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Home Remedies for Your Child’s Cold

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There is nothing worse than watching your child fight off illness. Seeing their pain and discomfort is heart-wrenching. On top of that, illness interupts sleep, scheduled activities and leads to missed work and school. While illness is par for the course when you have babies, knowing how to treat it makes the experience better for everyone. With cold and flu season upon us, here are a few tips to get through the worst of it.


Coughs
While a chronic cough might be worrisome for parents, often times a cough is just the result of mucus draining from the sinuses down the throat. In most cases, a cough will clear up on it’s own as the mucus dissipates. Here are a few tips treating your child’s cough:

  • Honey. Studies show that natural honey has medicinal benefits for coughs. Give your child a teaspoon at bedtime to help them sleep or mix it in warm water and lemon. Do not give honey to children under the age of 12 months as honey can cause botulism in babies.
  • Cough Medicine. Your child’s cough might be helping break apart the mucus buildup, but if your child is very uncomfortable, medication may help the symptoms. Some medication help thin the mucus and others suppress the urge to cough, discuss which medication is best for your child’s condition with a doctor of pharmacist. You should always use caution when administering over the counter medication to your children.

When to Visit a Doctor: Take your child to a medical clinic if they are wheezing, their cough sounds unusual, or persists for several weeks. If it is after business hours or during a weekend, it might be a good idea to take your child to a walk in medical clinic. About 85% of walk in medical clinics are open 7 days a week, usually earlier and later than conventional doctors, so your child can get the treatment they need immediately.


Congestion
Congestion can really impair a child’s ability to sleep and their comfort level. Here are a couple remedies for congestion:

  • Steam. Having your child inhale moisture will help breakup the congestion and improve their comfort. You can use a cold vapor humidifier while they sleep or have them sit in the bathroom while the hot shower runs to create a steamy environment.
  • Vapor rub. A topical vapor rub on your child’s chest or feet might help sooth their congestion. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the vapor rub.

When to Visit a Doctor:
If your child’s mucus is yellow or green, it’s a sign that they are fighting an infection and might need antibiotics.


Fever
A fever is the body’s way of fighting infection, so letting a low-grade fever run it’s course is sometimes helpful. Otherwise, here are a few ways to bring a fever down:

  • Lukewarm Bath. Giving your child a lukewarm bath will comfort them and may help reduce their body temperature.
  • Fever Reducing Medication. Administering acetaminophen or ibuprofen should bring your child’s fever down. Consult a doctor if your child’s fever does not respond to medication.

When to Visit a Doctor: Take your child to the doctor if their fever exceeds 102 degrees, lasts longer than 24 hours, or is accompanied with vomiting, lethargy, stiffness, or rash. These symptoms should get immediate medical attention; take them to ER or a walk in medical clinic if your doctor is not available.

How do you treat your child’s cold symptoms? Please leave a comment with your advice!

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