Today your child is jumping, shouting and playing around. And, the next day he wakes up with stuffy/runny nose, sore throat and a bad cough. In a child who is under 3, it is a serious business! Babies as they grow, explore their world by touching and biting things. So it becomes very easy for the hundreds of viruses floating around to attack their not-fully developed immune system. The good thing is these infections usually last between four to ten days and go away on their own. Even though you cannot cure or shorten these illnesses, there are many ways you can deal with the symptoms and help your child feel better. Here are some home remedies to clear your toddler's blocked nose and treat the symptoms of cold.
How to help your kid sleep better with a blocked nose?
- Steam. Steam. Steam - Steam inhalation is one of the most effective remedies. There are a number of steam inhalers available in the market. But the easiest way of introducing moist air is to use hot shower in your bathroom. Allow the steam to build up in your bathroom by opening hot water shower for few minutes. Take your toddler into the bathroom, shut the door and sit in the steamy room for about 15 minutes. The moist air will loosen the mucus in the nasal passage.
- Saline nasal solution- It is one of the safest and effective way to clear or loosen the mucus inside the nose. Administer the nasal solution is each nostril and gently tilt the head for a minute or two to ensure the drops gets in. Ask you toddler to blow his nose to remove the loosened mucus. For babies, you can suction out the mucus using a suction bulb.
- Elevate your toddler’s head - You can make it easier for your child to breath while sleeping, by elevating their head. Place a towel under your child’s mattress or pillow(if using child is using one). This slight elevation will help in relieving blocked nose.
- Vapor rubs - Applying a thin layer of vapor rub onto their chest and back will help clear a blocked nose. Apply vicks vapor rub on the bottom of your child’s feet and put the socks on. I am not sure about the science works but has worked for my son every single time!
- Honey- Studies have proved that honey can be very useful in taming cough. It can suppress coughing and help your child sleep better. Half a teaspoon of ginger juice or dry ginger can be mixed with honey for immediate relief of whooping cough. Note that honey should never be administered to children under the age of 1.
Home remedies to deal with symptoms of cold and flu
- Rest - Sleep is one of the best medicine for any illness. Even when your child is not sleeping, help him rest. When he is resting or sleeping he will heal. It can be serious challenge to make an infant or a toddler rest. Try identifying a quiet activity to keep him engaged- coloring books and crayons can come to your rescue. Let him watch his favorite video, read him some of his favorite stories and recite some of his favorite rhymes. When your child is sick, keep him home and avoid contaminating his play school or daycare with germs. Let him stay home and rest!
- Prevent dehydration- Keeping your child hydrated is very essential as it helps reduce congestion and thins mucus. Breast milk is the best medicine to treat any ailment in small babies. If you are nursing your child, breastfeed them often. With toddlers, encourage your toddler to sip hot water throughout the day at regular intervals.
- Keep their hands clean - Teach your child to wash his hands frequently - after coughing or sneezing, before and after eating. It will prevent them from spreading the germs and falling sick. As 80% of the infectious diseases are spread through touch, in the long run, this habit will protect them from getting exposed to germs and other infections.
- Provide them suitable food - Offer them food that are high in vitamins- apples and other citrus fruits. Warm chicken soup can be soothing as well as help your child recover from cold. But never force a child to eat as he might not have much of an appetite.
- Consult a doctor- If your child has been coughing or has a fever for more than 3 days, consult your pediatrician. When your child is short of breath or wheezing consult your pediatrician immediately. Never administer over the counter medicine.
Most of the above remedies were suggested by my child’s pediatrician. They have worked for my son every time. If you decide to use any of these home remedies, consult your child’s pediatrician and check if it would be appropriate for your child. Do you have any tried and tested home remedies? Let me know in comments.
This article is for solely informational purpose. It is not intended to provide medical advice and does not replace the advice of your doctor.
"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had and dealing with fears you didn't know existed" -Linda Wooten. Happy parenting!