Did you know that children get colds more often than adults? This probably explains why we seem to be dealing with coughs and colds the whole way from September to June! Colds are viral illnesses which cause a whole variety of symptoms including blocked noses, sneezing, running nose, sore throat, hoarseness, a cough, watery eyes and sometimes a high fever. Yes a lovely winter treat…as if getting everyone out the door in the morning wasn’t hard enough anyway!
Here’s a quick list of my top tips for dealing with colds in children or babies (you might even use some of the tips for yourself!).
- Colds are self limiting usually which means that they will go away by themselves. That means the focus should not be on curing the cold, but relieving the symptoms instead.
- For congestion there’s lots you can do and there is a link to my full congestion blog right here! In summary though saline nasal sprays are good with the Calpol onebeing my favourite for small babies and the Sterimar one for older children. Spray about ten mins before your baby is due a feed as they can’t such and breath at the same time when they have a blocked nose. Nothing beats using a Vick warm mist humidifier with a few drops of olbas for children for over night relief when that nuisance cold and cough are keeping everyone awake! The Olbas for children is only for babies over 3 months of age. Here’s a lot more detail about the Vick warm mist humidifier and where to get one!
- A cold might linger for a couple of weeks and it’s common enough for kids to have caught another one before clearing the first so it can feel like it is just never ending! Just be reassured that unfortunately it is normal and so long as they aren’t battling a high temperature or showing any respiratory infection signs then you are able to continue to treat them at home.
- If they are battling a fever you can treat it with paracetamol or ibuprofen as appropriate – here is some more information about both drugs and if they can be used together.
- It’s important to consider a multivitamin if your child is suffering from recurrent colds – I have a few favourites such as Wellbaby for young kids and Alive for children for older kids and it’s clear to see why in my multivitamin guide which you can check out by clicking here!
- If you are worried about a persistent sore throat, cough, sore ears or fever do get your little one checked out by a doctor as its possible for a common cold to lead to a secondary infection or any of those areas. Unfortunately antibiotics do absolutely nothing for viral infections so if your doctor has no reason to think its bacterial then you should be happy to just continue with the symptom relief until it resolves itself.
- Heating can cause airways to dry out resulting in thicker mucus which is more susceptible to infection so if you can’t invest in the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier for the treatment of colds then leave a bowl of water under your radiators and even a clean damp towel sitting on top of a warm radiator to try to stop the room from drying out.
- To prevent colds, coughs and congestion the Salin Plus salt therapy device is proving extremely popular with only highly positive reviews! Learn more about that here!
- Keep a cosy scarf around the necks of little ones who suffer from asthma which can be triggered by the cold weather – get them to cover their mouths when they are going outside – my crew have snoods and love to pretend they are ninjas by putting them over their mouths but hey if it keeps them happy and healthy its win win!! That’s my looney daughter in the pic – delighted as this is the only occasion I have let her model for the internet!!
- Honey in some warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice can be great for soothing the throats of children over one year – the honey coats their throats and the lemon breaks down some of the thick mucus!
I hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262. I’m an Irish Pharmacist mum delivering children’s healthcare with heart!