We are now in the presence of three circulating ailments: the common cold, the flu, and the coronavirus. To avert and limit infection by bacteria or viruses, we rely on our immune system. Unfortunately, most young children do not have strong immune systems, resulting in frequently catching a common cold. It takes on the name literally, “common”.
As a parent or a child caretaker, it is always difficult to see your little one sick and suffering. All you want to do is ease the discomfort, take the pain away, and make it all go away in a snap. It can be tempting to pick up over-the-counter medicine at the nearest pharmacy; however, they are often ineffective. In a recent 2023 study, The Food and Drug Administration showed that an ingredient in a lot of oral cold and allergy medicine (phenylephrine) does not work to relieve congestion.
Below are 11 remedies to treat children’s colds and coughs naturally.
Getting the proper amount of sleep and rest is essential for their recovery. According to Healthine, sleep boosts your immunity system, so that your body can fight off the illness more effectively. Make sure your little ones are all snuggled up in bed or on the couch watching their favorite movie or show.
Children having adequate hydration is important at all times, especially when they are sick and have a cough. Parents stated, “Warm[ing] very cold liquids make excellent cough remedies because they thin out mucus, which means it’s easier to cough up. The liquids also soothe a raw throat.” We recommend making your child a cup of warm tea to soothe the throat. Peppermint tea helps to break up mucus, and chamomile can help stimulate the immune system.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Yes, we know it sounds cliche, but chicken noodle soup is a must! It has been used for centuries because it naturally eases cold symptoms from all of its ingredients. Tiny Bean stated, “Studies have shown that a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup may help clear nasal congestion and ease cold symptoms. It is all about the ingredients.”
Salt Water Gargle
Salt water gargling can soothe a sore throat and reduce throat irritation. Children Hospital of The Kings, CHKD states, “Children 5 or older can try gargling with salt water. Adding 1/2 tsp of salt to one cup of warm water [will] do the trick.”
Increasing the humidity in a child’s room can help ease congestion and help them breathe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a cool air humidifier used in tandem with other treatments such as rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and consuming honey can help relieve coughing and other cold and flu symptoms.
There is nothing better than a soothing treat when you have a sore throat and a horrible cough. We suggest popsicles, hot cereal, vegan ice cream (avoid dairy to prevent more mucus), cough lozenges, frozen berries, and sugar-free hard candies.
According to CHKD, a steam bath, or simply sitting in a steam-filled bathroom with the doors shut, can help loosen nasal and chest congestion. It also makes it easier for a child to expel built-up mucus
We still remember our mom’s saying, “Make sure you keep your head propped up while sleeping.” Elevate an older child’s head with a few extra pillows before bed. This p[ens their airways so mucus can drain. It allows the mucus to keep moving.
Vicks stated, “Inhalaled vapors of certain medicated essential oils can soothe airways to relieve your child’s cough. Vicks VapoRub Children is a chest rub that treats coughs from a cold and flu.
We want to first make sure you never give a child younger than 1 honey, as it may cause infant botulism. Yet, for children 1 and older, honey thins the mucus and loosens the cough. Healthy Children states, “Research has shown that honey is better than store-bought cough syrup at reducing how often coughing happens and how bad coughing can be at night.”
Use Petroleum Jelly
A child’s nose may become irritated and sore, due to the frequent nose blowing. A little petroleum jelly helps keep it soothed and lubricated.