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View Full Version : What's your best "secret" remedy for a cough?


tmarquez
09-18-2008, 08:19 AM
My DD(5) gets a terrible cough whenever she gets a cold. She's gotten it since she was an infant. Dr's have said she might be slightly asthmatic...but maybe not. :confused3

Anyway, she has it now. It's keeping everyone up at night...including her. What can I do? I already have a humidifier going in her room and we rubbed Vicks on her chest and back. She has a prescription cough medicine that doesn't work so I quit making her take it. Last night a healthy dose of kids Benedryl stopped the sniffles and cough long enough for her to get SOME sleep, but there has to be a better way!

What do you do for your family?

oldbay
09-18-2008, 08:38 AM
Both of my kids have had cough issues when sick. The oldest has had croup many times. The cold air seems to help, even air conditioning is good to reduce any swelling. The contrast between a hot shower/ then cold air helps as well. Also, ice pops seem to be a big help when they get a bad cough at night(the flavorice are a big hit). The cold liquid calms it down so they can sleep. Another help might be a little children's advil or tylenol (with dr. permission) to reduce some swelling as well. I also remind both of them to blow out a lot and not sniff in and 'stuff' trying to come out as it tends to make the cough worse and also get in their ears. Another idea is to have them sleep semi-propped up so any 'stuff' drains and does not get stuck in their throat. Oatmeal also helps a sore throat too.

Can you tell we try everything?

The best though to really get rid of the cough was an oral steroid they gave my son for croup. It works amazingly well to get rid of any cough he has. This does need a presrciption though. It may be something to ask about next time, especially if this is asthma-like.

Good luck and will cross my fingers your DD gets better soon.

Donna
09-18-2008, 08:41 AM
i've heard rubbing VICKS on the bottom of their feet works. (don't ask me how!) Worth a try!

HeatherC
09-18-2008, 08:43 AM
I nebulize my kids. I have 3 kids who have always gotten a terrible cough when they get allergies or a cold. We thought my oldest was asthmatic, but it turned out to be allergies. She is now getting shots for them.


I would ask your doctor about it especially if they think she might be slighty asthmatic.

We have found with the doctor's help that if I start nebulizing them within the first day of them coughing, it seems to catch it and not turn into something worse like pneumonia. I usually wind up doing it like two days straight and it seems to help a great deal.

I also don't give them cough medicine because that just keeps the junk in their lungs. At least coughing lets them expell it somewhat.

I don't advocate giving a kid medicine or drugs unless you need to, but I do think in our case the albuterol has made a tremendous difference. We used to have nights where the kids would cough non-stop ...even with cough medicine - for several nights in a row. Exhausting to say the least. This just seems much more effective for us.

Good luck to you!!

Stephaniecmc
09-18-2008, 08:44 AM
i've heard rubbing VICKS on the bottom of their feet works. (don't ask me how!) Worth a try!

Lather bottoms of feet with VICKS and cover with socks before you go to bed. Works wonders for your cough, congestion, and your feet too!

SLK1
09-18-2008, 09:08 AM
i've heard rubbing VICKS on the bottom of their feet works. (don't ask me how!) Worth a try!

I heard this too...rub it on the bottom of their feet, then put socks on them. Good luck! Coughing at night is enough to make me want to jump off a cliff!!

Matt'sMom
09-18-2008, 09:12 AM
Honey is still the best natural/home remedy for coughs. I think that it tends to coat the throat, so the post nasal dripping doesn't 'tickle' and trigger the coughing spasms as easily. Take by the spoonful, or mix it into hot tea. The tea or other warm beverages can also help reduce the irritation & keep sinus passages open. I have a lot of sinus issues, and a mild form of asthma... and find that the honey, hot tea, and sleeping propped up in a sitting position, all help to get me through when I have an annoying, lingering cough following a cold.

Russian-in-Kansas
09-18-2008, 09:16 AM
I don't know how secret mine are, they are basically traditional remedies in Russia and do work I think. 1. warm milk and honey. 2. In the summer pick a bunch of daisies and make a tincture, you can add a few drops of it to the milk or boil a pot of water and add the daisies to it and have the child breath in the steam for a while. works for caughs, doesn't kill the virus though.

sohappy
09-18-2008, 09:24 AM
I agree with the nebulizer treatments or even just the inhaler. My oldest has an "acceptably narrow airway". Whenever he gets sick he coughs alllll the time. Even strep makes him cough. We have a routine that works for him (vicks on the chest, tylenol simply cough, inhaler and nasal spray). If we leave anything out, we are up all night. If we do all the steps, he sleeps like a dream. He is an extreme case and everyone might not need all that. He does though or his little body is just exhausted.

