Trouble Finding a Safe Children's Expectorant?
Trying to find a children’s expectorant can be a difficult task, particularly if your child is too young for children’s cough and expectorant medications. Before you spend ages reading labels in the medicine aisle at the store, save yourself some time by determining whether your child truly needs an expectorant or if another issue might be at work. You may also want to consider some of the natural remedies we will discuss in a bit.
What is an expectorant?
An expectorant is something that causes the expulsion of mucous. An expectorant is necessary if your child has very thick congestion in the chest that they are unable to cough up. This type of congestion is often very heavy and can lead to a great deal of discomfort, especially when a child coughs repeatedly in a futile attempt to bring up the thick mucus. Expectorants help to loosen and thin out the mucous so that it can be coughed up.
Children’s Expectorant Medications
Over the counter children’s expectorant medication is a great way to help your child fight that nasty chest congestion, however the problem with this method of treatment is that it is not suitable for children under the age of four. It is possible to obtain a prescription for a child over the age of two, however the trip to the doctor alone can be costly, not to mention the price of the prescription medication itself. If your child is old enough for an over the counter children's expectorant, it is important that you choose a medication that caters to a majority of your child’s symptoms. For instance, if your child has a cough, chest congestion, as well as cold symptoms, try to find a cough medicine that treats most or all of these symptoms. This prevents the worrisome and dangerous practice of giving your child more than one medication at a time.
Raw onions have been used for many, many years as a natural remedy as a decongestant and expectorant. Sometimes simply being in close proximity to an onion while it is being cut is enough, but eating raw onions will produce the best results. Try chopping up a bit of onion in one of your child’s favorite dishes. If your child doesn’t like chunky onions, try to mince or puree the onion and add it to their food. Peppers can be used in the same way. Salsa, Mexican food, curry, or other spicy foods are also effective expectorants.
Another natural remedy for chest and nasal congestion is steam. Boil a pot of water and pour it into a cup or tall bowl for your child. Have them lean over the container and place a towel over their head. They should then be instructed to inhale the steam deeply through the nose. Your child should soon feel the congestion begin to ease. Do this every day in the morning and just before going to bed for a much easier rest!
If your child is old enough to use a nasal inhaler properly, you could also dissolve half a tablespoon of salt into 8 ounces of water. Have them inhale the salt water and then lean forward to let it drain back out of the nose. The salt water should NOT be passed through the nose and allowed to swallow. Definitely reserve this method for older children.
Hot liquids such as hot chocolate, tea, and apple cider are very soothing for the throat and can help to ease any rawness which may develop as a result of unproductive coughing. Honey can be added to tea to give your child’s throat a nice protective coating. If your child seems to cough unproductively, or in other words they have nothing to cough up but are simply producing an irritating cough, then a cough suppressant should be used rather than an expectorant.