It sometimes just attacks out of nowhere. No warnings. Or maybe you had a warning but you paid it very little attention. Now, your child is stuffy, has an uncontrollable cough, and is more interested in whining and sleeping than anything else. Well, the common cold can sneak up on you like that. As a matter of fact, both of my girls are battling these symptoms at this very moment. Some of the first signs of the common cold are: a runny nose, a scratchy throat, coughing, or sneezing, More than 200 viruses can cause the common cold (so you can see why it’s so common). However, the “rhinovirus” is most often the cause. The common cold can be rather difficult to avoid, especially for children that attend school or other facilities where they come in contact with a bunch of different people. According to my daughters’ pediatrician, Children typically get 5-7 colds per year as their immune system is still trying to build strength. Luckily, these colds usually last just a few days and then disappear but I know it can be stressful watching your child suffer from these symptoms. Now, if you’re anything like me, I believe that it is best to take the natural route with things-especially in cases like this. So, while the cold will eventually pass on its own, you can help make your child a little more comfortable with these natural remedies and comforting tips.
(1)Elevation- you can prop your child’s head up with a large towel, a blanket, or a few extra pillows so that their sinuses can easily drain. This will certainly make them more comfortable as they battle the stuffiness.
(2)Humidifier- I use our cool mist humidifier quite often but especially when my girls are fighting off a cold. The humidifier adds moisture to the room and helps a great deal with the congestion. Make sure that you take a look at your manual for instructions on how to properly clean the humidifier so that mold and mildew won’t build up.
(3)Fluids- Make sure your child drinks lots of fluids- water, diluted juice, etc. For babies, breast milk or formula is fine.
(4)Honey- ONLY FOR CHILDREN OLDER THAN 12 MONTHS! Give your child 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey. You can mix the honey with hot water and a little bit of lemon for the added Vitamin C. It can calm a cough and soothe a sore throat.
(5)Neti pot- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of sterilized lukewarm water. If using tap water, make sure that it’s TREATED. Put this into your neti pot and place the spout of the pot in the nostril and make sure your child’s head is tilted to one side over the sink. The water should flow into one nasal cavity and out of the other nostril. It may be difficult to get your child to cooperate with this method.
(6)Gargling- have your child gargle with warm salt water to help ease a sore throat. This is recommended for children over the age of 4.
(7)Warm chicken noodle soup- also helps soothe sore throats and was also proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. My 3 year old loves chicken noodle soup so this works out perfectly for us.
(8) Homemade Vapor Rub- I will probably post a tutorial on this later but you can use eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary. ONLY USE THIS FOR CHILDREN OVER 2 YEARS OF AGE. The vapor rub helps relieves coughs and congestion. Making your own gives you the ability to control how strong you want it to be. Click here for instructions on how to make this vapor rub right from your home.
(9)Echinacea- People have been using echinacea to treat colds for many many years. I find that it works best when taken as soon as you notice the first signs of a cold or if you have been around others who are battling the common cold.
(10)Rest- of course rest helps soooo much when your body is trying to fight off a virus. So, make sure your child gets lots of rest while their body is fighting off a cold.
These are just a few things that you can try. I have tried all of these with either myself or my little ones and they all seem to work. So, you can try these tips for both you and your children. I am not a doctor or a medical expert, so always consult with a physician before trying home remedies. However, I have not had any issues at all using the tips I mentioned above. Do you know of any other natural remedies or comforting tips? Just leave a comment below!