Colds, coughs, fevers, and allergies are very common among children, and as parents, it
can be difficult to watch our children deal with these minor sicknesses—especially those that seem to never go away. The important thing to remember, however, is that young children have developing immune systems, making them more likely to catch whatever bug or virus is floating around. Unless your child develops a serious illness, most of these common ailments tend to go away on their own, and there is usually no cause for concern or immediate medical treatment. However, the accompanying symptoms can disrupt sleep, affect their appetite, and cause discomfort, which often leads to a fussy, irritable child. So while you usually don’t have to go straight to the medicine cabinet, there are some natural remedies you can use to help ease the symptoms while your child heals.
Fever is one the most common reasons parents seek out pediatric help. The reality, however, is that fevers are a natural response to fighting infection, and unless your child’s fever is very high (104 or higher) or persists for days on end, there’s often no need to treat it. Instead, focus on making your child comfortable. The best natural treatments for a fever are plenty of fluids and adequate rest.
Colds and Coughs
Believe it or not, most cold and cough medicines are not very beneficial to children in the first place. And you shouldn’t give ANY of these medicines to children under 4. As with fevers, plenty of fluids and rest are crucial to fighting an infection. If your child is congested, use a bulb syringe and nasal spray to clear mucus from the nostrils. A natural mentholated chest rub (one made specifically for children) can help cool and clear nasal passages as well. At night, a cool vapor humidifier will help with congestion and to make your child more comfortable, aiding in much-needed rest. Contact your pediatrician before adding any herbs or chemicals to the humidifier. Some remedies can actually worsen the congestion.
Allergies in children come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and while most allergies usually do require some sort of medical treatment, there are some natural methods you can employ to help ease the symptoms. If you notice your child experiencing asthma, swelling, chronic cold symptoms that develop around the same time each year, eczema, or hives, allergies are the likely cause. Overall, the best way to treat your child’s allergies is to remove the allergen from their environment. Locating the cause can be a bit difficult, but some of the most common allergens include:
Pets and other animals
Food (especially dairy, peanuts, and shellfish)
Detergents, chemicals, or other skin irritants
Tobacco smoke, both indoors and outdoors.
Once you locate what is causing your child’s allergy, your medicine can help you eliminate it. Cleanliness is key to preventing and treating allergies. Dust, sweep, and vacuum to prevent food and dust from accumulating around the house. Bathe your children at the end of each day (especially if they’ve been outside). Warm liquids and humidifiers are also good for respiratory allergies. Minor skin irritations can be soothed with topical treatments, such as aloe or olive oil, however, persistent or severe skin irritation does require medical assistance. As always, Pediatric Care Center is here to help. If you have any questions about your child’s symptoms, allergies, or illness, call us today.