Dry cough can cause discomfort and disrupts with rest. It is sad to note that over-the-counter remedies designed to manage the condition is not approved for use among infants. On the other hand, a number of home remedies can be used to manage dry cough.
If the dry cough lasts longer than a few days or starts to get better and then becomes worse, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out.
Optimizing the environment of the child
If possible, open up a window in the house to introduce fresh air to the room of the child. You can utilize a fan for a room that does not have any windows.
All household members should be instructed not to smoke inside the house or outdoors close to the windows and doors. In addition, avoid using aerosol sprays, perfumes and other products that might worsen the dry cough of the infant.
You have to keep the room comfortably cool and dress the infant in loose, breathable clothes and change when needed. Coughing is considered as hard work for an infant and can leave the infant feeling sweaty and hot. Using heavy clothing can make the child feel worse and even promote fluid loss.
Moisturizing the airways
You can use a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer in the room of the child. Mold and bacteria often grow in humidifier filters that were not properly maintained or cleaned. With this in mind, always clean the filters regularly or insert a new one before the device is used.
The child should be given frequent feedings. Remember that fluid in breastmilk or formula can soothe the irritated the tissues in the throat and helps maintain proper hydration.
You can utilize over-the-counter saline nasal sprays to maintain the moisture in the nasal passages of the child. This should be followed by a bulb suction to draw out leftover fluids or desiccated mucus.
Promoting adequate rest
You can relieve the pain caused by the dry cough using ibuprofen or acetaminophen in the recommended dosage for the child’s weight and age. Take note that ibuprofen should only be given to infants over 6 months old while acetaminophen is suitable for all ages.
When the child is resting in his/her bedroom, you have to draw the shades and turn off the lights. It is also recommended to remind other household members to be quiet if possible.
While rocking or holding the infant, you can speak in a soothing manner or play soft music in the background. Infants who have dry cough can be irritable or fussier than usual and have a hard time falling asleep. Take note that infants who do not want to be held or becomes lethargic should be assessed by a doctor or taken to the nearest emergency department.
Tips to bear in mind
If you have heard about the effectiveness of honey on cough, it is not advisable to provide it to infants. Always bear in mind that honey might contain Clostridium botulinum spores which is the bacteria responsible for causing botulism. The spores that are easily eliminated in the gastrointestinal tract of older children and adults can sometimes survive and trigger serious or even fatal disease among infants.