The most common illnesses that people get is the combination of a cough and cold. It’s most prevalent when there’s a drastic change in the weather, and for children, it happens right after the start of the school year.
Although cough and cold are manageable, they can be a hassle and impact your children’s quality of life significantly. This is why more and more parents opt to keep their children at home if they catch the cold virus or have a respiratory infection, which is actually the smart thing to do.
For one, it prevents the spread of illness and the likelihood of re-infection. Secondly, keeping children home when they have a cough and cold could mean a faster recovery. It’s essential to monitor the drastic change in the energy levels of your little ones and allow them to rest sufficiently, especially if they suffer from sleepless nights, low appetite, and if they are whinier than usual.
So, if it’s that time of the year again when the children are sniffing, sneezing, and coughing incessantly, make sure to let them rest. And to make rest even more beneficial for your little ones, here are seven other practical tips for the treatment of a cough and cold.
Use a Humidifier
Dry cold hair from your home’s HVAC system can aggravate a cold and cough, especially if the cough is chesty and dry. Improving humidity levels in your home will help relieve congestion, soothe the throat, and prevent coughing.
If you do not own a humidifier, try steam therapy for the little ones before bedtime. Boil some water in a saucepan and let your children inhale the steam. Some people like to add a few aromatics such as a spoonful of vapor rub, or eucalyptus and peppermint oil to the water for added relief.
Keep the head elevated, especially at night.
Making sure that the head is positioned higher than the chest can alleviate severe coughing, which usually occurs at night. When the head is higher than the chest, it prevents mucus from settling in the back of the throat, which causes difficulty in breathing and the urge to cough,
Stack a couple of pillows for this, and position pillows in an incline for adequate back support and to prevent your children from slipping down when they shift while sleeping.
Use vapor rub on your children’s back, chest and throat, and feet.
Let the camphor and eucalyptus of vapor rub ease congestion and warm up your children’s body. Apply a generous amount on their back, chest, throat, and feet, and massage the vapor rub lightly.
Afterward, bundle the young ones up. Mucus and phlegm will flow out more easily when you do this. So, make sure that there’s a supply of tissues, and your kids are near the bathroom for when they need to expel or cough out phlegm.
Feed your little ones clear soup.
Warm soup can bring great relief to sick children. It can improve body temperature and even help dislodge sticky mucus and phlegm. Also, warm soup is an easy meal for children who may have lost their appetite due to the illness.
Chicken noodle soup is always a good idea — ditto with vegetable broth, beef bone, and egg drop soup.
Change their clothes often.
When you’re treating your kids to steam or humidity, as well as warmth, you will find them sweating more than usual. This is good. It means that they’re expelling toxins from their bodies, which can expedite their recovery.
However, be ready for frequent changes of clothes. You don’t want the sweat to dry up in their clothes and body. Remember, your kids are sweating out toxins, and you want those toxins away from their bodies. Plus, cold sweat always feels uncomfortable on the skin.
Treat earache with a warm compress.
A lot of young children also complain of an earache when they have a severe cough and cold. You will find the little ones gently touching their ears and being quite sensitive to noise.
If your kids are suffering from an earache, you can ease it by using a warm compress. You can use a clean sock filled with rice grains. Pop it into the microwave and let your children rest their ears on the heated pack. But, if the pain is persistent, call the doctor for a pain reliever prescription.
Use a 24-hour relief cough medicine.
A 24-hour relief cough medicine is the most effective remedy for children suffering from cough and cold. Not only will it cause a cessation in sniffing and coughing, but it can make bedtime so much easier as well.
When your children are sick, you have to ensure that they get enough hours of uninterrupted slumber. This will allow their hormones to do what they are supposed to do for recovery. Also, with sleep, the cells regenerate, and the immune system gets a boost to fight off infection effectively.
Make them drink enough water.
Water does not come with any nutrients (if you want to make it nutritious, though, infuse it with lemon, cucumber, and other fruits), but it is a reliable healing agent. It can help improve congestion, especially when consumed warm. Likewise, it flushes out toxins from the body and regulates body temperature.
It’s important to note, as well, that water provides hydration to the throat and can calm the urge to cough. There’s no need to up the kids’ water intake though — enough is good enough. Drinking more than usual can be counter-productive, especially when children need to sleep steadily through the night.
When the little kids have the dreaded C and C, there’s no doubt that there will be a downgrade in their quality of life. So, take all preventive measures for your family because prevention is always better than cure.
But, if members of your family simply cannot avoid catching the cold virus, hopefully, the tips shared here will help in keeping things under control and speeding up the process of your kids bouncing back to health and normalcy.