Your child wakes up in the middle of the night coughing, congested and feverish. If you have a child over the age of 2, you might remember days when you reached for cold medicine. But no more. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever is fine, but cold meds are no longer recommended for kids under age 6. A large number of bad reactions including deaths prompted the FDA to put an end to the use of cold medicines in toddler.
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding them until age 6 because of the health risks — and because they haven’t been proven to work in young children. So what can you do for your child when she’s suffering with those stubborn symptoms?
Check out these Home Remedies for Cold and Cough for Babies to make them feel better – and get him on the road to recovery.
Humidity is one of the best Home Remedies for Cold and Cough for Babies
Dry air can clog up stuffed nasal passages, making it hard for your little one to sleep or eat. Dr. Jana, pediatrician is a big fan of steam. “I have young kids sit in the shower, or tell parents to get into the bathtub with their babies,” she says. Monitor the water temperature and never leave your child alone. At bedtime, a cold steam humidifier can moisten the air and help kids sleep. Steam is especially good for helping children with barking, croupy coughs catch their breath. But if after a few minutes in the bathroom your baby still isn’t breathing easily or is turning blue, head straight to the emergency room.
Bulb and Syringe as home remedy of cold
Small children can’t blow their noses, so you might need to go in there yourself. A bulb syringe (also called a nasal aspirator and can be used from birth until they learn to blow their noses) works best when paired with saline spray, says Dr. Jana. Place a few drops in the nose, wait a minute and then insert the syringe, aiming it at the sides of the nose. “The inside and middle parts of the nose are much more sensitive,” says Dr. Jana. Be sure to go for the mucus you can see, and don’t push the syringe in too far to go digging around. Sometimes what sounds like a lot of snot is really just narrowed airways.
Keep Them Hydrated
“Nobody feels like eating when they’re drowning in mucus,” says Dr. Jana. So don’t worry if your child isn’t eating as much solid food as normal. But do worry about how much they’re drinking. The smaller a child is, the faster he can become dehydrated, which can cause the body to go into shock. So with infants, try to get them to take breast milk or formula as soon as you know their airway is clear, like after a warm bath or shower. With older children, ice pops and Pedialyte can keep them hydrated. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, a sunken “soft spot” on a baby’s head, fewer wet diapers or trips to the bathroom than normal, extreme fussiness or sleepiness, sunken eyes, cool and discolored hands and feet, and wrinkled skin.
A spoonful of honey does the wonders
Is a nagging cough making it hard for your child to sleep? If your child is over 1 year old, give him a half-teaspoon of honey, says Dr. Shu. “Honey does just as well as (cough medicine) without any side effects,” she says. Honey lines and soothes the throat and that could help fight what’s ailing your child, she says. But if your kid is under 1, avoid it. Consuming honey poses a risk of infant botulism. A good Home Remedies for Cold and Cough for Babies.
Make your Hose a no smoking Zone
Children exposed to secondhand smoke have second-Hand-Smoke and have higher rates of cold, coughs and ear infections, and children under 2 are more likely to develop pneumonia and bronchitis. “Secondhand smoke thickens mucus, and in kids sensitive to smoke it narrows their airways,” says Dr. Shu. So if you’re kid is already sick and he’s breathing in smoke, it’s going to take him longer to get better.
Elevate the Head of Baby’s Bed
If your baby isn’t rolling around much yet, you can try elevating the head of his bed to encourage mucus to drain from his sinuses. “Roll up some towels or use some thick books under the legs of the crib,” says Dr. Shu. “But you don’t want to put anything under the baby himself.” That could be unsafe.
Bring Down his fever
Fever is a symptom of illness, not the illness itself. So fever reducers don’t “cure” a fever. Your kid will get over the cold only once his immune system gives the heave-ho to whatever virus is causing all the trouble. But to make him more comfortable while his body’s doing its germ fighting, try to bring his body temperature down. One way? Alternate acetaminophen and ibuprofen (after 6 months of age) every four hours, says Dr. Jana. A lukewarm bath can help bring down the fever, a good idea especially if your child has been vomiting or is extremely uncomfortable.
Ease an Ear Infection with Heat
Tugging at his ear, a fever and extreme irritability are the hallmarks of an ear infection. This means that mucus from the nasal passages drains into the ear canal and then presses up against the ear drum, causing pain. If you suspect an infection is brewing, have your child examined by his pediatrician. Often, in kids under age 2, Dr. Shu will recommend antibiotics to clear up the infection, she says. But older children will likely get better on their own. Pain relievers and a warm towel or heating pad on the affected ear can provide relief.
Vapor Rub does the Magic
Vapor rub has been used as Home Remedies for Cold and Cough for Babies since ages. Massage some vapor rub into your sick kiddo’s chest, throat and back. A gentle rub is sure to be soothing, and the menthol, camphor and eucalyptus oil vapors have been shown to help with nighttime congestion and coughing, according to Penn State researchers. A few words of caution: Avoid putting it on your kid’s upper lip, since that might make the vapor concentration too strong, says Dr. Shu. And note that most formulas are only safe for children over age 2, but special varieties are available for babies over 3 months old, so check the label.
Heat Up Their Favorite Beverage
Warm milk, apple juice, or tea with honey and lemon can be soothing on a sore throat. “And sometimes the warmth can help break up some of that mucus,” says Dr. Shu. Brew a pot of tea or warm some juice or milk and then add cold water (or milk) until it’s at a safe temperature (imagine the same temp you would give a baby a bottle of milk or formula). And no, despite what Grandma might have told you, giving your kid milk won’t increase phlegm production.
Chicken Soup is Often Soothing
It’s warm, it’s soothing and it’s more than just an old wives’ tale: Chicken soup can help your little one get better faster. Something about chicken soup (it’s still uncertain what) blocks the action of white blood cells responsible for triggering runny noses and coughs, helping a kid breathe easier, according to researchers at the University of Nebraska. Plus, the broth can keep your child hydrated.
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