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If the cough doesn’t let you live, we give you the keys to relieve it

Have you had a cold, but the cough continues to prevent you (and those who live with you) from falling asleep? Days go by and you can’t make it go away? Can’t your children rest? Here we give you the keys so that you know your ‘enemy’ well and a few home remedies that will help you relieve the cough that is causing you a headache.

Should we try to eliminate the cough? As stated in the ‘Decalogue of Cough’ published by the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics (AEPap), cough is a defense mechanism of the respiratory system designed to eliminate secretions and foreign bodies to keep the airway clean and open. According to pediatrician Pedro Navarro, vice president of Culture of the College of Physicians of Malaga, if there is no pathology behind it and it is a residual cough from a catarrhal condition of the upper respiratory tract, when it prevents rest and causes significant discomfort, we must try to remove it. However, this specialist warns that cough must be considered as a symptom of a disease and not as an isolated event, especially in children. In this way, the doctor must establish the treatment based on whether it is bronchitis, laryngitis, flu, pneumonia, whooping cough… This doctor insists that the age must be taken into account and always take it to the pediatrician so that make the diagnosis and give treatment. In any case, there is no need to get overwhelmed, since every illness has a beginning, a plateau and an end.

Can children drink syrups? According to the AEPap, acute cough should not be treated with cough relievers, mucolytics, expectorants, antihistamines or nasal decongestants, especially in children under six years of age. According to the group, in children it has not been proven that these medications are effective for the treatment of cough and the risks outweigh the possible benefits. If used, they should always be under medical supervision. If the cough were eliminated, there would be more mucus retention, less oxygenation and more airway obstruction. There would also be a greater risk of otitis and pneumonia, the decalogue warns. In this sense, pediatrician Pedro Navarro explains that if physical measures do not eliminate the cough that prevents the child from resting and causes significant discomfort, nothing happens if he takes a cough suppressant adapted to his age as long as it is prescribed by a doctor. .

Do antibiotics help? They are not effective in the treatment of colds and are contraindicated.

It is important to know the origin of the cough. The most common cause of acute cough is upper respiratory tract infections, that is, colds, but you should always consult your doctor to find out its origin and follow the appropriate treatment, since it can be a symptom of some disease, such as whooping cough or bronchitis, as the Malaga pediatrician emphasizes.

When should I take the child to the pediatrician? According to the AEPap, it is advisable to monitor and consult with the pediatrician if the following appear: difficulty breathing (the ribs are marked and the sternum sinks, whistles are heard when breathing, very rapid, agitated breathing, etc.), fever that lasts more than three days, earache or discharge or cough and runny nose for more than 10-15 days.

Natural remedies against cough

Natural remedies against cough (extracted from Salud en Red, the blog of the Quality Agency of the National Health System of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality).

1-It is very important to be well hydrated, drinking fluids frequently.

2- It is recommended to do nasal washes and humidify the environment.

3-You must avoid exposure to tobacco smoke. You should not smoke at home.

4- Honey with lemon relieves throat irritation and irritation. It is advisable to take it several times a day.

5- Menthol and eucalyptus ointment type Vick VapoRub. Apply and massage on the chest, back and soles of the feet before sleeping.

6- Soups. They help reduce mucus.

7-Steam baths. The steam relaxes the airways, we have less mucus and phlegm in our throat. Do not apply if you have asthma.

8-An onion cut in the room.

9- Pure chocolate. By having theobromine, it helps relieve dry cough.

10- Radish syrup. Salud en Red recommends taking 8 to 10 radishes and blending them. Subsequently, it is mixed with a cup of lemon juice and half a glass of water. Strain and add honey. Boil for 30 minutes and take 2 to 3 tablespoons every 4 hours.

11- Cola drink. Put a few small pieces of onion in a glass of cola drink and boil for 3 minutes. It is recommended to take it before going to sleep.

12-Ginger. It has decongestant and antihistamine properties. Put 12 slices of ginger in a pot and mix it with 3 cups of water. Let it boil for 20 minutes over low heat and turn off. Add honey and lemon juice.

13-Orozuz licorice root. Soothes irritated throat. You can directly suck the stick or boil it for 20 minutes. Then it is strained and honey and lemon are added.

14-Thyme tea. Two tablespoons of thyme, crush it and add it to a glass of boiling water for 10 minutes. Later it is strained and honey and lemon are added.

15-Suck a lemon after adding salt and pepper.

17-Homemade syrup. Boil a glass of water and add a spoonful of oregano. Let it rest for a while and strain it.

18- Cough candy: Candy causes saliva to be produced, which fluidizes and hydrates the throat, relieving inflammation. Pediatrician Pedro Navarro states that it should be limited to moments in which cough can play tricks on us, such as in the theater, in a meeting… In case of crisis, it can also be a good remedy to drink a glass of water in small sips. .

19- Avoid physical exercise.

Remedies for children

-Always go to the pediatrician: Specialist Pedro Navarro warns that you should always take the child to the doctor to rule out any pathology, as well as take into account the child’s age before offering any remedy. According to this specialist, these home tricks are not harmful as long as they are adapted to the age, but they must be complementary to the pharmacological measures prescribed by the doctor.

-Hydration: It is important to continually offer liquids, since children usually have a productive, dry cough with mucus, so the liquid makes the mucus thin and relieves irritation.

-Steam baths: Put them in the bathroom and turn on the hot water tap, especially before going to bed and when they have a cough.

-Raise the bed: It is recommended that the bed have a certain unevenness so that the headboard is a few centimeters higher by placing, for example, a book under the legs. It is not advisable to put any item under the mattress because it causes deformations.

-Vick VapoRub type ointments (never use in children under two years of age): According to Navarro, this ointment produces a sensation that the airways are opened by the menthol but it is something temporary that creates a need to use it continuously. As for the remedy to be put on the feet, this specialist explains that the effect is produced by the evaporation of mist from the feet upwards, which when breathing causes the sensation of opening the airways.

-Hot infusion with honey: Soothes an irritated throat.

-Heating: Do not set it too high and place containers with water that humidify the environment and avoid dry heat.

-Split onion: Eliminates fumes that cause a sensation of a certain temporary dilation of the airways that helps the child fall asleep.

-Ventilate the room.

-Gargle with warm water and salt: Relieves throat irritation and inflammation. But it must be taken into account that the child knows how to gargle.