New year has started, so is school! Which means taking your child to childcare or schools automatically implicates human contact, viruses and bacteria will no longer be under your safeguard. Viral infections are not curable through antibiotics and let's be honest, pumping medication in your child is not recommended, so what can you do to prevent and combat your child's cold symptoms? There are several gentle, homoeopathic remedies which you can try.
Honey: for children at least 1-year-old
Honey soothes sore throat and reduces coughing. Studies have shown that honey is more effective than cough syrup to treat nocturnal cough of little children. Remember that honey often hardens at room temperature.
To make it more liquid, put it in a cup which was pre-heated in the microwave or boil some water and place the jar of honey in hot water for 5-10 minutes. If your child is between 1 and 5 years, you can give him half a tablespoon of honey. If they are between 6 and 11 years, they can have a full tablespoon. Some mothers mix honey with hot water and add a drop of lemon, which brings an intake of vitamin C.
Because honey is very sweet, it is important to wash the baby's teeth after they eat, especially if you give them the honey right before bedtime. Studies show that honey is safer and likely more effective than cough medicines for children over 1-year-old.
Precautions Do not use honey as a child under one year. It may cause a rare and sometimes deadly disease called infantile botulism.
For Totsworld Members, you can purchase your Authentic Certified Honey from our Partners at special rates. Learn more about our parenting membership club here.
Steam: for all ages
Breathing a moist air helps to release mucus from the airways. A hot bath, as long as the child is able to bare it, is having enough steam to make them better and also it relaxes.
What To do Use a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer in your child's bedroom when she's sleeping, resting, or playing in the room. Give your child a warm bath in a steamy bathroom. Let a hot shower run for a few minutes before getting the tub ready. If it's big enough, let him play in the bathroom as he pleases - supervised, of course.
If your child does not want to shower, simply turn on the hot water in the tub or shower, close the bathroom door, block any gap under the door with a towel, and sit in the steamy room with your child for about 15 minutes.
Precautions Thoroughly clean and dry your humidifier every day. Mold and bacteria can accumulate inside it, and these can then spray into the air when you run the humidifier. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil. They can open your airways, ease congestion, and make it easier to breathe.
Essential oil are not suitable for children below 10 years old. Please use with caution.
Gargle with Salt Water (over 4 years)
Gargling with salt water is a quick way to soothe sore throats. It also helps to eliminate mucus from the throat. Although researchers have not determined exactly how it works, studies have demonstrated the efficacy of the method. You need warm salt water. Simply add half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and mix. If the baby does not mind the taste, you can add a little lemon juice. The child must be old enough that they can learn to do gargle. The frequency should be around 3-4 times a day.
- Practice with plain water.
- Tell your child to lift his head and try to keep water deeper in the throat, but without swallowing.
- Once they can do that, tell him to try to make sounds with the neck. Show him how to do and how it sounds.
- Tell him to spit water, not swallow.
Plenty of Rest (all ages)
It takes energy to fight an infection; it can deplete the child (and even adults). When the baby sleeps, his/her organism has the energy required to heal. Studies show that stress plays a role in any disease. Given that the child is under pressure - due to school, friends, or any other activities, a break from all this may be absolutely necessary for them to relieve symptoms.
Now it's time to let him/her look at drawings preference or favorite movie again. Or buy him/her a new set of crayons and a coloring book or paper. Even a puzzle can help. Of course, the bed is not necessarily the best place to rest. Sometimes a change of scenery is helpful. If the weather is beautiful, set up a comfortable place in the garden or on the porch, or even on the balcony or in front of an open window.
At home, you can use other methods, such as arranging a tent in the living room or an area full of pillows.
Many Liquids (over 6 months)
Abundant fluid intake prevents dehydration and consistently thins nasal secretions. Make sure to provide natural liquids that the child loves, whether it is soup or homemade tea or juices. Simple water is perfect, but large quantities, which are required to keep the child hydrated, might not be so easy for the child to take in.
Precautions Stick to milk for babies younger than 6 months and apply any other method only on medical advice. Babies do need very little water and too much can harm them.
Chicken soup or other hot liquids (over 6 months)
Warm liquids can help decongestant the nasal mucus. Studies have shown that chicken soup really soothes symptoms such as pain, fatigue, congestion and fever. Serve the soup warm, not hot. If your baby is more than 1 year old, you can give him/her warm chamomile tea.
Precautions There are herbal teas that are dangerous to children but consult your doctor before trying such a remedy, because not all natural products fit their needs.
For children, less than 6 months only breast milk or their special formula is recommended.