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Cough treatment
(for children under 2 years old)

Is there anything you can give to a child under the age of 2 with a wicked cough that keeps him/her up all night?  All cough medicines seem to say not to give to kids under 2 (or even 4). Vicks vapor rub on the chest/feet doesn’t always work.

honey for cough

You can give honey to young children for the symptomatic treatments of coughs. I recommend a teaspoon of honey as needed for children 12 months and up. Prior to 12 months I do not recommend any medications or remedies for children with common colds.

A December 2007 study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine examined honey as a cough suppressant. They compared it head to head with dextromethophan (DM) the main ingredient in over the counter cough medicines. The authors ( Ian Paul MD et al ) concluded “In a comparison of honey, DM, and no treatment, parents rated honey most favorably for symptomatic relief of their child's nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infection.”

This now famous study looked at the effect of “buckwheat” honey. I understand buckwheat honey to be a relatively dark honey. This has led many experts to recommend “darker honeys”.

If your son’s cough seems worse than usual it is best to take him to his doctor.



Written September 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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