Best Cough Syrup for Babies and Kids in 2017 You Need to Know (#6 May Make You Surprise)
We all know how is that feel to suffer a nasty and nagging cough. It is annoying, irritating, displeasing, bothering, disturbing, and so on thousands of not-so-nice words to describe one of the most common symptoms of the cold/flu. That is for the adults, so how about the babies and kids, who are delicate and haven’t fully developed their immune system? Well to be simple, you just “have to” multiple it to 10 times.
A bad cough can disrupt their sleep, or worse, keep them awake all night. In the next morning, instead of the everyday cute angel, you will meet a little tired and groggy demon. Therefore, their studies, as well as other daily activities, will be affected seriously.
However, you can get your little buddy a quick relief by giving him/her some cough drops, or any of our top 10 best cough syrups for babies and kids in 2017; while making an appointment with the doctor. No more staring at a whale of different cough syrups, reading information to make comparison and decision – this article is here to save your time!
If you are afraid of the synthetic chemical and alcohol, then the Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus is the product that you can rely on. Founded by Dr. Zak Zarbock, a pediatrician and father who is looking for a safe medicine for his family, the product features a proprietary blend of natural dark honey-based formulation, with an addition of English Ivy Extract and grape flavor.
It helps to soothe the throat and calm coughs from hoarseness and irritants effectively by:
- Make it easier for the kids to get rid of the mucus secretions in the airway passages by liquefying them, and
- Clear the airway passages of any irritants that can trigger the cough reflex.
Moreover, the Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus also contains minerals such as:
- Zinc, which is famous for its power in boosting the immune system, and
- Vitamin C, which helps to heal and regenerate the tissues faster and more efficient. As we cough, irritants scrape against the natural surfaces of the airways, leading to cuts and loss of tissue integrity. These tissues need to be healed to regenerate.
The product is certified as the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Cough Syrup Brand for Children 6 and Under. The recommended dose for children 12 months to 4 years old is 1 teaspoon; for children 4 years and older is 2 teaspoons. Consider taking every 4 hours or as directed by a doctor.
Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus’s other ingredients are water, natural flavor, grapefruit seed extract (to preserve freshness), and citric acid.
- Especially works well to kids with thick mucus.
- The wholesome ingredients are safe, chemical-free, handpicked and carefully-sourced.
- There is NO artificial flavor or sweetener, chemical, drug, alcohol, dye, and gluten.
- The grape flavor goes down easy with no harsh chemical taste.
- It is NOT recommended for children under 12 months.
- There is a low dose of melatonin in this product.
- Shake well before using.
- Store at room temperature and use within 90 days of opening.
The second best nonprescription cough syrup we would like to introduce to you is Delsym Extended Release Suspension Adult Grape. This product will help you to relieve:
- A cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation as may occur with the common cold or inhaled irritants, and
- The impulse to cough to help you get to sleep.
The product was ranked #1 recommended Over-The-Counter single active ingredient cough suppressant among Internists, General Practitioners and Family Practitioners. Recommended dose (measured by the providing cup) for
- Adults and children 12 years old and over are 10 ml every 12 hours, not to exceed 20 ml in 24 hours.
- Children 6 to under 12 years old are 5 ml every 12 hours, not to exceed 10 ml in 24 hours.
- Children 4 to under 6 years old are 2.5 ml every 12 hours, not to exceed 5 ml in 24 hours.
The active ingredient is Dextromethorphan Polistirex equivalent to 30 mg Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide (in each 5 ml), serves as a cough suppressant.
The inactive ingredients include citric acid anhydrous, D&C red 33, edetate disodium, ethylcellulose, FD&C blue 1, flavor, high fructose corn syrup, methylparaben, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean, cottonseed), polyethylene glycol 3350, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, propylparaben, purified water, sucrose, tragacanth, and xanthan gum.
- This cough suppressant has the formulation that enables its active ingredient to work for a full 12 hours – up to two times longer than other OTC cough syrup. Your kids now can quickly get a better control of a cough!
- With grape flavor, it is easy to get the kids drink it.
- The product is alcohol-free and contains NO fever reducer or pain reliever.
- It can be used day or night.
- DO NOT use for children under 4 years old.
- Measure only with dosing cup provided. Do not use dosing cup with other products.
- Shake the bottle well before using.
- Store at 20 – 25oC (68 – 77oF).
This Canadian sucrose free product is famous for its fast acting relief from cold and flu symptoms such as coughs, nasal and sinus congestion, fever and chills, sore throat pain, and minor aches and pains.
