If your child suffers from the miserable symptoms of a cold, it may be tempting to resort to an over-the-counter remedy to make them feel better. But the fact is, studies have shown that cough and cold medications can be ineffective in children younger than 6. And while the FDA has not yet issued a policy for school children, cold medication labels now say that these medications are not recommended for children younger than 4 years.
Add to this scary possible side effects like fast heartbeat, cramps and even death, and natural treatments suddenly seem like a much better choice.
How to relieve your child’s cold symptoms
Talk to your doctor about your child’s symptoms to make sure there are no concerns that she has an illness that is more serious than the common cold. Then try the following natural home remedies to help your child feel better:
- Give him honey for a cough. Studies have shown that honey can treat cough better than over-the-counter medications. Mix it with a little warm water or add it to a non-caffeinated herbal tea – or even give it directly – and you have an excellent cough medicine for your school-age child. (But respect, think highly of Take care never to give honey to a child younger than 1 year old, as babies at that age are at risk of botulism from eating honey.)
- Coax him chicken soup. This is an old fashioned remedy that some Seems to have advantages. Studies have shown that ingredients in chicken soup can help relieve the symptoms of respiratory infections. Even if your child says that he is not very hungry, try to drink at least some broth.
- Try salty nose drops or sprays. This natural remedy can help open blocked nasal passages so that your child can breathe more easily. However, avoid sprays with medications that can make symptoms worse or cause other side effects.
- Make it easier for him to rest. Your child will be better able to fight off an infection when his body is rested. If he asks you to play a video game or DVD for a while, you should definitely limit these stimulating activities. Encourage calm by darkening his room, playing soothing music, and even giving him a massage to help him fall asleep.
- Try a cool mist humidifier. By increasing the humidity in your child’s room can you alleviate the traffic jam and help it breathe. Be sure to clean the humidifier to avoid nucleation.
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