Kids are not the only ones who feel terrible when they come down with a cold. Truthfully, just watching youngsters struggle to breathe with stuffy noses or hearing those raspy coughs in the night can be very painful for you, the parent, who just wants to help your child feel better.
Calling the doctor for advice is a good idea anytime your child is sick, but since colds are caused by viruses, your doctor will likely tell you to keep your child comfortable and just let the cold run its course. Natural remedies, however, can offer safe options to help relieve cold symptoms and make both you and your child feel better fast.
Making Breathing More Comfortable
Noses play a big role anytime a child is sick with a cold. Runny noses become sore and painful from the irritation of constant wiping, while stuffy noses interfere with restful sleep, making your child feel even worse. When your child has a cold, complete with a runny or stuffy nose, the following tips can help them breathe easier and sleep more peacefully.
- Runny noses often respond to a comforting, but simple ginger tea. Ginger is believed to have many antiviral properties that can help with runny noses, as well as shorten the duration of the cold. Make a tea by steeping thin slices of ginger root in boiling water for five minutes, sweeten slightly to taste and have your child sip a cup of the warm concoction three or four times per day.
- Eucalyptus essential oil has a natural decongestant action that can help alleviate both runny and stuffy noses. To help kids take advantage of this, place a few drops of eucalyptus oil in warm water. Soak hand towels in the solution to make warm compresses to bathe your child's chest several times each day. The combination of warmth, moisture and the scent of the eucalyptus oil will help loosen stuffy noses and make breathing more comfortable.
- Whether runny or stuffy, your child's nose is likely to become painfully raw from constant wiping and blowing. Make a safe, soothing ointment to comfort and heal sore noses by melting together three tablespoons of coconut oil, one teaspoon of olive oil and four drops of tea tree oil. Put this mixture in a small jar and dab on your child's nose several times each day to heal chapped skin and soothe soreness.
Quieting Coughs and Encouraging More Restful Sleep
The body requires restful sleep to help speed the work of recovery, but sick children often feel far too miserable to sleep for more than a few moments. Help your children heal faster by using lavender essential oil to help encourage longer periods of more restful sleep.
Immediately before naptime and bedtime, run a warm bath for your child and add several drops of lavender essential oil to the tub as it fills. The lavender scent is known to be soothing and relaxing, and helps prepare the body for sleep. As a bonus, inhaling the lavender-scented moist air during the bath will help to clear and soothe your child's irritated breathing passages and help them fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Nourishment and Hydration
Because your child's appetite will usually decline when suffering from a cold, it can be difficult to get enough nutrition into them with standard foods. Instead, consider offering your child frequent small meals and snacks that are both nutritionally dense and easy to eat. Some good choices are:
- Fruit smoothies
- Frozen juice pops or sherbets
- Broth based soups, such as chicken
- Warm, non-caffeinated herbal teas
- Soft cooked eggs
Even more important than food is hydration. With the body producing copious amount of mucous or running a fever, most kids will need even more water than usual. Temp them to drink frequently and boost Vitamin C intake by floating a few slices of citrus fruits in their drinking glass. Try adding visual interest by serving the liquids in colorful containers or by using fun drinking straws.
By taking advantage of natural remedies and ensuring your child is properly nourished and hydrated, both you and your child will soon feel better. For more information on using natural remedies and essential oils, contact a reputable essential oils dealer in your area.
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