Belle72
09-18-2008, 11:08 AM
Maybe see an allergy/asthma specialist if you can. My pediatrician told us kids' coughs can last a long time after a cold. We went through many winters with sleepless nights. DD6 (5 yrs old at the time) was finally diagnosed with asthma- but has symptoms only with respiratory illnesses- otherwise she is fine-no symptoms of asthma. A cough at night can be the only symptom sometimes. As it was posted earlier- a nebulizer or an inhaler will take care of the problem amazingly. Oral steroids are for extreme cases, they have some potentailly bad side effects so are not for mild cases. My daughter did not wheeze, but the tests they did at the allergy/asthma office showed decreased lung function with colds- that is why she was coughing at night (a usual time for asthma to get worse). Hope this helps!

Robmom
09-18-2008, 11:17 AM
Oh man! I wish this post was around a few days ago. I had this tickly cough that drove me nuts for 2 nights. I would have tried the Vicks! :thumbsup2

ardig123
09-18-2008, 11:17 AM
We do the thick layer of Vicks at night and cover with socks as well!! Works wonders!! I would not recommend doing it until right before bed...I am not so sure that prolonged walking would not make it seep out of the sock and stain the carpet. I put my kids in bed and then rub it on.

tripletots
09-18-2008, 12:03 PM
i've heard rubbing VICKS on the bottom of their feet works. (don't ask me how!) Worth a try!

I ditto this too! This truly works for my family. When my daughter had the flu last winter, I did have to reapply in the middle of the night, but that was much better than listening to her cough all night. It can't hurt to try it.

EpcotSweetHrts0512
09-18-2008, 03:53 PM
I'll have to try the Vick's on the feet thing! My mom always squeezed fresh lemon/lime juice in a little bowl, heated it up, and then mixed in honey. We would just swallow it by the spoonful! It did help our throats and the coughing, plus it tasted good! :)

all4fun
09-18-2008, 04:11 PM
I haven't tried them yet but just last weekend I was at Costco and saw some freezer pops for kids that have honey in them. They were with the other childrens cold and cough remedies in the pharmaceutical section. Unfortunately, I can't remember what the name brand was.

MichelleinMaine
09-18-2008, 05:50 PM
I'd be asking for a referral to check for asthma. As someone else said, every time my DD got a cold, she would get an unstoppable cough. After repeated episodes of this, they figured she did have asthma- that was triggered by a cold and by exposure to cats, dogs and/or dust. (Dogs the biggie.)

Definitely something to have investigated further. DD has a couple inhalers we start proactively when she gets a cold. We made it through all last year with no trips to the doc. :thumbsup2

Huskerfamilyof5
09-18-2008, 06:46 PM
We had they same problem with DD3, we took her to an allergist and although she did not test positive to allergies, with her frequent respiratory infections, he put her on Singular and Zyrtec. That has worked great, we use them on a daily basis during allergy season. We also have a nebulizer when she does get a cough, that works great too. Hope these help, I know about not getting sleep.:rotfl2:

wlfans
09-18-2008, 07:15 PM
I would see a specialist. Your child may be having Allergies instead of a cold. There may be some post nasal drip causing the cough. Try some good decongest tablets. Also, you may want to use Mucinex will clear the lungs out of any junk. My daughter and I both get this nagging cough during colds and allergy time. Most of are problem stems from post nasal drip. Staying on Claritin and Triminic cold/allergy. Saline spray they say help, but they don't work for me. Flonase nose spray does seems to cut down on some of the nasal run off.

mrsmiller
09-18-2008, 08:58 PM
when I was pregnant with my youngest son I developed a nasty cough that lasted for months because of the pregnancy I could not take any medications , finally my doctor told me to drink chamomile(spelling?) tea and It did work wonders for my cough, to this day I give my sons chamomile tea anytime they have a cough or asthma , it helps then stop coughing.

