestion in your child's chest and allow her to sleep more soundly.

Step 3

Give your child 2 tsp. of honey instead of cough syrup to soothe a cough, recommends Mayo Clinic Dr. James Steckelberg in the article "Honey: An Effective Cough Remedy?" Honey is a safe alternative to cough medicine for children ages 1 and older. Children younger than 1 should not consume honey because it may cause infant botulism, which can be deadly.

Step 4

Give your toddler an over-the-counter antihistamine if your child's cough is caused by an allergy, and it's OK with your child's pediatrician. Take the medication exactly according to the directions and check to make sure the medication is approved for toddlers.

Step 5

Sit your toddler in the bathroom, then fill the bathtub with hot water. Instruct your child to breathe in the steam from the bathtub to help loosen his chest and soothe his cough. Repeat as necessary throughout the day to soothe the cough.

Things You'll Need

  • Juice

  • Water

  • Lemonade

  • Herbal tea

  • Warm apple juice

  • Cool-mist humidifier

  • Honey

  • Over-the-counter antihistamine

Warning

Consult a doctor if there is blood in your child's mucus. Do not give your toddler cough medicine without checking with a doctor first. Do not give cough drops to a toddler under the age of 3.

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