Q. Our family has had several bouts of respiratory infections this fall. Our 5-year-old daughter is still coughing through the night and keeping everyone awake.
We tried over-the-counter cough remedies but they didn’t make much difference. My wife worries they might not be safe. Do you have some home remedies you can send us?
A. You have reason to be cautious. The FDA has recommended against OTC cold remedies for infants and toddlers and is still assessing their safety and effectiveness for older children.
We are sending you our Guide to Colds, Coughs & the Flu with details about cough remedies such as thyme tea, ginger tea, honey, elderberry and grape juice. Even chocolate chips may have cough calming power.
Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet may also ease a child’s nighttime cough. It may sound strange to put Vicks on the feet rather than the chest (add socks to protect the sheets), but hundreds of people have told us this works. Here’s one story from Steve:
“We tried this remedy last night after my wife’s mom read about it in the Dallas Morning News. We decided it couldn’t hurt to try, since Mucinex, Symbicort and various other methods had failed to control my cold-induced post nasal drip-cough. Imagine our surprise when it worked almost immediately, allowing us both to get the first good night’s sleep in three days. We’re going to buy Vicks in the extra-large size.”