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What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

Colds and coughs are quite frequent in toddlers and many medicines for cough are not suitable for them, hence you may want to know what to give one-year-old for cough. OTC medicines aren’t always suitable for children of this age, raising the question ‘what to give one-year-old for cough?’.

There are several home remedies that can treat the common cough in toddlers. Since cough-relieving medicines for adults are dangerous for toddlers-and even life-threatening- Here are a few remedies to help you out!

Types of coughs

It’s preferred to identify the type of your toddler’s cough. Coughs in children this age can be broadly classified as:

Cough due to congestion in airways

This type of cough sounds deep and comes from the chest. It’s usually due to mucus congestion in the airways.

Cough due to throat infection

This type of cough sounds tight and comes from the upper side of the throat. It is usually due to sore throat and infection. It causes swelling around the larynx.

Cough due to post-nasal drip

This type of cough is mild. It happens from the post-nasal drip at the back of your child.

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The necessity of home remedies

According to the American Journal of Family Physicians, about 1,519 toddlers were treated in the U.S. emergency departments for adverse events related to the use of cough and cold medication.

Apart from the negative effects, there is no proof OTC medication for adults having any efficiency on toddlers. It should also be noted that 90% of the cough in toddlers are caused by viruses; Antibiotics aren’t even remotely effective.

Antihistamines may not improve the cold-related symptoms in toddlers either, making it more vital to answer the question, ‘what to give one year old for cough’?

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Honey | A natural soother

Honey contains many important minerals and compounds such as B vitamins, ascorbic acid, and trace minerals. It also contains many important antioxidants. It has antibacterial properties too.

Honey can soothe the throat, and help a lot with the cough. It thins congestion and reduces the symptoms and frequency of coughs. In fact, Honey is said to work better than antihistamine (diphenhydramine).

To relieve the symptoms of cough in your one-year-old toddler, you can give them a spoonful of honey. Although it is important to note that children under the age of one year should not be given honey, as it can cause infant botulism.

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Dry air further aggravates the symptoms of cough and cold too. If the air in your house is dry, use a humidifier. It prevents the nasal cavities and the throat from drying up.

Humidity makes it easier to cough up congestion. Keeping a humidifier in your baby’s room, or sitting with them in the bathroom with a hot tap of water on, can help with your baby’s cough.

Also Read: My Baby Always Sticks Out Tongue – Is It Normal?

Warm liquids

Another answer to ‘what to give one year old for cough’ is warm liquids. Hydration is necessary when it comes to coughing.

Remember to give a lot of fluids to your child. It can thin up the body’s secretions. But remember to not give your child soda or citrus drinks such as orange juices. They can worsen a sore throat.

A one-year-olds requires one serving of water per day, which is equivalent to 8 ounces or 0.23 liters.

Milk, apple juice, warm soups can help too.

Also Read: Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn – Breathing Difficulty After Birth

Saline nasal drops

This is another answer to ‘what to give one-year-old for cough’. You can buy these at pharmacies. Nasal drops are generally considered to be safe.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. It is preferred that the drops be administered to your toddler before bed or in the middle of the night when your toddler wakes up.

You can use a nasal syringe, to help thin down the mucus in your child’s nasal cavity.

Also Read: My Newborn Makes Weird Noises While Asleep – Is It Normal?

Cold air

Exposing your toddler to cold air for 10-15 minutes can help relieve the symptoms too. If you are about to take your toddler outside for that, remember to cover them up well so they don’t catch a cold, or get it worsened.

Also Read: Is Breastfeeding With A Cold Safe? A Comprehensive Guide For Mothers

Coughs in toddlers are common and okay!

While getting to know the answer to the question ‘what to give one-year old for cough’, you should know that if your child has a mild cough and is still playing and active, it is totally normal and you should not worry. It usually goes away on its own. Only treat them if the symptoms are bringing quite some discomfort.

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When to see the doctor?

It is important for you to get your baby seen to a doctor if they have Asthma, or show the following signs:

  • Cough lasting for more than a week
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Blood in cough
  • Weakness
  • Tugging on ears
  • Muscles pulling in around the rib cage during breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweat
  • Cough without feeding

Also Read: Premature Baby Complications – What To Expect As A Parent?

The draw out

Cough in toddlers is common and will go away with time. The mild home remedies mentioned above can help relieve the symptoms in most cases. Remember to go to a doctor if things seem to be getting out of hand.

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

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