As a parent, I’m sure you can share my relief that school is starting again. As much as we love to spend quality time with our kids, entertaining them and managing them day in day out over the course of the summer can be taxing. On the other hand, there is one huge drawback to school starting, especially if you have young children… colds and flu’s.
Anyone who has sent their kids to pre-school or kindergarten has experienced the constant coughing and runny noses as our kids (with their virgin immune systems) are exposed to contagious diseases and infections for the first time. Treating the symptoms can be equally frustrating as the medicinal options in most stores include a long list of ingredients you cannot pronounce and you need a medical degree to identify. This would explain the fact that the FDA does not recommend using any (even pediatric) cough syrup in children younger than 4 years old.
In Europe, the recommendation is to hold off until age 6. Cough Syrup has been associated with convulsions, tachycardia, loss of mental cognition and even death. So, what are we to do? What can we do for our children, who are suffering and sometimes unable to sleep?
Here some natural and safe remedies for coughs:
Honey: Honey is relatively effective in treating a cough. Because it is natural and safe, you can even use it on babies younger than 12 months. However, it should be mixed with hot water or milk and never put directly onto a pacifier.
Onion: Thiopropanal Sulfoxide is the gas that is emitted from onions and makes you cry when you cut them. The theory, is that by placing a plate of cut onions by your child as they sleep, will “make the throat cry as well”. Which is to say it add moisture to the throat, making it less dry, irritated and in turn make them cough less.
Radish Syrup: Take 8 to 10 radishes cut and mix with a cup of lemon juice and a medium size glass of water. Then add ¼ cup of honey. Add to a pot and boil for about 30 minutes. Take 2-3 tablespoons every 4 hours.
Ginger: This might be the best remedy. Ginger has properties that are anti-congestive and anti-histamine. Take 12 slices of ginger, and put it into a pot mixed with 3 cups of water. Allow it to boil for up to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add honey and lemon juice.
As you can see, there are several things you can do to help treat a cough without the numerous man made chemical contained in conventional cough syrups. As always, use prudence with natural remedies and if you or your child’s cough is either persistent or unproductive, consult a physician.