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14
JAN

An Age-Old Remedy Trumps Science

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health at 9:19 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
HoneyLong after a cold’s stuffy nose and achy bones fade, the cough lingers. The tickle, which started the illness, remains, turning nights into hours of restless hacking. For all, it is a nocturnal nuisance, but for children, it is doubly aggravating. Not just the cougher but his parents are kept up through the night, creating family-wide sleep deprivation. Cough syrup seems to do nothing, and even if it did, the risks that are continually associated with it are enough to make the benefits of administering it questionable.  There are no obvious options, or at least, there weren’t.

Researchers recently compared the effects of dextromethorphan (the dominant ingredient in leading cough syrups) and honey on children who had coughs due to colds.  Those who took honey reported a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of coughing as well as an improvement in sleep. Even better, the parents reported getting more shuteye, too. The children treated with cough syrup could not say the same, and neither could their parents.

So if your child is coughing through the night, ditch the over-the-counter medication and turn to honey. It won’t take much to soothe the tickle: ½ teaspoon for two to 5-year-olds, one teaspoon for six to 11-year olds and two teaspoons for children 12 and up (Unfortunately, if your child is less than one, honey should not be administered. There are a few aspects of it that could negatively affect his little body).�




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