Cold and Flu Home Remedies:

Posted by Cindy Jarvis on 10/20/2015
Cold and Flu Home Remedies:

It’s that time of year again! I love the fall weather, but the common cold can really take a toll after a while. In our home a cold starts with a runny nose, which often turns into croup for at least a night or two for my three-year-old. After the first night of croup we typically go through a week of sneezing, a runny nose, crying, whining, 2-3 boxes of Kleenex, etc. Don’t get me wrong - I’m glad my kids get the opportunity to build their immune systems, but I like to get it over with as fast as possible. So here’s a little insight into what my home remedies are. Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments section below! We’re all in this thing together!

  1. The Cool Mist Humidifier – This has been a ‘life saver’ for us! It’s great for opening airways and reducing swelling in the larynx and trachea (voice box and wind pipe). If I’m quick to notice the first signs of my son’s cold and put the humidifier on in his room, he usually has a much better night and less severe croup. You can find one at any local hardware store.
    • The difference between a cool-mist and a warm-mist humidifier
      • Both work fine when it comes to a cold. A cool mist humidifier is generally safer for children because there’s no hot water to spill and no hot element to touch. They’re also cheaper to buy and use less electricity. Warm mist humidifiers are considered more sanitary by some because the water comes to a boiling point. Cool mist humidifiers are typically recommended for croup.
    • NOTE: For Croup you can also run a hot shower and let the bathroom get steamy. We’ve used this method a fair bit as well. Breathing in the steam can help stop the coughing and reduce swelling. Another option is taking your child outside for a few minutes if it’s cool out.
  2. Raspy Rub (by Delish Naturals) – This is such a great vapor rub! I use it on myself and my kids when we have a cold. Massage it onto the chest, back, throat, feet or nose to provide relief. It has a very soothing scent, it’s relaxing, loosens mucus, and helps you breathe. All the ingredients are natural and it’s made with Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. I’ve tried a few natural vapor rubs and this one’s my favourite so far! (And YES! We do sell Raspy Rub at A Tall Giraffe!)

  3. Saline Drops – These are VERY effective for clearing mucus, but my kids hate them! Oh well, they sure sleep well at night when I use them! You can buy saline drops or make your own. Here’s a recipe and instructions:
    1. Mix ¼ tsp salt and 1 cup boiled water (cooled)
    2. Have your child lie down or hold them in your lap
    3. Using a dropper or bulb syringe, put a few drops in each nostril
    4. Let it clear out on its own or use a bulb syringe to clear nostrils after a few min.
    5. Before bed is an excellent time to use them!

  4. Raise Your Baby’s Mattress – This also helps ease congestion and a stuffed nose especially when combined with other remedies. We usually place a few towels, blankets, or thin pillows under one end of our baby’s mattress.

  5. Medicine – There are times when we resort to giving medicine. We usually turn to one or both of these options: KIDS 0-9 daytime or nighttime cold medication and children’s Advil ‘gasp’. KIDS 0-9 works pretty well and is a homeopathic medicine. It can be difficult to find cough medicine that’s safe for little ones to use and this is a good option. We found ours at our local Walmart. Using Advil is definitely not my preference, but when I’m trying to reduce swelling in the larynx to help my child sleep without gasping for breath, it helps get the job done!

  6. Essential Oils – I actually haven’t tried this YET, but it’s the next thing on my list of ‘things-to-try-during-cold-season.’ I’ve heard and read a lot of positive things.

  7. Probiotics, multi-vitamins, and a healthy diet – These are more preventative solutions, but are very good for your children in general. Probiotics are great for aiding with digestion and if you have a healthy digestive system, you typically have a stronger immune system. A few ways to get pro-biotics into your child’s diet are by making homemade Kefir, homemade greek yogurt, or by simply buying probiotics at your local health food store.

Well those are my remedies! THEY WORK and when all used together, they work even better! The process of doing all these things can make for a lengthy bedtime routine, but I guess it’s worth it if you and your children are able to sleep at night and make it through the day! What about you? What are your home remedies during cold and flu season?

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