What Should Kids Drink if They're Sick With a Cough?

When your child has a cough due to a cold or the flu, keeping your child hydrated is critical to her health and recovery. Often, a child's appetite diminishes as a natural side effect of being sick. However, by selecting healthy drinks for your child, you help her stay hydrated and well-nourished as she recovers.

Chicken Broth

Chicken broth can be given to your child to help with a cough, states HealthyChildren.org. Chicken broth hydrates and has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe a sore throat often brought on by cough. In addition, it helps break up mucus, easing your child's cough.


Juice can help keep your child hydrated, but it's important to avoid giving your child too much juice, since many kinds are full of sugar and calories. Avoid punches, sugary fruit drink mixes and citrus juices. Opt instead for 100 percent juices, such as apple or grape. If your child finds it tough to swallow juice, make it a popsicle to get your child's throat moistened and ease his cough.


Water may not be appealing on its own, but it keeps your child hydrated. To keep it flavorful, add a squeeze of lemon to the glass. Only add a small amount to prevent your child's throat from being irritated by the acid in the lemon. If your child's throat is very sore, prepare a salt water gargle; add a 1/4 teaspoon to an 8 oz. glass of water. Provide a cool glass of plain tap or bottled water after the child gargles.

No Caffeine

Sodas, caffeinated teas and coffees will not help your child's cough. Sodas may be irritating to a sensitive throat. The caffeine in tea and coffee has a dehydrating effect, which can make a cough worse. If your child wants to drink something warm and gets sick of broth, check with your pediatrician before using an herbal tea, states the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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