Fight Achoo the Natural Way!

‘Tis the season for colds. And preschool kids are the most at risk of contracting the cold virus.  That’s because their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet. They also spend more time with other children and are not conscious about washing their hands or covering their mouth and nose when they cough and sneeze.  On the average, kids get 6 to 10 colds a year, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

A common cold is usually harmless and the virus goes away on its own in about a week or two. But you can ease the symptoms which include a runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat, and congestion.  Though instead of reaching for that over-the-counter medicine, you can try natural remedies.

Honey: A spoonful of honey before bedtime can ease your child’s sore throat. You can mix it with a little warm water or non-caffeinated herbal tea. But never give honey to a child younger than 1 year as this can cause infant botulism, a rare but serious illness.

Chicken soup: This remedy is as common as the common cold but doctors say it does have some merit.  Studies have shown chicken soup has a anti-inflamatory effect and relieves congestion.

Saline nose drops or spray: This is actually just salt solution but can be effective against stuffiness and congestion. Over-the-counter drops or spray are also inexpensive, costing less than P100.00, if you don’t buy the one that’s made from seawater off the French coast.

Herbal teas:

Lagundi: The Department of Health recognizes this plant for its therapeutic properties.  It works as an antihistamine. Boil fresh or dried lagundi leaves in a pot of water.  Over-the-counter medicine made from lagundi is also available.

Ginger: You can also make ginger tea and sweeten it with honey.

And finally, make sure your child gets plenty of rest and Vitamin D.  Research has shown upping Vitamin D levels can boost the body’s defense against the common cold.

But if your child develops a fever or his symptoms seem to get worse, see the doctor!

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