The flu season is here again. Are you prepared? If not, get ready. The last quarter of each year — October, November and December — is the most common time for coughs and colds to spread. Obviously, it is no fun to be ill. And if it is your child who is sick? That’s double the heartache (we know, we’ve been there).
Ample rest and hydration will help the body recover. However, if symptoms persist, please bring your child to see the doctor. In the meantime, you can give your child relief from the coughs and colds, the running nose, and the sore throat with these easy home remedies. Get well soon!
1. Take Honey
Honey is a well-known remedy for sore throats and coughs. The fact that it has a nice, sweet taste is a plus! Honey also helps sick children to sleep better (and recover more quickly) so it’s a good idea to give it to the kids before bedtime so they (and you) get much-needed rest. Do note that not all honey is the same. Dark honey – such as buckwheat and manuka – are higher in antioxidants, while raw honey with high Total Activity (TA+) ratings have recognised medicinal properties.
How to do it: Give half a teaspoon (for children aged one to five years), and one teaspoon for kids aged six to 11. If your child does not want to take honey off a spoon, dissolve the honey in warm water and let them drink. You could also squeeze a bit of lemon into the drink to help with congestion.
Caution: Never give honey to babies under 12 months old as honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores which can lead to botulism poisoning (1).
2. Gargle With Salt Water
Gargling with salt water is an easy way to soothe a cough. Gargling with salt water can also ease throat irritation.
How to do it: Stir half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. When the salt has fully dissolved into the water, let your child to gargle with this solution. But make sure your child knows how to gargle, and doesn’t swallow the salt water.
3. Stay Hydrated
Children who have coughs or colds won’t have much of an appetite. If they have a sore throat as well, swallowing could hurt, making them even more reluctant to eat or drink. But water helps immensely in your body’s fight against illnesses and keeps airways moist, so it is important to give your child lots of fluids. In addition, when their bodies have enough water, their mucus will get thinner and it’ll be easier to blow their noses, and cough out any phlegm.
How to do it: Get your child to drink regularly. If water is too tasteless, try adding a squeeze of lemon, or some honey to it. Warm soups, cool juices, and drinks like Ribena can help too.
4. Use A Humidifier
Keeping the air in your home moist will help keep the mucus in your child’s nose from drying up. Using a humidifier will help to loosen chest and nasal congestion, helping your child to breathe better.
How to do it: Run the humidifier in your child’s bedroom, especially when he is sleeping at night. This will ease congestion so he sleeps better, and recovers faster. Do note that you should change the water in the humidifier daily, so that bacteria and mould will not be encouraged to grow.
5. Have A Warm Bath/Shower
A warm bath or a heating pad placed over the area can help to soothe aches and pains. Alternatively, taking a warm shower can help too.
How to do it: Get your child to sit in a steamy bathroom while a hot shower is running. The warm mist from the shower can help to ease chest congestion.
6. Add An Extra Pillow
If you elevate your child’s head when he’s sleeping, his airways will open up and it will be easier for the mucus to drain and the congestion in his chest will clear quicker too.
How to do it: Add an extra pillow under his head when he’s sleeping. If your child is too young to use a pillow under his head, try raising the head of the mattress in his crib instead, by placing a pillow or rolled up towel under it. However, do check with your doctor first before making any changes to his crib.
7. Use Vicks Vaporub
Hello! We are so familiar with this that all we have to do is see the distinctive blue-green tub and we can immediately imagine how it smells. The comforting aroma of Vicks Vaporub has accompanied many of us throughout childhood, giving us welcome relief from coughs and sniffles. Now you can use it on your children as well for cold symptoms like:
- blocked nose
- muscular aches, and
This will help your child to have a restful sleep.
How to do it: Rub a layer of Vicks Vaporub on your child’s chest, back, and neck. Inhale the medicated vapour to get relief from nasal congestion. Do note that Vicks Vaporub is only suitable for children aged two years and above.
Disclaimer: Individual response varies. If symptoms persist, consult your pharmacist or doctor.
Feel Better with these Easy Home Remedies
Coughs and colds are no fun at all. Keep these easy-to-use home remedies in mind to use during the upcoming flu season if anyone in the family falls ill. They’ll ensure that you are all feeling great in no time at all!
Find out more about Vicks Vaporub at the Vicks Singapore Facebook Page. Vicks Vaporub is available at all leading retail stores including Guardian, Fairprice, and Watsons stores.
For babies aged three months and above, a gentle non-medicinal rub, Vicks Baby Balsam, is available for comforting baby care. Together with your loving massage, Vicks Baby Balsam contains fragrances of Lavender and Rosemary and helps to gently moisturise and soothe your little ones.
This article is brought to you by Vicks.