Health Library

Huff Cough

Huff Cough

The Huff Cough is a certain way of coughing that keeps the throat open longer. This helps move the mucus from your child's lungs.

About the Huff Cough

  • It allows the air to move past the mucus in the airways.
  • The air helps move the mucus from the smaller airways to the larger airways.
  • Once the mucus is in the larger airways, it makes coughing the mucus out easier.

Instructions for the Huff Cough

  1. Have your child sit up straight.
  2. Tilt your child's chin up slightly – this will help open his / her throat.
  3. Have your child open his / her mouth.
  4. Have your child take slightly deeper breaths than normal for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Have your child take in a slow breath.
  6. Have your child hold his or her breath for three seconds. (This lets air get behind or below the mucus.)
  7. Have your child blow out evenly. Blow out a little longer than he / she normally would. Blow out until just before he / she feels the need to cough. (Remind your child to try NOT to cough.) 
  8. Repeat this process (steps 1-7) two more times. 
  9. Have your child cough normally to get rid of mucus.

This could be repeated if necessary.  

When to do the Huff Cough:

  • Any time a cough is needed 
  • During and after any airway clearance


  • Remind your child to keep his or her throat wide open when blowing out.
  • If you hear “wheezing” sounds, have him / her breathe out more softly.
  • Practice with small, medium and large breaths.

Last Updated 09/2018

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