Whether your child has a tummy ache, a stuffy nose, or a bug bite, doctors say that old-fashioned home remedies are often the best way to help him feel better fast. These time-tested treatments rarely have side effects, cost next to nothing, and use items you probably already have on hand. If, however, your child is continually sick, or you suspect something more severe is going on, always consult your health practitioner for advice. But the next time your child has a minor ache or injury, you can find these smart solutions all throughout your house.
Honey for Coughs
Honey coats and soothes the throat and helps tame a cough. In a study conducted by Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, parents of 105 children ages 2 to 18 rated honey helpful and better than cough syrup for treating children’s nighttime coughs. Honey often gets hard at room temperature. To soften it, spoon some into a heat-proof container and warm it briefly in a microwave or boil some water and then set the container in the very hot water for five or ten minutes. Give her 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey. Some people mix their honey with hot water and add a squeeze of lemon, which provides a little vitamin C along with the soothing honey. Because honey is a sticky sweet, it’s important for you or your child to brush her teeth after she takes it, especially if you give it to her at bedtime.
Caution: Your child must be at least a year old to try this remedy.
Chamomile Tea for Colic
Peter Rabbit’s mother fed him soothing chamomile tea in Beatrix Potter’s classic tale, and you can give it to your infant to relax her intestinal muscles and calm her down. Steep tea for four to five minutes, let it cool to room temperature, and then put one to two ounces in a bottle. Don’t give your baby more than four ounces a day so that she’ll be sure to have plenty of room in her tummy for breast milk or formula.
Baking Soda for Bug Bites
Baking soda paste stops the itching of bites. The alkaline baking soda helps counteract the acidic swelling. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a thick paste, smear it on the bites, and let it dry.
Saline Solution for Congestion
For a child over 6 months, fill a bulb syringe with preservative-free saline solution, raise her head, and gently squeeze solution into one nostril at a time. (Do it in the bath or over the sink.) In fact, a recent study found that using a nasal wash with a saline solution helped kids get over colds faster — and made them less likely to get sick again. What you need
- A rubber bulb syringe
- Saline (salt water) solution. You can buy bottles of saline nose drops at a chemist or make your own.
Recipe for homemade saline drops: Dissolve about 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Make a fresh batch each day and store it in a clean, covered glass jar. Bacteria can grow in the solution, so don’t keep it for more than 24 hours.
Steamy Air For Congestion
Breathing moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath has the added benefit of relaxing your child. Have a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer going in your child’s bedroom when she’s sleeping, resting, or playing in the room. Or, give your child a warm bath in a steamy bathroom. Let a hot shower run for a few minutes before getting the tub ready for your child. If she’s old enough, let her play in the bath as long as she likes – supervised, of course, unless she’s old enough to hang out on her own. For children over the age of 2, adding a few drops of menthol to the bath water (or vaporizer) may also help her feel less congested. If it’s not a convenient time for a bath, simply turn on the hot water in the tub or shower, close the bathroom door, block any gap under the door with a towel, and sit in the steamy room with your child for about 15 minutes.
Cucumber for Mild Swelling
If you go to a fancy spa, the therapist may use this salad staple to ease the puffiness around your eyes. That’s because cool cucumber slices help soothe hot, swollen skin. You can place a slice anywhere your child has minor swelling and then simply replace it with another slice from the fridge after it becomes warm.
If you need more specialized help in boosting your child’s immune, or stronger natural remedies to combat your child’s health issue, call us on 3369 0045 to find out how we can help.