Treatment of children’s cough

Children have a cold up to ten times a year. No wonder that they suffer from cough particularly often. The reason for the frequent infections: The immune system in children is not yet fully developed and therefore offers insufficient protection against pathogens. But what to do with children’s cough? Which tips have proven their worth? We have put together everything you need to know about the topic here.

Cough in children: what is important now

When children cough, they often torture themselves very much – because coughing is very exhausting for the small body. No wonder that most parents want to stop the cough. But keep in mind that cough has a useful function: it is a protective reflex for the body to remove foreign bodies, dust and pathogens from the respiratory tract.

In the event of an infection, the inflamed mucous membranes secrete the viruses that are said to wash out. However, if the secretions accumulate in the airways, the natural cleaning mechanism no longer works properly – especially if the mucus becomes tough after a few days during a cold. The cilia, which normally carry the mucus and all foreign substances out of the body at around 1,000 beats per minute, are hampered by the viscous mucus. Therefore, it is important to loosen the mucus and support the expectoration.

The following basic measures make sense:

  • A lot of rest and enough sleep: The small organism now needs all the strength to defend itself against the pathogens and to recover.
  • Drink a lot: Adequate hydration (warm tea or still water) is important so that the cough mucus can dissolve better.
  • inhalation: Inhaling with warm steam has a calming effect on the mucous membranes and moisturizes them. However, the child should be old enough for that. Special inhalation devices or nebulizers from the pharmacy are suitable for safe inhalation. In principle, however, you should always stick to it when your child inhales. And be careful with additives to the inhalation solution: Essential oils are generally not suitable for children – because they can cause dangerous respiratory cramps.
  • Avoid irritants >Important: If children have a cough, you should always contact the pediatrician if in doubt. Sudden, seizure-like coughs can also be triggered by swallowed foreign bodies. Then: call the emergency doctor immediately!

Anti-cough medicine in children

If your child is very troubled by a cough as a result of a cold, targeted treatment can help to alleviate the symptoms effectively. Depending on the type of cough, different treatment strategies can be used:

treatment Quench cough Resolve cough
aim Alleviate cough Loosen mucus and make it easier to cough up

To the background: A cold often announces itself with a dry, irritable cough, which is usually quickly overcome. Especially at night, however, this can be a pain for children. In this case, the pediatrician may recommend a cough suppressant for children. This is usually used in the evening before going to bed.

As the cold progresses, the dry, irritable cough turns into a cough with mucus. It is a sign that the body’s defensive reaction in the airways produces more mucus in order to flush out the pathogens. This slime settles firmly, the symptoms may worsen. A second infection with bacteria or complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia can also occur. It is therefore particularly important in this phase of cough that the mucus is loosened and coughed up. Suitable cough relievers can support this process. For children, the remedies are mostly available as cough syrup.

In certain cases, treatment with antibiotics or other medicinal products (e.g. anti-inflammatory or airway widening agents) may be required. These drugs are prescribed by the pediatrician.

Special features of baby cough: Read what is important for baby cough here.

Taking medication: What to do if my child defends itself?

Sometimes children just don’t want to take medication. You can do that if …

  • … your toddler refuses to spoon the cough syrup or knocks it away: try to give the juice with a pipette. You can get these from the pharmacy. Make sure that you administer exactly the amount of the preparation specified in the package insert.
  • … your child spits out the juice: In this case, the children have mostly swallowed part of the medication. To avoid overdosing >Important: Never force-feed your child with medication. This can lead to his trust in you being shaken and any medication being denied in the future. Better try rewards and praise your child for taking their medicine.

Cough in children: when to see a doctor?

In most cases, a normal cold cough can also be treated well in children. Cough in small children and infants in particular should always be clarified by a doctor. Because the very little ones can easily develop serious complications such as pneumonia. In older children, a visit to the doctor is particularly advisable if the coughing up despite appropriate treatment does not improve or even worsen after a few days. Because behind cough can also be allergies, bronchial asthma or other serious diseases. Even if the general condition of your child deteriorates or other symptoms such as fever, yellowish-green sputum or skin changes occur, a visit to the doctor is advisable.

Children’s cough: tips

Offer drinks

Make sure your child is drinking enough fluids. Especially when you have a cold cough, this is important for the mucus solution in the airways and for moistening the mucous membranes. Lemonades and other carbonated drinks are not good thirst quenchers. Better reach for still water or warm herbal teas.

Keep calm

Your little patient’s body is now engaged in the defense against pathogens and therefore needs a lot of rest. Make sure that your child sleeps well at night and keeps resting during the day. Romping wildly in the snow would certainly not be a cough quality Idea. But there is nothing wrong with a short walk in the fresh air – provided there is no fever. Important: Always make sure that your child is dressed according to the weather and that the feet are wrapped up nice and warm!

ACC ® children’s juice: cough reliever with triple effect

Is your child tormented by an uncomfortable cold cough, but simply cannot cough up the stuck mucus? Then you too can trust the No. 1 * among cough relievers: ACC ® loosens the mucus, makes it easier to cough up and strengthens the protection against bronchi.

Suitable for children from 2 years.

With cherry flavor! Without alcohol, sugar and coloring.

Ventilate children’s room & Humidify room air

Dry air is poison for the mucous membranes – especially if the airways are already irritated and attacked by a cold. You can counteract drying out of the mucous membranes with a few countermeasures: regularly ventilate the nursery for a few minutes and make sure that your child is not sitting or lying in the breeze. In addition, it can make sense, especially in the heating season, to humidify the room air in the children’s room. Place a bowl of water on the heater or simply hang up the freshly washed laundry in the children’s room.


Inhalation is also a tried and tested method to loosen the mucus in the airways and make it easier to breathe deeply. Moist inhalations using the tried and tested method – i.e. inhaling water vapor over a bowl of hot water and a towel over your head – can be used in older children. Special inhalers or nebulizers from the pharmacy are safer. However, children should always inhale under supervision.

When to the doctor?

Cough in children can often be treated well. Nevertheless, caution is better than forbearance, especially in small patients. A visit to the doctor is advisable, for example, if a particularly strong cough occurs, if the symptoms do not improve after a few days, or if your child is feverish. Even if the symptoms and accompanying symptoms could indicate a more serious illness, a doctor should be consulted.

ACC ® children’s juice with the triple effect:

  • Loosens the slime
  • Makes coughing easier
  • Strengthens bronchial protection

For children from 2 years.

Without alcohol, sugar and coloring.

  • Cough in the early stages
  • After a few days: cough with mucus
  • sniff
  • Sore throat
  • fatigue
  • Possibly. light fever
  • Possibly. Headache and body aches
  • Cough in young children and infants
  • Fever or other unclear symptoms
  • If the cough does not improve after 1 to 2 days
  • When the general condition deteriorates
  • If you are short of breath: Call an emergency doctor!
  • Babies and toddlers are particularly affected.
  • Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the area of ​​the larynx, which leads to narrowing of the airways.
  • Most often occurs as a result of a viral infection (cold).
  • Typical symptoms: Seizure-like, barking cough that is often associated with shortness of breath, e.g. T. also whistling noise when inhaling

Usually there is a cold behind it. However, cough can also occur in many other diseases.

Most children today are vaccinated against whooping cough. Therefore, it often affects adults with insufficient vaccination protection.

In bronchitis, the lower airways (bronchi) are inflamed.


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Christina Cherry
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