welcome to pete's doc talk tv i am dr mona a board-certified pediatrician and mom to a toddler and we are talking all about coughs and colds today why they're annoying why they happen some remedies for your child by age including some over-the-counter medicines as well as when to be concerned about coughs and colds in your kid make sure before we continue hit that subscribe button because that's how you stay up to date on all of my p's doc talk tv content and here we go so just a couple disclaimers before we continue make sure if you are concerned about the diagnosis of your child you speak to your child's clinician i'm going to be going over coughs as it relates to the common cold so if your child has a cough and it's from asthma or allergies i would want you to speak to your child's clinician to make sure you're getting the proper management if your child is an asthmatic as i go through some of the remedies i want you to make sure you clear it with your child's clinician some of the remedies may not be recommended in children with asthma also i'll be going over some over-the-counter remedies so as a disclaimer none of this is sponsored by those brands these are just products that i've seen used by many of my families in my office and i'm using it as an educational piece so you can decide what's best for your child so i really wanted to do this video because i get a lot of families coming into my office almost feeling like we as pediatricians are holding out on them doctor i want something to be done for my child's cough there must be something you can prescribe or they stare at me blankly and say hey what are you going to prescribe for my child's cough after i give them my spiel and my home remedies and pretty much what i'm doing in this video the reality is there are not a lot of prescription medicines for coughs sometimes your child may need an antibiotic for something that is more like a pneumonia or a bacterial process other times though your child will not need any prescriptions some of our asthmatic patients may need some nebulizers or albuterol prescriptions but it's important to know that not every coffin cold needs a prescription this can be really hard for a lot of families because they want something to be done we want a quick fix but unfortunately that's not how the human body works as you go through this video you're going to learn so much more about cough and cold maybe more than you really wanted to know but i think it's important so you understand the remedies that are best to attack the cough at its core before we get into the remedies i think it's important to know well why do we cough i get it coughs are really annoying i hate when i have a cough i hate when my son has a cough they're not fun but in many ways they're a necessary thing to help protect our lungs so in our body we have cough receptors and cough receptors help keep things out of the lungs so if mucus hits it if an irritant such as smoke hits that you're going to start coughing because this is our body's way of protecting itself now of course some coughs are not protected and they are concerning which i'll get into but when you start to understand that coughs are not bad maybe you'll embrace it and maybe you'll focus more on the treatments to help alleviate the discomfort versus trying to get it to go away as quickly as possible because that may just need some time so another common question i get asked is why is it worse at night time well as parents everything seems to be worse at night time right we're all trying to get some sleep and this is what it will feel like and it makes sense from a physiological standpoint when we're laying down all of that mucus from a cold for example is going to pull into the back of our throat which is where one of our cough receptors are so when you are laying down all of a sudden you feel like you need to cough because your body is saying hey hey there's something that's trying to get down into my lungs so when we talk about coughing cold remedies we're talking about ways to basically help reduce the mucus alleviate that irritation at those cough receptors as well so now we're going to go over remedies first i want to talk about your child who's under one year of age unfortunately under one year of age there are not a lot of medicines over the counter and that's okay our goal here is to keep them as comfortable as possible again these are not sponsored saline is something that i really want you all to get into your home saline is something that you can put into their nose to alleviate that congestion remember they are not good at blowing their nose yet which is understandable there are babies and a lot of even toddlers can't do that so what saline is going to do saline is going to help alleviate that congestion sometimes you'll just need to squirt it in their nose and that'll help alleviate some of that mucus other times you may need to follow it up with the suction this is the nasal frida some people are terrified of it you don't have to use the nasal fritta with the nasal fritter you're putting one end in here one end in the nostril and this is after using the saline to help suck out the mucus yes you are sucking it out there is a valve here to prevent the mucus to go into your mouth i know some people think it's weird but it does work another option is using the bulb suction which is something that you probably got at the hospital so you have options if just say you put the saline in and nothing is really happening you can use the bulb suction or use the nasal frida to help alleviate that mucus so when do you have to use saline and suctioning my advice is use the saline as often as you feel like it's beneficial in terms of suctioning i am not a big over suctioning fan the reality is the suction can be really irritating to the nasal passages and it's like trying to drain a swimming pool the mucus is going to still come and still pull because it's caused by usually a virus but when you do want to suction is usually before a bottle feeding or before breastfeeding session because if they're very congested they may not want to latch to the bottle or the breast as much or if your child is going to be eating or before bedtime you can do a suctioning i don't need you to do it on the hour every couple hours use it as needed and be reserved because you don't want to really irritate their nose another example would be if they wake up from sleep super congested you can obviously do a nasal saline and suction it out if obviously the nasal saline doesn't help the next thing i like for under one or even over one is baby chest strap there's a lot of disagreement or controversy about chest rubs now remember there are two types of chester ups there are the ones for two and older which is what you may use if you like that and then there's one for babies the ones for babies is what i'm recommending i do not recommend the one for adults the reason is it contains camphor and menthol which are really strong for the baby or infant airways so over two you can use the adult one if you like but under two i like to keep it with the baby version personally i think the baby version is fine as long as you want to do it because it's the eucalyptus that i