Cold season is right around the corner. Here’s how to soothe your child’s symptoms from the comfort of your own home.
Temperatures may be dropping, but you know what’s on the rise? Runny noses, sneezes, and fevers. That’s right: cold season is coming in hot. Children under the age of five are at an especially high risk of infection, and because they spend so much time sharing classrooms, desks, and toys with other children around their own age, germs can be nearly impossible to avoid at this time of year.
Unfortunately, mosts colds are viral infections, which means they can’t be cleared up with antibiotics. Instead, except in severe cases, parents need to focus on taking steps to soothe their children’s symptoms and decrease their discomfort as their immune systems do their jobs. Medicines that help ease cold symptoms in adults aren’t always safe for children, which is why all-natural home remedies are often the safest way to go for small children. These may include:
1. Offering your child plenty of fluids.
Cold symptoms can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids. However, sickness can decrease your child’s thirst, so you need to ensure your child continues to hydrate even if they claim they aren’t thirsty. If your young child refuses to drink water, ask your doctor if Pedialyte or a similar beverage would be an appropriate alternative.
Dehydration can be even more serious in children of breastfeeding age. Watch out for a few surefire signs of dehydration, including dry lips, infrequent urination, or lack of tears when crying. Prevent dehydration by breastfeeding your child more frequently than you usually do. Since they may be less interested in feeding while sick, try shorter, more frequent breastfeeding sessions to encourage your child to drink.
2. Clearing out a stuffy nose.
Medicated nasal sprays aren’t considered safe for young children, but if your child is sniffly, consider turning to a saline nasal spray. These sprays temporarily make mucus easier to remove, which can give your child enough time to get to sleep before irritating nasal congestion returns.
You may also want to consider using a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room, which can help break up mucus in their nasal passages.
3. Encouraging your child to rest.
Though rest is essential to recovering from a cold, most children struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep while sick. Clearing their nasal passages before bed can help your child fall asleep, and dressing your child in lightweight layers before bed may keep them from waking up. If they’re running hot from a fever, heavy blankets or flannel pajamas could be uncomfortable and disrupt their rest.
A Partner in Keeping Your Child Safe and Healthy
If your child appears to be dehydrated and won’t drink, or if they aren’t showing signs of improvement after several days of rest, it may be time to reach out to a trusted medical professional. Kids’ Health is the premier pediatric practice in the Beverly, Massachusetts, area, and our doctors are dedicated to helping your child reach their best — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Contact us today....