When your child has a cold, it may result in a cough that gets worse at night. A nagging cough makes it difficult for the child to get the rest he needs to recover. If your child is losing sleep because of a persistent cough, the following tips may help to give him some relief.
Turn your shower on and shut the bathroom door. You can sit in the steamy room with your child for 15-20 minutes. The warm steam will help to loosen secretions, break up chest congestion and relieve breathing. Mucous will be easier for the child to expel after a steam room treatment.
Give your child plenty of fluids during the day and throughout the night if he is awake. Fruit juices and water are good choices and will help to lubricate the throat. If the throat is dry and irritated, the child is more likely to cough. Fluids will provide temporary relief and calm the cough. You can also try hot chicken soup. The warm broth seems to open up nasal passages and soothes the throat.
Elevate the Head While Sleeping
Raising the mattress slightly will prevent mucous and secretions from pooling in the throat. Secretions in the throat trigger coughing. Place a board or block under the head of the mattress to make it slightly higher. You can also put an extra pillow under your child?s head to keep him from lying flat.
Try Lemon and Honey
You can make a soothing warm drink by squeezing fresh lemon juice into a cup of very warm water. Add 2-3 teaspoons of honey to sweeten the drink. Offer this to your child at bedtime, or if he wakes up coughing. The concoction will soothe the cough, and feel good on an irritated throat. If the child won?t drink a cup of warm liquid, try giving him a teaspoon or two of honey. Honey acts as a natural cough suppressant. Do not give honey to children under twelve months of age.
When to Consult a Professional
If your child is suffering from the common cold, the remedies given here may help to relieve the symptoms. If your child?s cough persists, or is accompanied by wheezing, labored breathing, persistent fever, listlessness, or loss of appetite, you should contact your pediatrician. These symptoms could indicate a more serious condition requiring medical intervention.