It can be taken every 4 – 6 hours, with the directed dose is 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 ml) for adults and children over 12 years old. Do not exceed a maximum of 6 doses daily. Children under 12 years old are advised NOT to use, however, if preferred you can mix with equal parts honey.
The active ingredients are acetaminophen 325 mg and menthol 20 mg (in each 5 ml). The non-medicinal ingredients are ammonium carbonate, butylparaben, camphor, Canada balsam, caramel, glycerin, pine needle oil, polyethylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium cyclameta, tincture of capsicum, viscarin, and water.
- Remember to keep out of reach of children; it contains enough drug to harm a child seriously.
- If taken more than the recommended dose without being consulted by your doctor, it can cause severe or possibly fatal liver damage.
- Individuals with serious kidney or liver disease; chronic alcoholism; persons on any other medication including natural health products or prescription drugs, especially those containing acetaminophen, salicylates or other pain and fever medications (NSAIDS) should ask for doctor’s advice before use.
- DO NOT use with other drugs containing acetaminophen or if allergic to acetaminophen.
- Store at room temperature.
- The product can taste terrible to some people. It is very thick and has a strong taste of menthol.
- It is quite expensive in comparison to other products.
No. 4 on our list of best over the counter cough syrup is Boericke & Tafel Nighttime Cough & Bronchial Syrup. This is a cough suppressant and expectorant that helps to:
- Relieve cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation as may occur with the common cold or inhaled irritants,
- Loose mucus and thin bronchial irritation to drain bronchial tubes, and
- Soothe the throat.
Therefore, your kids can get a restful sleep to ready for a new day with this nighttime cough syrup.
The daily dose for adults and children over 12 years old are 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ½ hour before bedtime; dose may be repeated if necessary. For children under 12 years old, you need to ask a doctor before use.
The active ingredients are:
- Aconitum napellus 3X, serves as the cough suppressant and pain reliever.
- Bryonia alba 3X, stannum metallicum 6C and hepar sulphuris calcareum 6C, serve as the cough suppressant and expectorant.
- Spongia tosta 3X, serves as the cough suppressant.
- Alfalfa 1X and coffea cruda 6X helps with restful sleep.
- Avena sativa 1X to promote calmness.
The inactive ingredients are citric acid, sucrose, malt extract, purified water, and sodium benzoate.
- The product is natural homeopathic with no side effects.
- It has NO artificial coloring or flavors.
- It is non-narcotic.
- It contains 9.8% alcohol.
- Store at 20 – 25oC (68 – 77oF) in a dry place out of direct sunlight.
Founded since 1920, this suppressant has proved its effectiveness in:
- Calming the cough control center, and
- Basing coats and soothes raw, irritated membranes.
Recommended dose (measured by the providing cup) for
- Adults and children 12 years old and over are 15 ml every 4 hours.
- Children 6 to under 12 years old are 7.5 ml every 4 hours.
- Children 4 to under 6 years old are 3.75 ml every 4 hours.
DO NOT take more than 6 doses in any 24 hours period.
Its ingredient (in each 3 teaspoons – 15 ml):
- Active: Dextromethorphan HBr, USP20 mg, serves as the cough suppressant.
- Inactive: beechwood creosote, caramel, citric acid, corn syrup, menthol, potassium sorbate, purified water, sodium benzoate, and sucrose.
- It contains no artificial flavors and no alcohol.
- DO NOT use for children under 4 years old.
- It does taste like medicine – not the candy thing that most kids prefer.
- Store at 20 – 25oC (68 – 77oF).
#6. Vicks NyQuil Severe Cough Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid Twin Pack, Berry Flavor (710 ml, 305 ml each)
What is the best cough syrup on the 6th place? It is Vicks NyQuil Severe Cough Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid. From the #1 World’s selling cough and cold brand, this nighttime relief will rescue you from:
- Nasal congestion; sinus congestion & pressure
- Cough due to minor throat & bronchial irritation
- Minor aches & pains
- Sore throat
- Runny nose & sneezing
- Swelling of nasal passages
to restore freer breathing through the nose and promotes nasal and sinus drainage. It is time to get you a sound sleep (with a good taste of medicine)!
Suggested dose (measured by the providing cup) for adults and children 12 years old and over are 30 ml every 4 hours. DO NOT exceed 4 doses per 24 hours. Children 6 to under 12 years old must consult a doctor before using. DO NOT use this product to children under 4 years old.
