10 Best Cough Medicines for Kids & Toddlers in 2020
It’s getting close to parents least favorite season: flu season. We know how awful being sick can be. We also know that watching your child suffer through symptoms can make even the most equipped and grounded parents feel helpless and frustrated. For new parents especially it is hard knowing if it is something that can be treated at home or is it soemthing that requires a visit to the doctor? Is this over-the-counter medication actually going to alleviate symptoms and what are all of the ingredients in it? What is the responsible maximum number of popsicles for my child to be able to consume each day and why do they only like two of the five flavors in any box that we buy?
In a Hurry? The test winner after 26 hrs of research
Dissolves in the mouth; no big pills to swallow
Can prevent the onset of severe symptoms
Can shorten the duration of illness
- Boiron Coldcalm 60 Tablets
- Mucinex Children's Mini Melts
- Day and Night Value Pack
- Matys Organic Children
- Nature's Way Umcka Children's Cherry Syrup
- Little Remedies Sore Throat Pops
- Zarbee's Naturals Baby + Mucus
- Nature's Way Kids Bioavailable Elderberry
- Children's Motrin Oral Suspension Dye-Free Berry
- Naturals Children by Zarbees
10 Best Cough Medicines for Kids Reviewed
1. Boiron Coldcalm 60 Tablets
Dissolves in the mouth; no big pills to swallow
Can prevent the onset of severe symptoms
Can shorten the duration of illness
You have to take it fairly quickly; if you wait too long after you start feeling ill, it won’t do much
Pick up this pack of tablets if your child is fighting nasal congestion, a runny nose, or a minor sore throat.Read more
Approved by Pediatricians
Boiron has been providing families with natural, quality medicine since 1932. The company is dedicated to offering superior homeopathic alternatives.
Simply use two every fifteen minutes for the first two hours at the onset of symptoms. Then take two more tablets every hour thereafter until symptoms are relieved. Keep a box handy in the medicine cabinet so that you can kick your kids’ cold as fast as possible.
Various vitamins and minerals do naturally boost the immune system. If you’re already three days deep in heavy symptoms, this might not do much for you. But if you take it immediately at the onset, or close to it, you’ll be able to fight off germs faster, sometimes avoiding going down with whatever nasty bug is around, all together.
Coldcalm is recommended for ages three and up. It’s nondrowsy and the tablets are dissolvable, making them easy for young ones to take
2. Mucinex Children's Mini Melts
Granulated; easy to swallow, no liquid or pills
Should not be taken in conjunction with cough suppressantsBreaks up chest congestion
Helps kids sleep
Shortens the duration of coughs and colds
Comes in kid-friendly Bubblegum and Orange Cream flavors
Should not be taken in conjunction with cough suppressants
These Bubble Gum Mucinex Mini-Melts are basically the lovechild of Pop Rocks and Cough Medicine. There’s no liquid to swallow or giant pill to take; simply empty the contents of the package onto your child’s tongue and have them swallow.Read more
Approved by Pediatricans
Mucinex offers two great flavors for kids. These packets are easy to travel with, so throw a few in your purse to have handy at the first signs of symptoms.
The expectorant in this granulated medication helps to break up the phlegm in your child’s lungs so they can clear their body of congestion. Gentler, more productive coughs also lead to easier continuous rest, so that the body can get to work healing itself.
The expectorant loosens the phlegm and mucus so kids have a chance to actually cough it up and clear their lungs. Once they’ve started to rid themselves of that nasty congestion, they’ll feel better bit by bit.
The granulated formula is pretty cool. It makes this product travel-friendly (since they come in individualized packs), and easy to swallow for kids.
3. Day and Night Value Pack
Naturally relieves cold and cough symptoms
Nighttime cough syrup helps them get a good night's sleep so they will feel well rested the next day
Daytime cough syrup helps relieve the cold and cough symptoms without making them feel groggy throughout the day
Easy to take cough syrup to ease all symptoms of a cold
All natural, safe, and non-habit forming
Not recommended for children under two
Not recommended with use of Ibuprofen or acetaminophen since it has been found they interact with each other
Hyland’s Cold n Cough will allow your child to enjoy their day and rest peacefully at night.Read more
Approved by Peditricians
With Hyland's 4 Kids old & Cough Day and Night Value Pack, you can kill two birds with one stone. This cold and cough value pack is for both daytime and nighttime to ease your child's cough at night so he or she can sleep well. During the day, your child needs something to help them get rid of the couch, stop their runny nose, and ease their sore throat without making them tired from any other traditional cough medicine.
