Your toddler's cough might have you running to the drugstore to buy a cough suppressant, but many of these are useless because three-year-olds are too young to benefit from their ingredients. In addition to taking your child to the doctor, there are some home remedies which may help with a cough. As with any medical condition, if your child's cough gets worse, consult a doctor immediately.
Sit with your child in a steamy room. Turn the shower on really hot and shut off exhaust vents and close the door. The steam relaxes inflamed tissue and alleviates even "barky" croup coughs. Keep exposure to a maximum of 10 or 12 minutes, or as soon as the cough subsides. Also, putting a vaporizer in the child's room while he sleeps may ease his cough, especially if you add some menthol-infused liquids to the water.
If your child's cough is accompanied by a sore throat, treat it with lemon and honey. Though you should never give honey to babies under one year old, a three-year-old will love the soothing effects of 1 teaspoon honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon in warm (not hot) water. The honey soothes the sore throat while the lemon breaks up phlegm.
Apply a menthol rub to your child's chest before sleep. Menthol is cool on warm skin and its vapors relax the tissues of the throat and lungs, reducing the cough. Also, menthol may make coughs more productive (that is, have more mucus coming up).