It's that time of year again. Sore scratchy throats, runny noses and sneezing – the cold season is back. Many parents are looking for safe and natural alternatives to the over-the-counter drugs. Experts are starting to warn parents to avoid the use of over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine for children 6 years old and younger these days. The side effects can be dangerous. This is especially the case for children under the age of 2.
Safety Issue with OTC Cough and Cold Medicine
Every year thousands of children are taken to the emergency room after taking over-the-counter cold and cough medicines. About 7,000 children under the age of 11 suffer complications from these medications. And 64% of this group are young children aged 2 to 5.
Fight Colds and Coughs Naturally
That's why we've compiled a list of home remedies to fight that cold and pesky cough. Many of these alternative approaches are natural and found conveniently in your home. It's always nice to not have to run out to your local pharmacy, especially when you save money.
But if you wanted to spend money on something natural look into homeopathics. "These are my first choice for OTC symptom relief. Finding the right homeopathic remedy for each individual child can be tricky, but the good news is that homeopathy is extraordinarily safe. If you pick the wrong remedy, nothing—good or bad—should happen. But if you hit on the right one, voila! It’s magical how quickly these remedies can work."- Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Honey for Comfort and Relief
A tasty change to the common cold medicine, honey offers soothing relief to the sore throat caused by coughing. Studies show it works even better than the pharmaceuticals and kids love the flavor.
Safety Warning: Never give honey children under the age of one. Babies under 12 months can get botulism from bacteria in it.
What is botulism? A rare kind of food poisoning, botulism is serious and leads to paralysis. Sometimes the paralysis can lead to respiratory failure. Treatment in infants requires hospitalization.
Ages 1-5: give 1/2 teaspoon
Ages 6-11: give 1 teaspoon
Dark honeys might work the best. The darker honeys, such as chestnut or buckwheat, contain more antioxidants.
Did you know? There are anti-inflammatory qualities to chicken soup. Research is beginning to suggest this and it might be more than a folk remedy.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Coughing a lot generally leads to a sore throat. To help soothe a raw throat drink plenty of fluids, like ice water, juice, or decaffeinated tea. Double up on cough fighting power and add honey to your tea.
Another benefit of drinking a lot of fluids is to help you stay hydrated and break up the mucus. Getting rid of the mucus more quickly you'll be one step closer to saying goodbye to your cold.
Fever? You're losing fluids so definitely increase them. Try coconut water, not coconut milk, as an alternative to water. It's full of electrolytes and will help you stay hydrated.
Some people notice an increase in phlegm and mucus when they have a cold and drink milk. You might want to think about that. Maybe test the theory or avoid dairy milk until you are healthier.
Popsicles are a Relieving Treat
Treat the kid in you. A frozen popsicle is a fun way to soothe a scratchy throat. You'll want to suck more than bite. The cold aspect of popsicles will help with any inflammation.
Hopefully these cold and cough natural remedies will help you get through cold season and the annoying sore throat usually accompanied by it. Natural ways to get over an illness or discomfort can be tasty and your children will thank you when they are playing happily again.
This information is intended to help you stay better informed of natural health care. The information presented gives general advice on health care and you should consult your doctor for individual needs.