Hiccups are a common, yet unwanted issue that kids and adults alike often face. While it may not seem like much of an inconvenience for adults, the same is not true for kids.
Although it generally doesn’t last for long, hiccups may be quite annoying for children as they come without warning. But there’s not much to worry about, as there are several simple remedies that can stop them almost instantly!
In this article, we bring you some proven hiccups remedies that are safe enough to be used on children. But before we move on to the simple and risk-free ways to get rid of hiccups for kids, it is a good idea to know why they actually occur.
What Causes Hiccups For Kids?
Hiccups occur without any warning, but what causes them? It originates from the diaphragm, a muscle located between the chest and the abdomen of our bodies that contracts and relaxes to regulate our breathing.
But sometimes, the diaphragm may become irritated, causing involuntary contractions or spasms that result in hiccups. There can be several causes for such spasms.
Swallowing food too fast or eating too much is a common cause, as is drinking aerated drinks. Sudden changes in temperature (both internal and external) and taking in too much air can also cause hiccups. For children, in particular, too much excitement can also be a major cause.
You can teach your child a few simple acts that can help them avoid the occurrence of hiccups. This includes eating and drinking slowly as well as chewing their food well before swallowing.
Mostly, hiccups stop as suddenly as they start and are usually gone within a few minutes without any treatment. But knowing a few remedies for hiccups may come in handy when you are dealing with kids.
How To Get Rid Of The Hiccups?
All the parents would be glad to know that you can easily stop hiccups in kids by following some simple remedies. Here are a few that you can try out!
This is the simplest way that is known to work for both kids and adults. Drinking a glass of cold water helps in calming down the irritation in the diaphragm, which relieves hiccups.
2. Herbal Teas
Some herbs like peppermint, chamomile, and fennel work wonder in soothing the muscle spasms that cause annoying hiccups. These are totally safe for children, and consuming tea made from these herbs is highly effective in getting rid of the hiccups in children.
3. Holding Your Breath
Another effective treatment for stopping hiccups is to ask your kid to hold their breath for at least 15 seconds. They need to take a deep breath and hold it for as long as they can before slowly releasing it. Repeat this activity till the hiccups subside.
Your child may feel dizzy if they do this continuously while standing. So it is recommended that you let them do it in a sitting position.
4. Tickle Method
More often than not, taking your child’s mind off the hiccups is all it takes to stop it. And one of the easiest methods to do this is to start tickling them! The element of surprise will help them shift their focus from their hiccups. But make sure that you stop when your child tells you to, as they won’t like to be tickled for long!
5. Breathing Into A Paper Bag
Several breathing remedies have been found to be effective in getting rid of hiccups, and the paper bag method is one of the easiest of them. Breathing into a paper bag can help your child to steady their breath, which can relieve the muscle spasms which cause hiccups. Just make them inhale and exhale into the bag slowly a few times, and you would see the desired results!
6. The Sweetest Remedy
Last but not the least, a spoonful of sugar might just do the trick in stopping hiccups for your kid. Just put a small teaspoon of sugar under your child’s tongue, and let them happily swallow it down. It is a simple and effective remedy that works every time, not to mention that your kid would just love this method!
Things That You Should Avoid Doing
There are several remedies other than the ones mentioned above that are commonly used to stop hiccups for kids. But a few of them can be a bit risky for kids, and hence should be avoided.
1. Drinking-Water Upside Down
Many people agree that making your child drink water while they bend on their hips works in stopping hiccups. While this may be true, we don’t recommend this method due to the associated risks. Drinking with their heads upside down makes your child more prone to choking on the water, and hence should be avoided.
2. Scaring The Child
Another well-known tactic to stop hiccups in kids is giving them a fright. While this works as they may stop focussing on the hiccups due to the sudden scare, you need to ensure that you don’t frighten them to the level of trauma.
Kids are much more sensitive than adults, so even a small scare can seem terrifying for them. Surprising them can be a better alternative, as it can do the job of shifting their focus without startling them too much.
So now you know what you should and shouldn’t do the next time your little one starts hiccuping after a big meal. While these hiccuping episodes do not usually last more than a few minutes, sometimes your child may experience it for prolonged periods. In such cases, it is advisable that you seek the help of a medical expert just to be sure.
We hope this article answered all your queries on the occurrence of hiccups in kids as well as their remedies. All the remedies mentioned above are totally safe for kids and you can try any of them to relieve your little one from the stubborn hiccups!
Founder and a 36-year old mother of one who has gone through the usual problems of parenting herself and shares her own experiences through this blog. Ruby is a great writer who researches well before putting forth facts in the articles.