think is really helpful now this for example is available three months plus i know zarbi's does carry a two months plus these are options for you to use you can always clear it with your pediatrician especially if your child has sensitive skin if you're unsure so when you're using this you can put it on the chest and on the back use it before bedtime or nap time this is what we use for ryan when he has a cold i do really like it it's also what i use for myself the adult version so it's something to consider remember if your child does have sensitive skin maybe test a small area before you put it all over their chest and back so the next thing is a humidifier you'll hear people say oh humidifier really doesn't help or it really does that's why my opinion is that if it helps you and your child then go ahead and use it cool mist is what i would recommend you want to make sure that you also clean out the filter so that there's no mold growing now the one thing i will say and like i said earlier if your child is an asthmatic sometimes a humidifier can make the asthma a little bit worse it has a lot to do with dust mites and other allergens that can be exposed in the airways so clear it with your pediatrician but if you like the humidifier what it can do is help moisten the air and when your air is moistened that means less irritation and less triggers for those cough receptors so kind of what i was describing with nighttime a humidifier can be something that you can put into the bedroom in case your child is irritated at night by that cough so the next thing are steam showers so if you've ever been sick with a cold and you take a hot shower all that steam makes your airway feel more open all of a sudden you feel not congested that's kind of how steam showers work for children and babies and toddlers so how you want to do a steam shower you're going to close the bathroom door turn on the water in the shower to as hot as it can get when you close that door steam is going to be created in that bathroom you're going to bring your child in and hold them for 10 to 15 minutes max you don't want to do more than that because you don't want them to overheat and you stand in there with them you can bounce around you can listen to music whatever is comfortable for you depending on the time of day what that's going to do is just help alleviate some of that congestion and again similar to a humidifier if this helps i want you to use it but if it doesn't i don't want you to keep doing it it's just an option at your disposal the next thing for under one is baby's rvs and again this is not sponsored this is just something i commonly see used baby zarby's is okay for three months plus it is an option i personally use this as a last resort i like going through the saline the suctioning if you need it the humidifier the baby vicks or baby chest rub those are my things that i like to use more now this is an okay option it does not contain honey which is why i'm okay with it it contains agave which is a form of honey but does not carry the risk of botulism in our children younger than one so this is an option for you if it's something that you want over the counter what you also want to make sure is that your child is hydrated in the way that they are meant to be hydrated so if your child is breastfed or formula fed you're going to be giving them breast milk or formula if they're not taking that you want to make sure that you speak to your child's clinician to determine if they need something like pedialyte it's important that if your child is dehydrated with a cold that they get medical attention so now when we talk about remedies for over one year of age remember you can use a lot of the remedies that i mentioned under one but you can now also add my favorite which is honey you'll probably hear your child's clinician often talk about the benefits of honey it is nature's antimicrobial and nature's anti-inflammatory it's a great cough medicine it is also great because it's very viscous it's thick so it can coat the throat so we talk about those cough triggers if you give a teaspoon every night for your child who's over one it can help coat the throat and also like i said it can really help alleviate some of that inflammation and help fight that virus process that's going on another question i get is well why for one whole year i'm not allowed to give my child honey and then all of a sudden they turn one and i can start giving them honey the age of one is just set as a ballpark it's a recommendation given that by that point we expect their digest system to be more mature by then they've been exposed to different foods their gut bacteria has developed we are concerned about giving little babies honey because their immature gut may not be able to weed out a spore called botulism toxin it's a type of toxin that can live in honey so we don't want to take that risk it doesn't mean that if you give your infant honey that they're automatically going to get this but in our opinion why take the chance so we set the age of one as just a ballpark of saying hey this is when the digestive system of the infant is most mature they've been exposed to food and this is when we see it safe it is safe to give it after one year of age so there was actually a study comparing honey with dextromethorphan which is a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrups for children and the children who received honey actually reported better night sleep shorter durations of their cold and improve symptoms so i love honey for my patients i love it for my own child who's over one i love it for myself my favorite remedy for over one is turmeric milk if you follow me on pete's doc talk on instagram you know how much i love turmeric milk for coughs and colds it's what i take when i'm sick i also give it to my son who is over one years of age turmeric milk is a combination of various spices and all of these spices individually are really good as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial so turmeric as we know is a very common spice used in indian cooking and it's really great for inflammation as is black pepper as is cayenne pepper and honey so here is my recipe for turmeric milk the reason why i love it so much is that it helps the inflammation and remember when we're sick with a cold we have inflammation mucus causes our airway throat everything to be inflamed there are a lot of over-the-counter remedies for your child who's over one to two years of age a lot of these are homeopathic remedies i personally don't always recommend it because i'm such a big fan of honey and because i'm such a big fan of turmeric milk but you can always speak to your pediatrician if you're unsure about the ingredients remember when it comes to these products they are not regulated by the fda so these companies are putting these products out there and we're trusting them for their integrity and their efficacy so now if your child is over four you're going to have some options for coughing cold medicines if you don't want to go the honey route the turmeric route and everything else i said already remember i encourage you to do a lot of those principles that i mentioned already if your child is not able to