Our respiratory tract has a lining made of mucous membranes. When this layer is irritated due to an external factor like dust, bacteria, virus etc, it gets inflamed.
Apart from the inflammation, the mucous membrane also produces thick mucous to soothe the irritation and to kick the irritant out.
Usually if it is a small dust particle, the mucous ensures that it goes out by coughing or sneezing.
You know, how you sneeze when there is a lot of dust around? That is the body’s way of kicking out the dust that you have accidentally breathed in. Our body doesn’t like unwelcome guests!
But if the irritant is heavy duty, then the membranes secrete more mucous to get rid of the irritant. Bacteria and viruses are intruders that are tough on the system, leading to inflammation and secretion of extra mucous.
During these difficult times, the coughing and sneezing won’t be able to flush out all the mucous. This leads to it getting accumulated in the chest and you/ your little one ends up with a stuffy chest/ chest congestion.
1. Lemon Tea:
Lemons contain vitamin C that helps to boost your immune system by increasing the white blood cells count to fight against the virus and the infection that causes cough.
- Fill a clean feeding bottle with 8 ounces of warm water.
- Add a teaspoon each of freshly squeezed lemon juice and natural sweetener.
- Stir well and then feed to your baby when it is still warm.
- Repeat it regularly as needed.
- This process helps to relieve sore throat and clear the mucus effectively.
2. Ginger Tea:
Ginger stimulates the saliva production that helps to thin the mucus secretions.
- Crush a small piece of fresh ginger.
- Add to a cup of boiling water.
- Allow to steep for few minutes and then strain the tea.
- Give this to kid 2 – 3 times a day when it is still warm.
Eucalyptus Oil Soothing Vapor:
Eucalyptus essential oil has been extracted from the leaves of Australian eucalyptus tree. It can be used to treat coughs, colds, bronchitis and other respiratory related problems.
- Mix few drops of eucalyptus oil with any carrier oil like olive oil.
- Massage on the baby’s chest and back regularly.
Note: Avoid instilling eucalytpus oils into the nose of infants and young children. Avoid applying eucalyptus oil on the face of children below 10 years of age..
Honey contains antioxidants and can soothe the throat and gives relief from cold, cough and scratchy throat. It also acts as natural cough suppressant.
- Take 1/2 teaspoon of honey and give to children 2 – 5 years old, 1 teaspoon for children 6 – 11 years old and 2 teaspoons of honey to those who are older than 12 years.
- Repeat this daily, especially at night time.
- Note: Do not give honey to babies younger than one year as it can lead to any risk of infant botulism.
Saline Solution and Drops:
Saline drops are very effective in treating the congestion which in turn helps to heal the cold and cough.
- Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of lukewarm water.
- Stir well and pour few drops into your child’s nostrils.
- Ask them to stay like that for about 60 seconds and then allow them to gently blow the nose.
Note: Do not use salts that contain iodine, scent, color or flavor and added preservatives.
- Taking rest and drinking fluids help to treat the problem if your child is suffering from symptoms like runny nose, cough and sneezing.
- Make sure your children stay away from smoke or those smoking as it irritate the airways that are already inflamed.
- Regularly use clean bulb syringe to remove the mucus in the toddler’s nose.
- Elevate the head of your baby when they are sleeping as coughing will be less likely in an upright position.
Soups, soups and more soups
When the kids have chest congestion, the last thing they want is food. But in order to keep their energy up, they need to eat. So rather than giving them the usual food, try something different. The best thing to have is some yummy tomato hot (drinkable heat for toddlers) soup.
Turmeric is known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Warm milk with turmeric is an effective home remedy for chest congestion in toddlers and kids. This is probably why this has been a commonly used remedy.
Boil a cup of milk and add a pinch of turmeric powder/ a piece of turmeric in it. If your toddler doesn’t like the taste, you can add jaggery and salt according to his taste.
Bay leaf is no stranger to us as we use it to flavor our dishes. But apart from that it can also help to relieve chest congestion.
Take 3-4 bay leaves. Add it to water and boil. Now you can remove the leaves. Take a clean cloth and dip it in the water. Wring the cloth and check if the heat is bearable and place it on your child’s chest.
Yes, it sounds a bit yuck, but garlic milk works wonders for chest congestion in toddlers and kids. To make this boil one or two cloves of garlic boiled with one glass of milk and a pinch of turmeric powder. You can add honey instead of sugar. Kids aren’t big fans of this, but if you can get him/ her to drink this, then you can rest assured that the chest congestion is on its way out.
Tulsi juice with honey
Crush a few tulsi leaves to get the juice. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to it and store this in a clean container.
Make your toddler have this juice at regular intervals as it helps to expel the phlegm from the chest. Tulsi has disease fighting qualities which makes it an effective remedy against chest congestion.
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