Made of natural remedies based on the principles of homeopathic medicine, the 4 Kids provide a safer and equally effective management of your kid’s nasal congestion, cough, runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat especially during the day while managing your kid’s occasional sleeplessness, cough, sore throat, chest congestion, and sneezing during nighttime. And since we’re talking about homeopathy, you can be sure there are no artificial or synthetic substances included in its formulation.
That’s why some recommend using a double approach to cough and cold management. You need a cough suppressant in the evening so you’ll sleep better and you’ll require a decongestant and expectorant during the day to help relieve the other symptoms. Such is the idea behind the 4 Kids Cold ‘n Cough Day and Night Value Pack. What else is so great about this cough medicine for kids value pack is that it is made with natural remedies so your child doesn't have to take all of those chemicals into their body like from other couch medicine's
When your child coughs at night, he or she will not be able to really sleep well because your kid will be waking up from time to time.
4. Matys Organic Children
Composed of 10 immune boosting ingredients
USDA certified organic
Provides results quickly
Some children do not like the taste
Mucus won’t stand a chance against Matys Organic Cough Syrup.Read more
Approved by Pediatricans
Packed with ten immune boosting ingredients, Pediatricians love that this cough syrup acts quickly.
Being USDA certified organic, you can feel confident knowing that your child will only be putting natural ingredients into their body. In fact, by using drug-free ingredients you don’t have to worry about your child dealing with any side effects.
All of the ingredients in this cough syrup were chosen for their healing properties. The thyme, ginger, and oregano will loosen and thin mucus.
Children of all ages can use this cough syrup as it is drug-free and composed of whole ingredients. In fact, you can even get creative with how your child takes it. Put it in yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, etc.
5. Nature's Way Umcka Children's Cherry Syrup
Clinically proven cold shortening effects
Useful for several different respiratory viruses
Natural and effective
Can’t be used in kids under six years of age
When targeting a cough specifically it’s important to target the source as well. That’s why we’ve included Nature’s Way Umcka Coldcare on our list of the top cough syrups for kids. While this cold syrup is only to be used in children six and up, it provides a powerful aid to help fight off symptoms of the common cold including cough relief.Read more
Approved by Pediatricians
Consult with your doctor about any symptoms your child may be having before use.
In addition to that, this cherry flavored syrup also treats congestion, sore throat, and nasal and bronchial irritations. The medicinal plant used, Pelargonium Sidoides, is found naturally in South Africa and is used to reduce the severity of the common cold and shorten the life of it.
Therefore this medicine isn’t only good for the treatment of symptoms but also for the use in cutting them back and reducing the lifespan overall on cold viruses and bacterias that can cause sinus and other respiratory infections
This cough syrup is for children 6 and up. Finding a cough syrup that works and one that also shortens the life of a cold are a rare find. Umcka makes use of a naturally growing plant to create a formula that’s safe as well as effective
6. Little Remedies Sore Throat Pops
Straightforward and simple ingredient list
Pack comes with ten lollipops
Safe for kids three years and up
Natural pain relief for sore throats
Won’t interfere with other medicines or medications
Can become a choking hazard if candy separates from the stick, parental supervision advised
What is one thing that all kids like regardless of age? It’s candy! We all know first-hand how unnatural and strong certain cough drops can taste, and inevitably they all have that slight medicinal flavor to them. That flavor profile is even more unpleasant for a kid who’s sick and doesn’t want anything to do with more medicine than absolutely necessary. Little Remedies came along with the brilliant idea of putting all the sore throat relief kids need into one tiny lollipop.Read more
Approved by Peditricians
This sweet lolly is created with real honey to soothe the all-to-familiar ache that accompanies a sinus drip or hoarse throat from a dry cough and contains nothing artificial or fake.
Honey is a natural pain reliever and can be tricky to give to kids since not many of them will drink it in tea or enjoy the texture on its own, but Little Remedies found a way around that! We sincerely thank them for saving parents the sometimes sticky task of cleaning up cough drops that have been promptly spat out by kids everywhere.
