Loud sniffling, constant sneezing, a sore throat and a quickly draining energy reserve– sound familiar? All of us have battled cold at some point or another. Now, it is no news to you that a cold is not curable; however there are home remedies that can help your child feel much better and stop this nasty virus from getting the best of them, or you for that matter! To find out what they are the home remedies to protect your kids from cold, read on below.
If you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a vaporizer. They don’t cost a bomb and are a life saver when the mucus membranes are going out of control.
Taking in steam helps add moisture to the nasal glands; it causes the blood vessels to dilate and improves blood circulation. The rise in temperature is noted by the immune system which increases white blood cells to resist better against the bacteria. If you don’t own a vaporizer you can drape a towel around your kid’s head and carefully let them take in steam off of a pot of water that has just been boiled. You may choose to add a couple drops of the following essential oils– rosemary, bay, or clove. Increasing the humidity at home using a humidifier will help your child breathe easily and feel more comfortable.
Fluids are essential because they help flush the mucus and the bacteria within it. The more mucus that is expelled the faster the recovery. They also keep your child from dehydration; it’s advisable for them to drink at least 230 ml of fluid every two hours. Hot drinks also help alleviate symptoms, tea being among the most effective. Echinacea, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, rose hips, juniper, chamomile, licorice, lemongrass, and gingko are a few ingredients that may be found in various herbal teas which boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and soothe a sore throat. You may also choose to add honey as it has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. To make your own cough syrup mix equal parts of honey and Apple Cider vinegar and feed your child 1 tablespoon every 4 hours.
Note: One should never give honey to a child below 1 year as it contains botulinum spores.
A cold makes the nasal glands swell up causing congestion which can be a discomfort to your kids. You can reduce the inflammation by washing away the molecules that cause it using a nasal spray, or making your own saline spray by adding ¼ teaspoon of salt to 230 ml (8 oz.) of water. You can also use this solution for gargling to help a sore throat as it acts as an astringent. For babies, use 1 drop of nasal spray in each nostril; in case of a stuffy nose use a bulb syringe.
Allicin is a compound found in garlic said to prevent cold and flu and help keep it at bay. Soup with lots of garlic has a comforting effect when battling a cold. Allicin is also available in the form of a supplement.
Vitamin-C will help strengthen your child’s immune system and replenish their energy. However, too much of it may cause diarrhoea. Please refer to the chart below to know how much RDA (Required Daily Allowance) your child needs.
Hot and spicy foods call for a runny nose in no time, but are said to help clear up mucus and boost the immune system. That may explain why you feel so much better after a spicy tofu or chicken soup when down with the cold.
Probiotics help smooth the digestion and replace the good bacteria in your body when antibiotics kill them. They are also said to help with better skin condition, urinary health, prevent allergies and cold. Probiotics can be found in yoghurt, dairy products, and fermented foods.
A warm bath/sponge bath will help fight cold symptoms and reduce fever, making your child feel refreshed. You can choose to add some Epsom salt to the bath water, or a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary for a soothing effect.
A salve containing menthol is instantly effective when dealing with a nasal congestion. Dabbing some under your child’s nose will help them breathe more comfortably. Ensure that your child is not allergic to corn mint, peppermint or any other mint oils. Please avoid using salve if your child is below 2 years of age. The ingredients can act as irritants causing their lungs to produce more mucus. Instead you could add a spoonful of salve with some water on your warm diffuser.
Use cushions to elevate your child’s head while sleeping. This will not only give them an easier access to breathing, but will stop the mucus from reaching up wards towards their sinus lining. To maintain comfort make sure that their head is not a on a complete downward tilt but elevated enough.
A massage will help flush all the toxins that have settled in the lymph nodes. You can start at the forehead using only a downward motion, making your way towards the neck and ending below the collar bone. You may also use the end of a china spoon to do so; only a minimal amount of pressure is required.
Get Enough Rest
Fighting the cold virus drains a lot of your child’s energy. It’s necessary for them to get as much rest as possible so their bodies can utilize its energy to fight the sickness. This will also ensure a quicker recovery. Reading or watching TV for too long will also cause them strain. This is especially essential for babies, who naturally need plenty of sleep.
It’s unfortunate that these remedies can’t cure a cold. However, they’ll leave your little munchkin feeling a lot better in no time and prevent a cold in the future. Don’t forget to give your kids a lot of love, nutritious meals, and a cozy space to nap in. Happy Parenting!
Do you have your own set of remedies that you follow or do you prefer over-the-counter drugs for relief from the cold symptoms? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.