14.4.5  Soothe the throat or relieve coughs with a safe remedy

To soothe the child’s throat or relieve a cough, use a safe remedy. Such remedies can be homemade, for example honey, tea, warm soups, and warm gruel, and are as effective as those bought in a store. When explaining how to give the safe remedy, it is not necessary to watch the mother practise giving the remedy to the child. Exact dosing is not important with this treatment.

If the child is exclusively breastfed, tell the mother that she does not need to give other drinks or remedies. Breastmilk is the best soothing remedy for an exclusively breastfed child.

Harmful remedies may be used in your area. Tell the mother not to use cough syrups. These syrups may sedate the child and interfere with the child’s feeding. They may also interfere with the child’s ability to cough up secretions from the lungs. Medicated nose drops (that is, nose drops that contain anything other than salt) should also not be used; these drops might have similar side effects to cough syrups and are also relatively expensive.

14.4.4  Treat the young infant for local infections

14.4.6  Advise the mother to increase fluid during the child’s illness