There are no fake sweeteners and nothing even the slightest bit artificial in these lollipops, so you can feel good about giving this to your kids when they’re in discomfort. Honey is a super food so it’s healthy as well as sweet
These pops can be helpful to children aged three years and older and simply need to be dissolved naturally in their mouths like they would a real lollipop!
7. Zarbee's Naturals Baby + Mucus
All-natural medicinal product
Heartfelt story to back the company that’s relatable to parents everywhere
Hand-picked ingredients for top-notch quality
Made specifically for babies
Product has a short shelf life due to all-natural based ingredients
The story behind Zarbee’s Naturals is a personal one and comes from the heart. That’s why their cough syrup is top rated on our list, and the authenticity of their product translates well to the consumer, who are usually concerned parents who want the best for their babies. At Borncute we value children and their health, and that’s one thing that Dr. Zak Zarbock, creator of Zarbee’s, values as well. Zarbee’s is built on the desire that Dr. Zarbock had to give his children all-natural and chemical-free medicines, and his cough syrup is no exception to that.Read more
Approved by Peditricans
Sleep easy knowing that all the ingredients used in this syrup are hand-picked and contain no artificial products or fillers, and do not contain fake sweeteners or harsh chemicals like some other cough syrup brands.
Knowing where ingredients come from is not something you can’t always control as a parent. When it comes to your baby, anything they put in their system will always weigh heavily on your mind and medicine shouldn’t be one of them -- all-natural is the perfect way to go in times of illness and Zarbee’s has delivered that in spades. It’s safe, effective, and worry-free!
Everything you need to administer this cough syrup is right in the box as it comes with an easy to use the syringe to dispense a controlled amount of medicine to your child.
This exceptional cough syrup is safe to use for babies two months and older and is created with an agave-based formula with English Ivy Extract to encourage cleared passageways when babies and children cough.
8. Nature's Way Kids Bioavailable Elderberry
Contains real elderberry
Contains plant polyphenols
Helps relieve cough
Helps relieve sore throat
Not recommended for those with an autoimmune disease
Flavonoids are best known for their anti-inflammatory properties. When combined with the immune boosting effects of elderberry extract, what you get is a natural cough syrup for kids that are guaranteed to help dampen throat irritation so your child will no longer be coughing as incessantly as before.Read more
Approved by Pediatricans
The reason for Sambucus being so helpful in making your child feel better is because it is all natural since it contains these flavonoids as well as parts from a plant that are helpful in the treatment of the cold and flu, especially for children.
Elderberry is best known for boosting the immune system. You may have heard of Flavonoids before. They help you because of their anti-inflammatory properties. When Elderberry and Flavonoids come together in cough medicine for kids, your child's cough starts to ease up and their sore throat goes away.
Nature’s Way Original Sambucus provides excellent relief from cough especially among children who may have difficulty expectorating the thick mucus secretions. By reducing the inflammatory processes occurring within the surface of the airway passages. Sambucus is able to eliminate the stimulus that can trigger the cough reflex as well as relieve the other symptoms of cold like a stuffy or runny nose. Since the inflammation has been reduced, the production of mucus tends to also decrease, leading to a decreased incidence of coughing and a reduction in cold symptoms.
Sambucus for kids is made from all-natural elderberry. Elderberry is mainly known to help treat the flu so it is definitely good to help treat your child's cough.
9. Children's Motrin Oral Suspension Dye-Free Berry
Relieves cold-like symptoms and fevers
Perfect for teething babies
Can last up to eight hours
Recommended for children 2 to 11 years
If your child has any stomach pains it is not recommended for you to give this to them
Confirm with doctor about dosage and use before giving to your child
Motrin will work wonders helping your little one feel better.Read more
Approved by pediatricians
Ask your pediatrician the correct dosage before administering.
It’s the perfect reliever for your little one who’s starting to get their first tooth. It’s also berry flavored so your little one will love the sweet taste. Don’t worry, the child lock top will ensure that you are the only one who can open and administer this medicine to your child.
Motrin has a long history of being well known for a pain reliever that works. It does contain ibuprofen and will reduce your child’s fever, minor aches due to the common cold, sore throat, headaches, and toothaches for up to eight hours.
