All parents will eventually experience the unfortunate stress of a sick child or the dreaded call from the school nurse telling you to take your ill child home. This can put lots of stress on both parents and kids. It usually means mom or dad is going to have to miss a couple days of work and your kid may get behind in their learning. Let’s not forget, no one wants a sick child at home potentially infecting the other kids and adults that live there.
Winter colds are truly the worst! They can take days to recover from and spread like wildfire, especially at places like daycares, schools, and playgroups, where there is lots of close contact and sharing. But the worst part of it all is having to watch your little one suffer and feel icky. As parents, we are willing to try just about anything to get our kids to feel better. Still, we don’t always want to be so quick to give them medicine. Sometimes want to wait and see how sick they really are before giving their bodies something so strong. Lots of kids also hate taking medicine because, let’s be honest, it is some pretty vile tasting stuff. Luckily, there are lots of natural cold remedies that can be used in lieu of medicine or in conjunction with it to speed up your child’s recovery time. Here a few natural ways that have been tried through the ages to help kids deal with a winter cold so they can feel better faster:
This one is an obvious one, but it is something lots of parents forget. It is easy to monitor how much fluids we get as adults, but kids can be so finicky, especially when they don’t feel good. Keep a close eye over their water intake and aim to give them 4-5 cups of water a day, or whatever your doctor recommends. One of the most effective ways to get them to drink water is to serve it warm, as it will be more soothing on their throat. If your child is putting up a fight, try giving them something a bit tastier, like decaffeinated herbal tea. Peppermint, chamomile, and lemon are all great options that help fight colds.
When mucus is clogging up your child’s nasal passages, one of the best ways to loosen it up is with steam therapy. Simply inhaling steam from a shower or pot of water is enough to do the trick and will free airways from unwanted mucus. While it won’t be enough to fully cure a cold, the warm, moist air can work wonders for the body!
Yup, your Grandma was right! Chicken soup actually does help remedy a cold. It won’t be instantaneous, but it will provide some comfort as well as many of the necessary nutrients to restore health. Ingredients such as carrots, peas, and celery are packed with powerful vitamins and minerals that keep the body functioning. This is crucial, especially for little bodies that are working overtime to fight off a virus. Also, the warmth of the broth can soothe a sore throat while the steam can open airways to reduce nasal congestion. So crack open that soup can in the back of your pantry and get to cooking!
While essential oils have not been officially proven to cure any illnesses, they have been thoroughly researched and have shown to help with common cold symptoms. A good one to have on hand is lemon essential oil, which is a great cleansing agent to purify your home and prevent others from getting sick. The same goes for other citrus oils, like orange and grapefruit, which also have mood-boosting properties to add some positive, healing energy to your space. When all else fails, try diffusing some lavender throughout your sick child’s bedroom. It has naturally soothing properties to ease their frustration (and yours!) and will help relax them into the deep sleep they need for proper recovery. For the maximum benefit, you can create a blend of sickness healing oils using any or all of the oils mentioned.
While dealing with a sick child can be challenging, these ways can help ease their pain and speed up their time back to health. Please remember to always consult your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor if your child is very young, if the sickness lasts for longer than three days, or if you suspect it might be something worse than the common cold. The faster you address your child’s sickness and get them resting up in bed, the faster they will begin to feel better!