The ingredients are:
- Active (in each 30 ml): Acetaminophen 650 mg, serve as the pain reliever and fever reducer; Dextromethorphan HBr 20 mg, serves as cough suppressant; Doxylamine succinate 12.5 mg, serves as an antihistamine; and Phenylephrine HCl 10 mg, serves as the nasal decongestant.
- Inactive: citric acid, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, flavor, glycerin, propylene glycol, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sorbitol, sucralose, and xanthan gum.
- It contains 10% alcohol.
- Alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers may increase drowsiness.
- Store at room temperature and do not refrigerate.
- Excitability may occur, especially in children.
- There are TOO MANY warnings and considerations.
- This product contains acetaminophen so severe liver damage may occur if you take with other drugs containing acetaminophen or 3+ alcoholic drinks every day while using this product.
- Acetaminophen may cause severe skin reactions such as skin reddening, blisters, and rash.
- Do not use:
- With any other drug containing acetaminophen.
- If you are now taking a prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor – MAOI (certain drugs for depression, psychiatric or emotional conditions, or Parkinson’s disease), or for 2 weeks after taking the MAOI drugs.
- Ask a doctor before use:
- If you have: liver disease; heart disease; high blood pressure; thyroid disease; diabetes; glaucoma; cough that occurs with too much mucus; a breathing problem or chronic cough that lasts or as occurs with smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema; trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate gland; a sodium-restricted diet.
- If you are taking: sedatives or tranquilizers; the blood thinning drug warfarin.
- Do not use:
The 7th place belongs to Boiron Chestal for Cough Syrup, with its multi-symptom formula. This product will help:
- Coat and soothe the throat.
- Loosen chest congestions.
- Calm dry, fitful coughs.
The recommended dose (measured with dosage cup included – 5 ml equal to 1 tsp) for:
- Adults and children 12 years old and older: Take 10 ml every 2 hours.
- Children 2 to 12 years of age: Take 5 ml every 2 hours.
It is NOT recommended for children under 2 years old.
- Active (all are officially included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States):
- Antimonium tartaricum 6C – Helps loosen thick mucus
- Bryonia 3C – Relieves a dry and painful cough
- Coccus cacti 3C – Relieves cough associated with a tickling in the throat
- Drosera 3C – Relieves barking cough worse at night
- Ipecacuanha 3C – Relieves cough associated with nausea
- Pulsatilla 6C – Relieves wet cough during the day becoming dry at night
- Rumex crispus 6C – Relieves dry cough triggered by cold air
- Spongia tosta 3C – Relieves dry, croupy and barking cough
- Sticta pulmonaria 3C – Relieves nighttime hacking cough
- Inactive: citric acid, honey, purified water, sodium benzoate, and sucrose.
- The taste of honey is delicious and suitable for children.
- It is dye-free.
- It won’t cause drowsiness.
- It does contain 0.001% alcohol.
- Store at 20-25°C (68-77°F).
- Ask a doctor before use if you have a cough that occurs with too much phlegm; a cough that lasts or is chronic such as occurs with smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
No. 8 on our list of best OTC cough syrups is Nature’s Way Sambucus Syrup, Elderberry. Developed by virologists, the product uses the dark berries of European black elder (Sambucus Nigra L.) as its main ingredient to help you combat winter illnesses. Other ingredients are raspberry flavor, fructose, purified water, vegetable-sourced glycerin, and citric acid. You might say that this product is natural from head to toe!
Directions (dosage cup included):
- For daily maintenance: Adults: Take 2 teaspoons daily. Children: Take on teaspoon daily.
- For intense use: Adults: Take 2 teaspoons 4 times daily. Children: Take 1 teaspoon 4 times daily.
- The standardized, Bio-Certified black elderberry extract is made from a unique cultivar of elderberries with a high level of naturally-occurring flavonoids.
- Also, the berry combo of black elderberry extract and natural raspberry flavor makes treating the cough is no longer bitter for your children.
- There is no artificial preservation and gluten.
- The product is Kosher certified.
- Keep tightly sealed in a cool, dry place to preserve quality and freshness.
With the new formula, the delicious Mucinex Children’s Multi-Symptom Cold Liquid promises to:
- Relieve stuffy nose
- Control cough
- Relieve chest congestion
- Break up mucus
in an extraordinarily effective way.
Directions (as measured with dosage cup included only): Do not take more than 6 doses in any 24-hour period.
