How Do You Treat Little Kid Coughs?

Is Stodal cough syrup is reliable remedy or sugary sham?

Every winter there’s discussion of how ineffective humidifiers are, cool-mist included, in treating coughs. Most humidifiers disperse mold and bacteria into the air, and for kids with asthma or allergies, that mold can be a trigger and worsen a cough. (NPR nicely sums up everything interesting you need to know here.) But parents want to give something, just as pediatricians want to recommend something, so the practice persists.

Cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for use with children under the age of six, as per Health Canada, but honey is widely accepted as effective in treating coughs. A Penn State College of Medicine research team found that buckwheat honey before bed was far more effective than over-the-counter colds meds at reducing nighttime coughs and improving sleep.

I used to do the hot water w/ honey, ginger and lemon thing for my toddler, but have gotten lazy and have been trying to actually get his teeth brushed after anything sticky. But this morning my son was so tired from coughing during the night that he didn’t want to wake up for daycare. And I was so exhausted I sent him in his PJ top.

What do you do when coughing is waking your little one—and keeping you up!—at 3 o’clock in the morning? Eucalyptus oil for their little chests and feet? Advice, please!

—Melissa, CF‘s lifestyle editor

PS: Has anyone tried the natural cough treatment Stodal, the one with that little yellow Koala-looking bear on it? Definitely falls into the homeopathic med category, and if you read our news updates yesterday, you’d have noticed the CBC Marketplace story asserting that homeopathic products are a con. What do you think?

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