Linnette

Dopey's twin Dippy
09-18-2008, 10:15 PM
i know this will sound funny, but my 19 year old, yes 19 years, has had a cough for over 2 weeks. went to Drs. they did not to any tests, blood work. whatever, but now it seems to be getting worse..not to sound mean, but all night she coughs......i think i will call themback tmw. and get another look at her....i finally bought some honey to. she doesnt like it........haha......i just want to sleep at night............hah

Schmeck
09-19-2008, 05:42 AM
My oldest DD had a chronic cough in the winter. It would start after she had a cold, and just hang around for months. OTC cough medicine never helped, and albuterol would make her so hyper that sleeping was the last thing she'd be able to do!

Honey worked for a few hours each night, but the best thing were those throat sprays that numbed the tickle that made her cough. She'd still cough a little bit at night, but only when there was something to cough about, not just a tickle in her throat.

Donna
09-19-2008, 06:25 AM
My oldest DD had a chronic cough in the winter. It would start after she had a cold, and just hang around for months. OTC cough medicine never helped, and albuterol would make her so hyper that sleeping was the last thing she'd be able to do!

Honey worked for a few hours each night, but the best thing were those throat sprays that numbed the tickle that made her cough. She'd still cough a little bit at night, but only when there was something to cough about, not just a tickle in her throat.


This will sound crazy, and i was extremely skepticle, but I had a cough from May to August. I had a chest Xray and it was clear. My doctor then told me to two take weeks of prilosec even though i did not have acid reflux or heartburn. That was the first thing that actually worked on me. I was at the point, i couldn't even drink a glass of milk or it'd make me up all night coughing. I haven't coughed since taking the prilosec!:confused:

kim929
09-19-2008, 09:30 AM
I have a son who is asmatic, on top of very bad allergies. His allergist said not to rub vicks on him, it irritates them and makes it worse. When his cough gets bad, he gets a neb treatment or gets a prescription for a cough med with codene so he can sleep.

Beehn
09-19-2008, 09:40 AM
My mom and grandma swear by a cold wet cloth on the chest. It really does work great...but I always hated it as a kid. I still do it now and my coughing stops almost instantly. I have a hard time getting my daughter to keep it on, but when she does it really works. It's just not fun to lay around with a cold cloth on you!

JohnsonsRUs
09-19-2008, 11:31 AM
Another thing to try is nasal saline spray, but I am going to try the Vicks on the feet the next time also.

yellowtink
09-19-2008, 08:07 PM
I have a routine for myself. I have asthma and algeries. My alergies are caused my pollen and I supposidly hade exercise enduced asthma, I think the doctor lies. I cough at everything.
Anyway, I take my inhaler, get a dose of kodene medicine(helps me stay asleep), take my pulmicort, tylenol or advil, and I get extra pillows to keep my head propped up. It works wonders but your neck hurts in the morning due to the pillows.

Karlzmom
09-19-2008, 09:19 PM
My DD(5) gets a terrible cough whenever she gets a cold. She's gotten it since she was an infant. Dr's have said she might be slightly asthmatic...but maybe not. :confused3

Anyway, she has it now. It's keeping everyone up at night...including her. What can I do? I already have a humidifier going in her room and we rubbed Vicks on her chest and back. She has a prescription cough medicine that doesn't work so I quit making her take it. Last night a healthy dose of kids Benedryl stopped the sniffles and cough long enough for her to get SOME sleep, but there has to be a better way!

What do you do for your family?


A friend got me hooked on warm lemonade with honey when I have a cold. The warm feels good, the vitamin C is a bonus, keeps your fluids up and the honey quiets the cough...an all win situation. That little concoction has gotten me through a number of "must do" times when I was really feeling poorly. Just warm the lemonade to tea-drinking temp and add honey to taste...

Donna
09-19-2008, 09:25 PM
A friend got me hooked on warm lemonade with honey when I have a cold. The warm feels good, the vitamin C is a bonus, keeps your fluids up and the honey quiets the cough...an all win situation. That little concoction has gotten me through a number of "must do" times when I was really feeling poorly. Just warm the lemonade to tea-drinking temp and add honey to taste...

oh my that sounds yummy! i will have to try that!

nessz79
09-20-2008, 07:46 AM
Honey is still the best natural/home remedy for coughs. I think that it tends to coat the throat, so the post nasal dripping doesn't 'tickle' and trigger the coughing spasms as easily. Take by the spoonful, or mix it into hot tea. The tea or other warm beverages can also help reduce the irritation & keep sinus passages open. I have a lot of sinus issues, and a mild form of asthma... and find that the honey, hot tea, and sleeping propped up in a sitting position, all help to get me through when I have an annoying, lingering cough following a cold.

