Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.
- The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
- The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
- For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.
Caring for Someone Sick at Home
Treat Dry Cough
December 5, 2009, 6:00 AM ET
Coughing can help clear out mucous and congestion from your lungs. Yet, dry coughs when there is no mucous can make your airways, throat, or chest sore. Treating a dry cough can stop this sore feeling and also help you get rest.
Treating a dry cough
- Ask the pharmacist about which cough medicines are best to treat a dry cough. Do not give children younger than 4 years of age cough or cold medicines.
- Set up a humidifier. That's a machine that puts tiny drops of water (moisture) into the air. This extra moisture can make it easier for the sick person to breathe.
- Offer adults a cough drop or hard candy to soothe their throat and lessen the urge to cough.
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