- Children 6 years old to under 12 years old: 10 ml every 4 hours.
- Children 4 years old to under 6 years old: 5 ml every 4 hours.
The active ingredients (in each 5 ml) are:
- Dextromethorphan HBr (5 mg), serves as the cough suppressant.
- Guaifenesin (100 mg), serves as the expectorant.
- Phenylephrine HCl (2.5 mg), serves as the nasal decongestant.
The inactive ingredients are anhydrous citric acid, edetate disodium, FD & C #40, flavors, glycerin, propylene glycol, propyl gallate, purified water, sodium benzoate, sorbitol, sucralose, trisodium citrate dihydrate, and xanthan gum.
- Do not use: in a child who is taking a prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor – MAOI (certain drugs for depression, psychiatric, or emotional conditions, or Parkinson’s disease), or for 2 weeks after stopping the MAOI drug.
- Ask a doctor before use if the child has heart disease; high blood pressure; thyroid disease; diabetes; cough that occurs with too much phlegm; a persistent or chronic cough such as occurs with asthma.
- Store at 20-25°C (68-77°F); do not refrigerate.
- Do not use dosing cup with other products.
#10 Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold and Cough Day and Night Value Pack, Natural Common Cold Symptom Relief (236 ml, 118 ml each)
There is a reason why cough syrup is distinguished as daytime and nighttime. The daytime’s product needs to be non-drowsiness so that your kids can do well at school, while the nighttime’s product must be able to “read” your kids to sleep (if they can ;)). Understand that fact, Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold and Cough provides you with both daytime and nighttime’s product to advance you in taking care of the little buddy.
These two products both helps in relieving symptoms including coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, nasal and chest congestion. Especially, the nighttime product’s formula is formulated to help with sleeplessness.
Directions (as measured with provided dosage cup only):
- Adults and children 12 years old and over: 15 mL or 3 teaspoons up to 6 times per day (every 4 hours).
- Children 6 years old to under 12 years old: 10 mL or 2 teaspoons up to 6 times per day (every 4 hours).
- Children 2 years old to under 6 years old: 5 mL or 1 teaspoon up to 6 times per day (every 4 hours).
- Adults and children 12 years old and over: 15 ml or 3 teaspoons at bedtime and every 4 hours during the night or as required.
- Children 6 years old to under 12 years old: 10 ml or 2 teaspoons at bedtime and every 4 hours during the night or as required.
- Children 2 years old to under 6 years old: 5 ml or 1 teaspoon at bedtime and every 4 hours during the night or as required.
The active ingredients (in each 5 ml) all are officially included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States:
- Allium Cepa 6X – watery runny nose, cold, hacking cough.
- Hepar Sulph Calc 12X – sneezing.
- Hydrastis 6X – rattling/tickling cough, sinus congestion, and dry, raw, sore throat.
- Natrum Muriaticum 6X – dry cough, and sore throat.
- Phosphorus 12X – hoarseness, dry cough, nasal congestion and chest congestion.
- Pulsatilla 6X – moist cough and nasal congestion.
- Sulphur 12X – chest congestion, nasal congestion, and sneezing.
- Nighttime: just like daytime’s, but there are some additions:
- Chamomilla 6X – sensitive, irritable, fussy nocturnal sleeplessness
- Coffea Cruda 6X – sleeplessness, restlessness
The inactive ingredients are: citric acid USP, glycyrrhiza extract, purified water USP, sodium benzoate N.F., vegetable glycerine USP.
- Gentle homeopathic formulas are made with all natural active ingredients.
- There are no known side-effects and will not conflict with any medications you may be taking.
- It is sugar-free, alcohol-free, and dye-free.
- The product contains no aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, pseudoephedrine, dextromethorphan, or artificial flavors.
- Do not use this product for persistent or a chronic cough such as asthma, smoking or emphysema or if a cough is accompanied by excessive mucus unless directed by a licensed health care professional.
Tips: According to Dr. Janet Engle, Executive Associate Dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, there are two things you should consider when choosing over the counter cough syrup:
- Make sure you are not taking multiple products containing the same ingredient, and
- Ask your doctor of pharmacist if you have any question.
The Bottom Line
Always remember that cough syrup is not magic that you can give to your kids whenever they have a cold or flu. The main purpose of these OTC cough syrups is to calm down the symptoms while you schedule a date with the doctor for your little buddy only. May you choose the right product from our list of best cough syrup for your precious one(s)!