Children between the ages of 2 and 11 can use this Motrin to help ease their cold symptoms. The box includes a dosage chart, thus you can easily see how much to give your child based on their weight and age. This medicine comes in bubblegum and berry flavors to help make taking the medicine easier for your child.
10. Naturals Children by Zarbees
Has honey included which makes it easier for them to take since it tastes better than most other cough medicine
Includes zinc to promote a boost in their immune system to get to the reason for the cough in the first place
Safe because it is made with honey and no chemicals
Soothes sore throats
Also made with Vitamin C which is another boost to their immune system
Not recommended for children under 12 months
Has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration
If you’re concerned about the synthetic chemicals that may be contained in most cough syrup for kids, then the Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus should give you the kind of benefit that you need. This should provide the added benefit of a much faster resolution of the actual cause of the cough.Read more
Approved by pediatricans
With Zarbee's Naturals Children's Cough Syrup, you won't have to worry about any of the added chemicals that are in other cough medicines. This is because the name says it all when it says natural. Zarbee's Naturals Children's Cough Syrup is all natural and made with honey to soothe your kid's cough and make them feel a lot better.
Made only of the safest and most natural honey-based formulation complete with the addition of English Ivy extract, Zarbee’s Naturals promises to be a more effective and safer way to help relieve cough by liquefying the mucus secretions in the airway passages and allowing children to cough them out or expectorate these secretions. This helps clear the airway passages of any irritants which can trigger the cough reflex. Zarbee’s Naturals also contain zinc which is primarily known for strengthening the function of the immune system.
The addition of Vitamin C also helps in the faster and more efficient healing and regeneration of tissues. As we cough, irritants can scrape against the natural surfaces of the airways, leading to cuts and loss of tissue integrity. These tissues must be allowed to heal so they can regenerate. Vitamin C can help in this aspect. Zarbee’s Naturals come in its natural honey flavors without any artificial sweetening or additional flavorings.
Not only is this cough medicine safer for children because it is all natural but is also contains zinc which helps provide a nice boost in their immune system. By providing a boost in their immune system, this can help fix the cause of the ough in the first place.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Approved by Pediatricians
Before we reveal to you how we chose the cough medicines for kids on this list, we would like to reiterate that even over-the-counter medications can be particularly addicting because of certain components that are included in the formulation of these drugs. That’s why it is imperative that you follow the recommended dosage instructions. And if you are not sure just how much is right for your child, your doctor can provide you with a more concrete explanation as to what you need to do.
Most of these cough syrups are perfect for either day or night time. Some of them work better at night because they help suppress your child’s cough or can soothe the pain your child might be feeling from gaining a new tooth. Some of these also work during the day without any disruptions from a bad cough. The ones that work at night can also help your child sleep better, so that they’ll be able to go along their day without any kind of disruption from not getting enough sleep the night before. We all need our beauty rest and when it comes to any kind of sickness: sleep is a good way of recovering.
This is the basis of our selection. We have to make sure that these drugs are safe for children and that these do not pose significant threats to their overall health and wellness. It was essential for us to choose formulations with a relatively safe profile when used among kids. Even if it contains natural ingredients, the safety profile of these ingredients was carefully evaluated. It doesn’t necessarily mean that just because it’s all-natural, it is already safe. Even naturally occurring substances can have an effect on our body. What more if ingested or consumed by children whose body organs are not as efficient as those found in adults?
We looked into the customer rating of each of these products and decided to include only those with no less than 4.5 stars. It is our understanding that many consumers often base their decisions on existing product ratings. The more popular the product is, the greater is the likelihood that other consumers will buy. Of course, we did not let the ratings totally dictate the outcome of this search as we also had to consider the responses or experiences of moms and dads everywhere.
No parents want to see their child suffer or pump them with unnecessary medication that might affect or cause damage to their health. Our bodies learn to build natural immunities but not every cold, flu bout or infection can be willed away through sleep and Disney marathons. Even if this is your child's best cure, it’s a miserable process trying to recover.
