Cough in Children
Nighttime cough can be quite worrisome for little children suffering from upper respiratory tract infection because of the absence of any suitable treatment. Most of the cough medicines available in the United States are restricted for children below four years of age, while those medicines available in Canada are not meant to be given to children smaller than six years old. However, new research published in the August 6 online issue of the journal Pediatrics has found that honey can be effective in providing relief from cough and sleep difficulties associated with childhood URI.
Treatment of Cough with Honey
The research, led by Herman Avner Cohen, MD, from the Pediatric Ambulatory Community Clinic in Petach Tikva, Israel, was conducted on 300 children between the ages of one and five suffering from URIs. Only those children who did not suffer from any other allergy or disease condition and those who had not received any cough or cold medication or honey in the 24 hours preceding the study were selected. The participants were administered a single dose of 10 g of eucalyptus honey, citrus honey, labiatae honey, or placebo half an hour before bedtime. The next day, parents were questioned about the frequency, severity, the nature of their child’s cough, and the quality of the child’s and parent’s sleep.
The researchers noticed a significant improvement in cough with all three honey products and the placebo. However, the improvement was far greater with honey.
Based on the results of their research, the researchers have opined that honey may be used effectively in smaller children to tackle the problem of nighttime cough associated with URI. Even the World Health Organization has recommended the use of honey for this purpose. However, honey should not be used in children below the age of one, as honey carries the risk of infant botulism.