10 Safe home remedies that help reduce the symptoms of colds and flu in your children

your child has a cold or flu and you would love to do something to make him feel better? Then try these gentle, effective and safe home remedies.

1) Honey (for children over 12 months)

How it helps

Honey caresses and soothes the neck and relieves the cough.

In a study from Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine, parents of 105 children aged 2 to 18 found that honey was more helpful in treating nocturnal cough and works better than cough syrup.

What you need

Honey is available in every grocery store.

Honey often gets hard at room temperature. Put a few spoonfuls of honey in a container and heat briefly in the microwave or bring water to a boil and then place the jar of honey in the very hot water for five or ten minutes to soften it.

Use

If your child is one to five years old, you can give him half a teaspoon of honey. If it's between six and eleven years old, give him a teaspoon.

Some parents also mix the honey with hot water and add a splash of lemon, which adds a little vitamin C along with the soothing honey.

Since honey has a sticky sweetness, it's important to brush your teeth after taking it, especially if it's taken before going to bed.

Attention: Do not give your child honey before his first birthday. This could cause a rare and sometimes fatal disease called infant botulism. Read our Expert Advice on Honey for Babies

2) A nasal can (for ages 4 and up)

How It Helps

A nasal cannula flushes a mild saline solution through the nasal passages, moistens, dilutes and loosens flushes away the mucus.

According to a report released in 2008, experts have examined 390 children aged six to ten years and found that a nasal spray made from seawater helped relieve cold symptoms more quickly than standard cold remedies. It is not certain if the salt simply helps to remove the mucus or if trace elements in the water have a positive effect. But other scientists who studied the effects of saline nasal irrigation also found benefits.

What you need

A nose pot that looks like a small watering can or a tea pot.It is usually made of ceramic or metal. You can buy Nasenkännchen in pharmacies, in the health food store or health food store, drugstores and online at a mail order.

Your child must also be willing to cooperate and participate in the procedure. It does not hurt, but is a bit strange at first. This is definitely not suitable for babies or toddlers. Older children (and adults) may not participate. Some people like it, while others find it awful.

Use

Tilt your child's head over a sink and put the spout of the spike into the nostril so water can run through the nasal passages, cleaning and moisturizing them. This requires a bit of hands-on handling, but it's easy once you know how to do it.

Try this on yourself first before showing your child how to use a nasal can. Then let your child watch when you use it. And finally, help him when he is ready.

Here's the basic method:

  1. Fill a pot with the warm salt solution. Bend over a sink, tilt your head to the side, and place the spout of the kitten deep in the nostril. The water flows gently through the nasal cavities and comes out of the other nostril. (Breathe through the mouth while flushing.)
  2. Repeat this with the other nostril.
  3. It may be easiest to do this with your child in the bath or shower.
Attention:

Do not force a child to do it when it's not ready. This must be a very gentle procedure. However, if the child fights against it, it may be traumatized or its nasal passages damaged. 3) Brush Your Nose (For Children Over 2 Years)

How It Helps

When the nose is cleared of mucus, it helps your child breathe, sleep better, and feel better. And it looks better too!

What you need

A pack of soft paper tissues.

How do you do that?

Many children do not master this art before their fourth birthday, but some are ready at the age of two.

Tips on teaching a child to clean their noses:

Tell your child to copy what you do. Some children do not need more.

  • Explain that cleaning your nose is a ""smell in reverse"".
  • Have your child close one nostril and practice gently blowing the air out of the other. A mirror or a small piece of handkerchief under his nose helps him to see his breath as well.
  • Teach him to gently cleanse his nose. Too much snorting can hurt your ears.
  • Give your child his own small pack of colorful paper tissues.
  • Teach him to throw handkerchiefs in the trash can and wash his hands after washing his nose.
  • If your child's nose is sore after all the sniffing and brushing, you can apply a little Vaseline or another ointment suitable for children around the nostrils.
4) A Balloon Syringe (Best for Babies)

How It Helps

It cleanses the nose of children too small to brush their noses. A balloon syringe is really useful when a nasal congestion disturbs when breastfeeding or giving a bottle. Apply it 15 minutes before. To clean a stuffy nose with a balloon syringe works best with small babies. If this procedure does not bother an older child, there is no reason not to do so.

What You Need

A Balloon Syringe

  • Saltwater Solution
  • You can buy salted nasal drops in the pharmacy or make your own.

The recipe for homemade saline nose drops: dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in 240 ml of warm water. Keep them fresh every day and store them in a clean glass with a lid. Bacteria can grow in this solution. Therefore, you should not keep the saline solution for more than 24 hours.

How to use it

Tilt your baby's head backwards and squeeze 10 to 20 drops of saline into each nostril to dilute and loosen the mucus. Then try to keep his head still for about 10 seconds.

  1. Squeeze the balloon syringe and gently guide the tip into the nostril.
  2. Slowly release the syringe to aspirate the mucus and saline solution.
  3. Remove the syringe and squeeze the balloon, collecting the mucus in a tissue.
  4. Wipe the syringe and take the other nostril.
  5. Repeat the procedure if necessary.
  6. Vacuum your baby's nose only a few times a day, otherwise you may be irritating the mucous membranes. Do not use the salty drops for more than four days, as you may dry out your nose over time, which may aggravate the condition.

If your baby is really unhappy with the syringe, use the saline nasal drops and gently wipe the nostrils with a cotton ball. This does not have the sucking power of the syringe, but is better than nothing!