blow their nose using saline using the vapor rub using humidifier if needed and using honey and turmeric milk but i want to go over the three major components in cough and cold medicines in the market in the united states this actually might be helpful for you too when you're going for your coffin cold and looking for something over the counter so the first one we're going to go over is dextromethorphan try saying that three times fast so dextromethorphan is a component in something like delsum again this is not sponsored just education dextromethorphan is a component that helps the parts of the brain that make us cough so it works on those receptors in the brain so that we don't cough as much so phenylephrine is another component in cough and cold medicines it is common in things like mucinex sudafed again this is all for children four years plus how phenylephrine works is that it helps constrict the blood vessels in the nose so that can help alleviate the congestion another component is guaifenesin also found in mucinex but glyphenocene is an expectorant so this helps alleviate that chesty chesty cough or mucusy cough it helps break it up and push it out so when you're looking at the three major components dextromethorphan phenylephrine and guy feneson it's important to know well what am i trying to treat here if your child is very stuffy and you don't want to do my honey turmeric milk for a child who's over one remedy you're going to go for the phenylephrine component right because that's going to help with the congestion more so if your child has a stuffy or chesty cough you're maybe going to choose why feneson if it's just more an irritating cough and a dry cough that's residual from the cold then you're going to choose something like a dextromethorphan so i hope this was helpful so that when you are in the aisle for yourself or your child you can make the best decision with all those options out there for coughing cold medicines so we went over why we coughed the remedies but now it's important to know well when do i worry because i said coughs are not always a concern but hey sometimes they can be the number one reason i want you to get your child checked out is that you're concerned about the cough i say that all the time even in my fever video which you should check out as well because if you're concerned about the cough we would love to take a look at your child and say hey look this looks like a common cold at this point this is what i want you to look out for that is the cardinal rule of parenting you're concerned we will take a look at your child if your child has a persistent fever over five days with a cough we obviously want to take a look at that child now in those five days if your child is sluggish dehydrated especially if they're not breathing comfortably you need to get your child out please don't wait five days but if your child is otherwise comfortable hydrated active with a fever and a cop you can monitor what do we want to check if your child has a fever and a cough many viruses can cause fever in a cough but if your child is sluggish if your child is having breathing difficulty or dehydrated we want to make sure does your child also have an ear infection does your child also have a pneumonia or something deeper into the chest so look at how your child is doing if they're not looking well to you if they're dehydrated if they're not breathing comfortably please bring your child in with that cough the other thing is if your child has thick green mucus for more than 10 days or if your child has a fever for three days with green mucus this is important because people commonly think that green mucus automatically means bacteria not exactly but if it's 10 days of heavy heavy mucus that's green we want to make sure that that's not turning into a sinus infection if your child has thick green mucous that is associated with high fevers we also want to make sure that that's not a sinus infection but just so your child has clear mucus no fever it turns into green for three days goes back to clear that is okay as long as you're watching out for the other things their hydration their breathing what i mentioned earlier so the last thing we're going to go over is when to bring your child in for those chronic coughs now this is a difficult one because like i mentioned at the beginning if your child has a chronic cough and you're concerned i want you to get your child checked out but i'm going to be going over some things to think about to say well is this something we can wait out what do we need to do the first thing to remember is that if you're concerned you bring your child in if you're concerned about the diagnosis is this truly a common cold or is it allergies or asthma you want to make sure you talk to your child's clinician the other thing is that children can commonly get back-to-back illnesses especially our daycare children there are a lot of germs even with the best precautions they're going to get sick one illness can last anywhere from seven days to a few weeks yes a few weeks usually you get the congestion first and then you get a cough the cough is a little worse and then it gets better and then finally you're seeming like things are smooth sailing and then bam you get sick again the reason why i use the four week rule is that it's just nice if it's going on for a month for us to just make sure things are okay even if your child is acting okay this is just a personal opinion i would want to make sure is this allergies is this asthma do we need to add anything on many times when i see these families everything seems okay i'm not seeing anything reported that was a red flag of any kind so when i'm looking at a kid who has a chronic cough i'm looking at many different things and there are some things that i want you to consider when you go to your pediatrician how long has it been going on for is it affecting their sleep have they had any weight loss how is their activity during the day are they happy excited and this cough is just something that they're living with or are they really bothered by that cough your child's clinician is going to check their chest with a stethoscope they may need to do other testing if it's something concerning on the exam but it's really important to run that by your child's clinician with the understanding that these are all checkpoints these are all ways to know is it something that we need to be concerned about or are we going to continue the regimens that i mentioned in this video i am so happy i did this video because i think it's important to know all the different remedies by age for your child because some things are not going to be safe for your younger child and are okay for your older child i would love to hear your recommendations for cough and cold remedies for your child in the comment section along with any other questions you may have thank you for tuning in for today's episode if you found it helpful please make sure to share it on any of your social media channels subscribe to pete's doctoral tv so you can stay up to date on any of my future episodes and make sure to follow me pete's doc talk on instagram see you next week

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