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In the era of flu and colds, the children are already suffering the symptoms typical of these viruses: cough, runny nose and in some cases fever.

For the fever, which is a symptom and not a disease, we have already some guides to act with common sense; for a runny nose, nothing better than to take them out with saline solution or similar (or with the scarf if you already know); and cough, it's worth knowing when to do something and when not to, and keep in mind that there are some natural remedies for cough that can be useful.


What is a cough?

Before entering in this matter is important to define what is the cough, to understand that what is common is that it is better not to do anything to avoid it.

The cough is a defense mechanism that aims to expel something from the body, normally something which has come to the respiratory tract by mistake, or something that would be better that you were not there, as the mucus. With this I want to say that the cough has the purpose of expelling the mucus, and therefore is not considered a problem, but a benefit in the healing process.

Types of cough that can have a person are:

Dry cough: when you do not move the mucus or eject anything. It happens because there is inflammation in the airways and the body thinks that there is something to eject. It is an annoying cough, that not being effective, yes you could try to be alleviated or reduced in some way.
Cough, laryngeal or dog: also known as cough hoarse. It is a cough that is characteristic of those conditions that happen where are the vocal cords, is painful and can even make breathing more difficult by limiting the passage of air by inflammation.

Productive cough or coughing-soft: is the cough that accompanies the movement of mucus. When coughing the child listens to how you are moving the phlegm in your respiratory system, leading to the outside, or habitually towards the throat for the child to swallow. This cough is very useful and it is recommended to allow it to happen, not to limit it.
Whooping cough: that is the way we talk about the "attacks of coughing". If happen suddenly, it could be because of some object that the child has sucked, and that it is trying to eject. If it happens within the box of a disease, it can be a sign of whooping cough, can be serious in small children and requires a medical visit.


What a cough you have to treat?

That said, the only cough that should be considered to deal with is the dry cough, because it is annoying and does not help too much to anything. If the cough is productive, the ideal is to do nothing, so that the child can move the mucus, but if by night no rest for the cough, the pediatrician may consider the possibility of indicating some syrup cough suppressant, or recommending a natural method.

What is there to know about cough syrups?
As explained a while ago, the cough syrups are contraindicated in children under two years of age because it can cause seizures, tachycardia, decreased levels of consciousness and even death.

For this reason, the drug agency of USA (FDA) recommends not to use these syrups in children under four years, and especially not to do it in under two years, In Canada, in fact, seems to go a bit further and recommend not be used in children under 6 years.

And is considered less effective for treating coughs and relatively dangerous if dosed incorrectly or if used with small children.


What are the natural methods to treat the cough?

Once the child is coughing, if it is considered appropriate to treat the cough and can not or do not want to make use of syrups, cough suppressants, you can make use of natural methods, as are the honey and the onion.


Use of honey to treat cough

The honey is relatively effective to treat the cough (seems to be better than placebo, although something worse than some cough syrups cough suppressant) and therefore can be used in children older than 12 months. This is because honey may contain the spores that are contaminated by C. botulinum and up to the year of life it is dangerous to give to babies.

The issue is it mixed with a little milk or hot water, taking into account the brushing of teeth later (and avoiding that wet the pacifier with honey).


Use the onion cut to relieve the cough

The method of the cut onion in the room is one of the "grandma's remedies" that all the world knows, that the most says it works, but that is not supported by scientific data. That is to say, there are no studies that say that works for something, but also not to say that it does not, so while you show one thing or another, and given that it is a safe method, is usually recommended because a lot of people explain that they are doing well.

The method is to cut an onion in two or more pieces and place it on a plate near where the baby or child sleeps, so that you can breathe in the gas that emits when sliced (sulfoxide tiopropanal, known as factor tear). This gas is what causes us to cry when we cut it, and according to the theory the children makes them "cry with the throat", so that it is more moist, less dry and therefore less cough.


And what about the humidifiers?

Another natural method is to use items that increase the humidity in the room where the baby sleeps, but their use is controversial. In cases of dry cough because the environment is dry, humidifiers can help, and in the case of mucus, could help the secretions continue to be liquid, and the child can get better.

However, you have to clean it and dry it well every day to prevent contamination of bacteria or mold and end up being worse the remedy than the disease. In addition, an excessive use can cause damp and mold on the walls and ceiling of the room, and could be counter-productive to the health of the baby.

On the other hand, if the cough is caused by bronchitis or is asthmatic, the use of a humidifier is contraindicated.


Hydration and physiological saline

To help the child cough less, the ideal is that you can go pulling out the mucus that creates the cold, and for this reason it is important that you are well hydrated (it is not necessary to drink even if not thirsty, but to go drinking) and have a chance to go out boogers, typically with the so-called "washed" with saline, that will help you to breathe better and probably cough less, have less mucus to move.


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