Easy Home Cold Remedies for Children
When you have a cold, reaching for the nearest over-the-counter medicine might be your initial reaction. But, when it’s your child, at home cold remedies for children may be more appropriate.
Cough and cold medicines are not suitable for children under 4 years old, and children between 4 and 6 years old should only take medications under the supervision of a medical doctor. While children older than 6 years old can take over-the-counter medicine to relieve cold or cough symptoms, there are home cold remedies for children you should consider trying before trying medications.
3 At Home Cold Remedies
Runny Nose: You can use a nasal aspirator to clear a baby’s runny nose. To do this, squeeze the rubber bulb, then insert the plastic or rubber tip into baby’s nose firmly enough to form a seal, and slowly release, letting the suction draw out the mucus plugs. You will want to repeat this in each nostril about 2-3 times, or as often as your child will let you! After each use, suck soap and water into aspirator and rinse well with plain water.
Stuffy Nose: Using a technique I call “hose the nose,” take a saline nasal spray, which is a saltwater mist solution available over-the-counter at a pharmacy or drug store, hold your baby upright and squirt the spray into each nostril. You’ll then want to lay your baby down for a minute with the head lower than the body to allow the salt water solution to loosen the thick secretions and stimulate baby to sneeze the mucus to the front of the nose, where you’ll be ready and waiting with your nasal aspirator to suck up the snot. Don’t worry – your baby will most likely protest, but clear nasal passages are important! You can also make your own salt water nose drop solution: Add a pinch of salt, no more than ¼ teaspoon, to eight ounces of previously boiled water, lukewarm distilled, or filtered water.
Coughing: Help your child breath easier by thinning the secretions using the steam clean method. Give your baby extra fluids during the day and run a vaporize while he sleeps to help thin the secretions. This will also make it easier for him to sneeze or cough the mucus loose. You can also make a steam bath with your baby by running a hot shower in the bathroom with closed doors. The steam helps open clogged breathing passages and also drains secretions. (Don’t forget to bring toys for your baby to play with!)
If you do need to choose a cold or cough medicine for your child, here are some general guidelines to consider.