It’s time for the annual search for cough remedies for kids.
Right now, in addition to the fall allergies that affect many kids and adults, there are cases of viral upper respiratory illnesses popping up.
Like most other parents, my wife and I have had our share of midnight efforts to provide relief for our young daughter as she awakens with a bad cough. For parents it can be very frustrating trying to find a reliable remedy to ease the cough so your child can rest.
Although many brands of cough medicines are sold over the counter, many of these are ineffective.
All over the country right now, grandmothers are gloating. “See, I told you so.” They are crowing, and with good reason.
A study released recently has confirmed yet another health tip our grandparents tried to share with us. In a test of 105 children patients, using honey to quiet a cough worked better than the ingredient in most leading cough medicines.
According to the study, the chemical ingredient in most cough medicines, dextromethorphan, was no more effective than doing nothing. How many billions have been spent on cough medicines over the years containing this ingredient?
However, never give honey to an infant.
Avoid giving honey to a child younger than 1 year of age, experts say, due to a rare but serious risk of botulism poisoning.
Honey has other health benefits. It may even be useful in helping wounds to heal.
Millions of allergy sufferers have found honey to be helpful. You may be familiar with the home remedy of combining honey and whiskey for a cough potion. Sometimes other ingredients are added as well.
One recipe makes a tea with mint leaves, adding honey, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
In a future column, I will review several home remedies and their usefulness. In the meantime, give grandma a call and tell her you now realize she was right and you will never doubt her again.