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Home Remedies for the Common Cold

The common cold could more aptly be named the common colds: over 200 viruses can cause the symptoms we diagnose as a cold. Since viruses aren’t yet curable and the sheer number of cold viruses makes it impractical to vaccinate, the best thing you can do is ease common cold symptoms, keep your child home from school or day care, and let the immune system battle it out on its own.

If you know your child has a cold, try these feel-better remedies at home:

  1. Apply heat

Fill a bowl with hot water, draw a bath, or make a cup of tea so your child can inhale the steam. Alternately, use a heating pad to loosen up congestion and soothe sore muscles. As always, regulate the temperature to prevent burns and supervise small children around hot liquids.

  1. Mint and other oils

Add a drop or two of mint, lavender, tea tree or eucalyptus oil to a warm salt bath.  Epsom salt will relax the muscles while the oils and steam soothe the respiratory system. A diluted amount of oil can be applied under the nostrils to reduce congestion. Over-the-counter menthol spray and cough drops can sooth a sore throat and ease congestion, too.

  1. Honey Onion Syrup

The honey soothes your throat while the onion works on your sinuses to slow down the inflammation. The concoction is also great on a stuffy chest as it loosens phlegm. A note of caution: it is not recommended to give honey to babies.

  1. Hydrate

It can’t be overstated: to fight a viral infection, the body needs water. Your mom’s chicken noodle soup might be just the thing. Water down juices and sports drinks to restore electrolytes without giving your child too much sugar.

If your child’s symptoms seem severe or do not improve in 3 days, contact your pediatrician. It may be a condition that requires further treatment.


Posted in Blog on December 9th, 2016