Does it feel like, with your kids, you are just surviving one flu season to the next? I have been fortunate that both my boys have only been sick a few times. Or have I? There is clear science that once a child gets sick, their immune system develops memory B and T cells, which stay in the body and hold information about the threat and how the body repaired it. Then, if the body encounters that specific threat again, it knows how to defend itself. So, there is a small silver lining to our kids being sick. All I know is that when Micah gets sick, he is still out of his mind, he’s just insane with a never-ending runny nose. So, I love natural remedies. I hate the idea of pumping our kids full of medication, especially antibiotics.
The only mainstream treatment that I go to is Tylenol for a fever. I hate the idea of my baby feeling all achy and feverish. In some instances, the fever can be life-threatening. Rule of thumb, when your kid has a fever 99.9 or higher, take layers off. I will give the boys Tylenol for anything over 101 just so that they aren’t miserable.
Here is a quick guide from the CDC on when to medicate and their corresponding ages:
- Humidifier– This has cut every cold in half and probably prevented a ton too. I run this all winter long in the boy’s room on low to counteract how dry the heater makes the air. If they have some sort of cough or stuffy nose I run it on high, and when they wake up in the morning, they are breathing nice and clear. This model has Maifan stones that clean the water as it is released and is super quiet.
- Air Purifier– I love this! I have never felt such a difference in the air quality in my house than after I started this thing. It’s like that just cleaned the house feeling except it lasts for longer a day (thank you dirty children and hairy dog). Also, the replacement filters are much less expensive than other brands. Running this in your home helps to minimize the risk of developing asthma and helps with seasonal allergies.
- Honey– It is pretty well known that honey works miracles for coughs. They also say to buy local honey to help with seasonal allergies. A study even found that honey was just as effective as over-the-counter medications that contain dextromethorphan (cough suppressant). Coughing isn’t always a bad thing, though. It helps rid the body of the pesky phlegm.
- Zarbees– This company has basically become the most widely recognized “natural” medicine. I put natural in quotes because I really don’t believe anyone anymore. That being said, I will always choose Zarbees over anything else in the pharmacy. I actually really like their nighttime cough medicine because it is created with honey and melatonin.
- Saline spray– You should only use saline on babies/toddlers/kids (unless otherwise indicated by a pediatrician). Saline helps to loosen and thin the mucus in the nasal passage. It also helps to keep the nares moisturized, which helps slow the production of mucus and decreases inflammation.
- Decongestant sprays should not be used while pregnant, nursing, or on children under 6. Ages 6-12 should consult with a pediatrician and only be used under adult supervision.
- Nose Frida– There is a lot of confusion about the Nose Frida. When used correctly, you will never suck up your child’s boogers into your mouth. There is a filter that stops it from going into the tube. Honestly, even without the filter, you would have to have the most powerful lungs on earth to get them all the way up the tube.
- Zicam– This is for the moms. When I have a sick house or feel a throat tickle, I take 1-2 (a day, not 2 at once) and have escaped the last 2 plagues to run through my house. I did confirm with my OB that this is safe to take while breastfeeding. I was instructed to take it in moderation as it can decrease breast milk.
- Wishgarden Kick Ass Immune Spray– I swear by this! It has a bit of a weird taste, so I haven’t been able to get my toddler to take it. Someday! As for me, I do 2-3 quirts into my mouth at least once a week. More if the house is sick or if I feel sick.
- Sleep and rest! I know that keeping a schedule and having a routine is drilled into you, but catering to your child for a few days is not going to disrupt any sleep progress you have made. When my kids are sick, I let them sleep on me and cater to their every need.
- Warm bath (not hot)- a warm bath creates enough steam to help enter the airways, loosen congestion, and shrink the swollen membranes. I add Epson salt to the bath to help detox lymph nodes and drops of essential oils.
- The following essential oils are known for helping fight colds and increase immune support:
- Tea Tree– pre-diluted and kid-safe
- For more information on each of the listed oils check out this comprehensive list and benefits
- I choose plant therapy for my essential oils and really love their synergy blends. They take the guesswork out of how much and of what to add together. They also have a great kid-safe line.
- Synergy blends:
This one is difficult with our resilient babies. They don’t understand that they need to drink water to feel better. What I do is push water as much as possible, but I will also give him Pedialyte or Gatorade just to get fluids and electrolytes in him.
Don’t mess with getting sick! I pretty much pull out all the stops when my kids get sick in fear of them decompensating. My last piece of advice is: don’t go anywhere when they are sick. If you have to go somewhere like the grocery store, be respectful, and wipe up the cart after you have used it.
I hope this helps!