Five Natural and Alternative Ways to Treat Your Child’s Cold

by on December 20th, 2010
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Nothing breaks my heart more than when my children are miserable and suffering from a cold. It seems as though the younger the child is, the more pathetic and miserable they’re capable of looking when they’re sick. Even why my kids are sick though, I don’t like to give them medications, prescription or over-the-counter unless absolutely necessary. Here are some natural methods I use to treat my children when they have colds.

One of the hardest things for a child to do when they have a cold is sleep. Sleeping can be really difficult, especially if you have a stuffy or runny nose and chest congestion. One of the simplest ways to deal with congestion and sniffles in your child is to elevate their head while they’re sleeping. Propping your child up with pillows into a reclining position takes advantage of gravity, helping to drain and clear nasal passages and ease congestion.

You’ve probably heard that chicken soup is great for when you’re sick, but it really is. Liquids will help keep your child hydrated, as well as provide warmth that will help to break down the mucous in the respiratory tract. Offer your child as many clear liquids that he or she will take, but be sure to avoid sugary liquids like sports drinks or soda. Instead, opt for broths, teas and even 100% fruit juice.

If your child is coughing or complaining of a sore scratchy throat, something as simple as honey can provide some relief from the symptoms. Of course, you should never give a child under the age of one honey or a child who is known to have allergies or sensitivities. For older children and children without allergies, honey can be very soothing for the throat and provide some pain relief without pharmaceutical numbing agents found in many throat sprays and cough syrups.

Cool-mist humidifier
For a child who is especially congested, a cool-mist humidifier may be especially helpful in loosening and relieving chest congestion. Keep a cool-mist humidifier running in your child’s room at night to help break up mucous while your child sleeps. Be sure to clean your humidifier often in order to avoid buildup in the humidifier.

Saline drops
For children suffering from runny or stuffy noses, or painfully dry noses, saline drops can help soothe the nasal passages and loosen up dried mucous. When choosing drops for your child’s nose, be sure to check the ingredients and make sure there aren’t any other ingredients in the drops. Many saline drops are often combined with medications so it is important to check.

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