Warning:

Do not use a decongestant nasal spray unless your doctor tells you to. It can work for a while, it can also have the opposite effect and make constipation worse in the longer term. 5) Saltwater Gargle (For Children Over 4)

How It Works

Saltwater Gargle is a tried and true remedy for treating a sore throat. It also helps to rid the throat of mucus. Scientists have not yet figured out exactly why it works, but studies have shown that this remedy actually provides relief.

What you need

Warm salt water.

Just put half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and stir. If your child does not mind the taste, one or two sips of lemon can be a soothing additive. Your child must be old enough to learn how to gargle. For many children, this means school age or older.

How to do it

It is recommended to gargle three or four times a day.

A few tips on how to teach your child to gurgle:

Just practice with water.

  • Tell your child to keep his head back and then try to keep the water in the back of his throat without drinking it. If it masters it well, it should try to make noises in the throat. Show him what it looks like and how it sounds.
  • Teach him to spit out the water and not swallow it.
  • 6) Raising Your Head (All Ages)
  • How It Helps

Raising your head can make it easier for your child to breathe while resting and asleep.

What you need

Towels and pillows to lift the top of the mattress, or pillows to raise your child's head.

How to do it

If your child sleeps in a cot, put a few towels or a thin pillow under the mattress. Never put towels or pillows in the crib with your child because it may suffocate. Also, do not try to raise the legs of the crib. That could make the crib unstable.

If your child sleeps in a large bed, even an extra pillow under his head can serve the purpose. But if your child is very restless when sleeping and turns back and forth a lot, it is better to lift the head of the bed by putting towels or a pillow under the mattress. This results in a gentler and more comfortable pitch angle than an extra pillow under his head.

Another way: Let your child sleep in his child seat. Many adults sleep in their favorite chair when they are ill, so your child may sleep better in a semi-sitting position. If your schoolchild is supposed to lie up while sleeping, it may sleep more comfortably in an armchair.

Attention:

Whether it's a crib or a bed, do not overdo it. If your child is a restless sleeper, it may turn around so that his feet are higher than the head, which destroys all efforts.

7) Lots of Calm (All Ages) How That Helps

Fighting an infection needs strength, and that can exhaust a child (or an adult). When your child is resting, it heals, and that's exactly what it needs.

Studies have shown that stress also plays a role in disease. If your child is under pressure - because of school, some friends or happenings at home - give him rest, which is perhaps exactly what it takes to cope with the symptoms.

What you need

A comfortable place where your child can relax and something to deal with.

How is it done?

Now is the time to read to your child and engage with him. Or give him new crayons, paper or a coloring book. Even a puzzle can be done in bed. For once, you can watch his favorite video or TV show again.

Of course, a bed is not necessarily the best place to rest. A change of location may be helpful. If the weather is nice, set up a cozy place in the garden or on the terrace for your child. In the house you may design something more interesting than the bed - for example, a tent in the living room or a cozy corner full of pillows near you.

If your child finds it difficult to calm down, help him by making himself comfortable with a few books. Teach him counting rhymes or tell each other stories. Or give him the phone so that he can have a chat with grandma or friends.

8) Steam (All Ages)

How It Works

Inhaling moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath has the added effect of relaxing your child.

What you need

A humidifier, vaporizer or a bathroom full of steam.

Be sure to clean the humidifiers frequently (every three days is recommended) and according to the manufacturer's instructions. Humidifiers collect mold that they spray into the air if they are not kept scrupulously clean.

Application

Place a humidifier or vaporizer in the room where your child is sleeping, resting or playing.

Give your child a warm bath in a steam room full of steam. If it's old enough, you can leave it in the bathroom for as long as you like - of course under supervision. Add a few drops of menthol, eucalyptus or pine oil to the bath water (or vaporizer). This may give your child the feeling that they are not so clogged up. These oils are available in most health food stores.

If it is not an appropriate time for a bath, simply turn on the bath or shower hot water tap and stay in the room full of steam for about 15 minutes with your child. (Bring some books with you.)

9) Lots of fluids (for children over 6 months)

How they work

Drinking plenty of fluids prevents dehydration, dilutes the secretions of the nose and flushes them out , In addition, the mucus in the bronchi is liquefied and can be coughed off better.

What you need

Liquids that your child likes to drink.

How It Is Applied

Plain water is wonderful, but your child may not find it so alluring. Try it with smoothies and other popular healthy drinks as well as ice cream made from juice.

Caution

: Stay with babies less than six months old, breastmilk or breastmilk substitutes unless your doctor tells you otherwise. So little babies do not need water and too much could even be harmful.

10) Chicken Soup and Other Warm Fluids (For Children From 6 Months) How They Work

Warm fluids can be very beneficial and relieve a stuffy nose. Studies have shown that chicken soup actually relieves cold symptoms such as pain, tiredness, a stuffy nose and fever.

What you need

Soup and tea or hot liquids your child likes.

Application

Serve with a warm soup (not hot). A canned soup works just as well as a homemade one, say scientists from the University of Nebraska.

If your child is at least six months old, you may taste a faint, lukewarm camomile tea.

Warning:

There are other herbal teas that are safe for children. Ask your doctor before you give your child another tea than chamomile tea, because not all ""natural"" products are safe.

Stay with breastmilk and breastmilk substitutes for babies less than six months unless your doctor has recommended otherwise. So little babies do not need water and too much of it could even be harmful.

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