Yup! Honey works very well, surprisingly! Better than Tylenol Cold with Cough, I've found.

Edited to add: be careful about giving honey to very young children. I think you're not supposed to give honey under the age of 1, but it could be the age of 2. Allergy thing.

goofyisinphilly
09-20-2008, 09:33 AM
For those of you who have commented about coughing for an extended amount of time, read up on reflex coughing. It is where coughing becomes a habit. You think you need to cough but really is just a reflex from having been sick and having coughed then.

My cousin had this for almost a year. The doctors tested for everything and it came back clear. Eventually they started a reward chart where he got stickers for every increasing amount of time he didn't cough.

This isn't to say there may not be allergies or asthma involved but don't just assume that you need to cough for weeks after a cold or flu.

wildfan1473
09-20-2008, 12:16 PM
A friend got me hooked on warm lemonade with honey when I have a cold. The warm feels good, the vitamin C is a bonus, keeps your fluids up and the honey quiets the cough...an all win situation. That little concoction has gotten me through a number of "must do" times when I was really feeling poorly. Just warm the lemonade to tea-drinking temp and add honey to taste...

DH started me on something similar, heating up water then adding 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. It really helps quiet the cough. The only sympton DS6 has when he gets sick is a croupy cough and he likes his special "chai".

The last time he was in to see the ENT, he prescribed Ponaris to help open him up. This is a nasal drop, an oil with eucalyptus in it, I think. DS couldn't handle it, but I was going through a nasty bout of hay fever and tried it - I LOVED it! It is wonderful for the itchy throat and ears. It is available over the counter.

MickeyisanNDfan
09-20-2008, 08:26 PM
For the older crowd a hot toddie or a hot whiskey works wonders...lemon, sugar, whiskey and boiling water, only at bedtime though because you will go right to sleep!! ;)
I have also used a eucalyptus spray, you can spay it on a tissue and just inhale it as necessary...it works great.

tmarquez
09-21-2008, 02:54 PM
OP here...thanks for all the advice!

I just wanted to say we tried the Vicks on the feet thing...and it really worked pretty good. She did have 1 coughing spell that night so I went in and gave her water and redid the feet...she ended up sleeping later than usual.:confused3

The cold has mostly passed and so has most of the cough. Now it seems it's my turn.:sad2:

Denine
09-21-2008, 06:03 PM
I just told DH to give DD a spoonful of honey. I am desperate!

We were at an indoor water park Monday and Tuesday and by Thursday DD was coughing. Yesterday and today are the worst. It is practically non-stop. I am giving her cough medicine (plain) and Tylenol with codeine. I put vicks on her feet last night and at least she slept until 6:30 this morning before waking us up crying and coughing.

Poor thing has never had a cough like this. It almost sounds croupy. She has no fever and feels f ine except for the cough.

She has a doctor appointment on the 29th, but I may have to take her before then if she doesn't improve.

HenDuck
09-24-2008, 06:40 PM
Robitussin or the generic version are great for coughs. If you have phlegm too, buy the one with "DM" on the name, again, you can buy generic.

It works for everyone in my household, from DS (8) to DH (50). We are all so amazed that an OTC drug actually works.

When DS had residual wheezing and coughing after a cold and cough, the doctor prescribed Asthmanex (or later, Advair), to be taken during the course of the cold, to prevent the residual wheezing and coughing. Luckily, he hasn't had a bad cold/cough in years, so we haven't needed the inhaled steroids...knock on wood...:goodvibes

Denine
09-25-2008, 09:08 AM
I wish something would make DD's cough go away. She was at the dr on Monday and he gave her atb's for bronchitis. The cough is as bad as it was. I called this morning. Hopefully he will prescribe something else. Her 6th bday is today and her party is on Saturday.

The honey did nothing, but the vicks works great at night.

bookgirl
09-25-2008, 02:17 PM
Okay my mom used to give me a teaspoon of whiskey mixed with a teaspoon of honey:lmao: but I'm thinking that child services might get you for that one.


Other than that, warm water with honey and lemon will soothe her throat, but not treat the underlying cough, but it does help.

PS Robitussen DM is my go to cough meds for myself (allergy based asthma cough, prone to broncitis) it works a charm.