Of all the contenders of different kinds of sickness that are out there: the cough is among the worst. It can keep your children up at night making it especially hard for them to rest and heal. They spray germs everywhere when they don’t cover their mouths. It runs their throat raw if it gets too intense. Luckily, there are plenty of kid-friendly cough medicines on the market to help ease symptoms and make the process of getting better a little bit more bearable. We’ve collected the highest-rated products on the market for you and your family. Just add a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. (Please don’t though. Sugar is debatably an enemy of the immune system)
>Before you start buying over-the-counter children's cough remedies, it is important to understand what coughing really is. Many individuals have this idea that a cough is a disease or a health condition. Not many realize that coughing is a very normal process of our body to get rid of something that is irritating the airways. Our airways are very sterile environments. If there are irritants in the airways, the cough reflex is activated in an effort to move this irritant out of the airways. It is for this reason that many doctors do not recommend the use of cough suppressants for kids as this inherently suppresses the cough reflex. It is preventing your body from eliminating the irritant that is causing the cough.
Unfortunately, many individuals think that the best management for coughing is by taking medicines. In case you’re wondering what your options are, here are some of the most common types of cough medications:
Mucolytics – As the term implies, these effectively break up the bonds of the mucus plugs making them a lot easier for expectoration. Examples are acetylcysteine and bromhexine. Take note, bromhexine should never be given to kids who are younger than 6 years old.
Expectorants – These works almost in the same manner as mucolytics. However, the mechanism of action is on increasing the hydration of the mucus plugs, making these a lot more liquid so they are easily expectorated. Examples are guaifenesin, sodium citrate, and ammonium chloride.
Demulcents – These are airway protectants or surface coaters wherein they provide a protective layer on the pharynx or the throat. This minimizes the irritation of the airways leading to a decrease in coughing. Examples are glycerol and sugar. These can be safely given to kids.
Suppressants – These should never be used on kids because they cause drowsiness, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally, like we already said, you are essentially preventing your child’s body from getting rid of the irritant in his or her airways. Examples are codeine and dextromethorphan.
Other Factors to Consider
When looking for the best children’s cough medicines, we wanted to find ones that were all-natural. Although some of these on our list are not all-natural, they are safe for children at least 12 and older. However, some on this list can be used for children under the age of 12.
Taste is a big one that we considered when coming up with our list. We know how hard it can be for parents to try and get their child to take medicine especially if it’s one that doesn’t taste good. Most of these kids' cough medicines have great-tasting flavors including honey, berry, grape and several others. Although this isn’t the most appealing aspect of a cough medicine, it is important because for children because the only way you will get them to take any kind of medicine is if it tastes good. If the flavor is bad, get ready for a battle.
Ease of Use
Another factor we took into consideration was how well the cough medicine worked for your child. We wanted to make sure that it can in fact reduce or get rid of a cough altogether for them and make them feel 100 percent better. This is why we chose these specific cough medicines for your children since they all work well to help with many of the symptoms of a cold, teething, cough, and even the flu. Your child will be back to their healthy self in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Does Zarbee's Naturals Children's Cough Syrup contain melatonin?
The Zarbee's daytime cough syrup for kids does not contain melatonin as an ingredient but the nighttime version does.
q: What is the youngest age that can take Nature's Way Sambucus for Kids Bioavailable Elderberry?
This cough medicine for children is not recommended for children under 1 year old.
q: Is Hyland's 4 Kids Cold and Cough Day and Night Value Pack a homeopathic substitute for Mucinex for Children?
Although this should not be compared to Mucinex, it does contain all-natural ingredients so it is safe for children and adults as well. However, it is only intended to relieve cold and flu symptoms temporarily until you can get your child to a doctor.
q: Are these different cough medicines for kids good to use at least until I take my child to their doctor for a prescription medication?
Yes, many of these, if not all of them, work for the temporary relief of cold and flu symptoms at least until you take your child to the doctor.
q: Are these cough medicines for children affordable?
Yes, many of them are inexpensive. You can actually find them cheaper online than in your drugstore. However, you will have to wait for it to be shipped to you unless you find a store you can order online and pick up yourself.
- Kids' Cold Medicines: Guidelines, Informative Article ,
- Cold medicines for kids: What's the risk?, Informative Article ,
- Is your little one sick? These home remedies will quiet your child's cough in no time, Online Article ,
- When to Give Kids Medicine for Coughs and Colds, Consumer Health Report ,