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It’s that time of year again…cold and flu season. Aches, pains, head congestion and overall crappy feeling days, the common cold can often rival the annoyance of a pesky mosquito. Did you know that a cold can bring on a fever for some kiddos? I honestly had no clue but about a week ago my middle child came down with a fever of 102°F. She’d been suffering from a pretty nasty cold for the last few days so it caught me off guard as I hadn’t thought that a cold would bring on a fever. Thankfully the fever was gone by the next morning but in the meantime, I wish I had some natural tools in my shed to help alleviate her discomfort. Aside from never leaving the house, there’s no way to completely avoid the common cold but there are natural ways to help your child get through this season’s toughest viruses.
5 Natural Ways to Treat the Common Cold
- Plenty of R-E-S-T. Sleep is the best medicine for your child’s body but the problem is that often kids are so congested that they can’t stop coughing. To help alleviate congestion I always have my kids sleep with at least two pillows. This elevates the child’s head so that the nasty gunk can drain rather than build up in their sinuses causing uncomfortable pressure. If you have a baby it can be difficult to do this so I suggest having baby sleep in a swing that can be somewhat elevated if baby sleeps alone in a crib. The other thing you can do, if you are comfortable, is to elevate the crib mattress by placing a few hard backed books or a rolled up yoga mat underneath the mattress. If baby co-sleeps try putting a little pillow in-between the mattress and fitted sheet so that there is a bit of elevation but the baby won’t be sleeping with tons of exposed pillows that can be moved around. Actually, I think I would probably still put the baby in a swing or have baby sleep on my chest while I slept seated in a recliner. You gotta do what you gotta do and the child has to sleep so if the only way to accomplish that is to change up your sleeping habits, I would just do it.
- BeKOOOL® Soft Gel Sheets. This one goes right along with the number one; in order to get enough rest your child needs to feel comfortable. Rather than going to medication first I like to try my hand at natural remedies and that’s why I like BeKOOOL’s sheets. They are a self-cooling soft gel sheet that easily fits onto your child’s forehead or the back of the neck (which is where my kids prefer). Think of it like you would a cold washcloth applied to the child’s head, only this one will not make the pillow soaking wet nor will you need to reapply the compress multiple times. BeKOOOL sheets stay cool for up to eight hours, do not require refrigeration or freezing, and are applied neatly against the child’s skin.
- Invest in a good cool air humidifier. The air during cold and flu season is dry and when your child has a cold their little body is already having a difficult time taking in oxygen because of stuffiness and congestion. A cool air humidifier, like the one pictured, adds moisture to the air and helps aid your child’s breathing.
- Become familiar with essential oils, they can bring relief. I know, I know. Essential oils are a current trendy thing and I’m not going to dive into a big spiel about why you need to use them all of the time. I am going to tell you that I have had great success at helping ease the discomfort from the common cold by applying Frankincense (aka Frank) and Lemon oil (both are diluted with a carrier oil, think olive oil for something basic if you aren’t familiar with essential oil lingo) to my sinuses multiple times a day. The Frank is great at easing inflammation and the Lemon helps to break things up a bit. There are countless resources out there for essential oil but a few of my favorites are: Wellness Mama and Dr. Faith’s Faithful Oilers
- Blow your nose…and do it the right way! If you blow your nose like a foghorn (totally talking about myself here) the action will change the pressure in your ears which can hurt. Have your child press one nostril down so it’s closed off, then tell them to try to blow out of the open nostril into a tissue. I’ve found that asking my kids to pretend they’re blowing out birthday candles with their nose really helps in getting them to understand the nose-blowing action. For babies, I highly recommend using a NoseFrida. It’s gentle and very easy to use. This thing was a life saver for my youngest (it was barely on the market when I had my middle child so I didn’t even understand what it was).
There’s no way you can completely avoid cold and flu season, especially when you live with little walking petri dishes, so be prepared and have the above tools readily available to you.
What are your natural pain relievers for cold and flu season?