Child Colds, What To Do When Your Littles Get Sick
This is the first year that 2 out of 3 children are in school. We’re about 2 months in and they’ve already been sick twice. Additionally, it passes further to the baby and eventually to my husband. With all that being said, I decided to research and see what others are saying about child colds. Read more to find out what to do when your littles get sick.
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First, let’s discuss prevention.
There are a ton of tips about prevention; but in reality, I kind of feel that child colds are inevitable. That’s why kindergarteners average about 9-12 colds a year and older children, usually have about 4. The best thing to do to prevent childhood colds is to make prevention a fun part of your children’s lifestyle. Here’s a breakdown of some of the tips:
1. Keep their hands clean.
This means having your child wash their hands often. Show them how to liberally apply soap and to rub hands together for approximately 30 seconds. Singing the ABC song before rinsing usually does the job.
2. Pay attention while in kiddie areas.
Check kiddie areas for sticky messes or other discarded candy before letting your child run off and play. Kids love finding and touching “treasure” and do not realize how yucky things of that nature are. Furthermore, chose your playgrounds wisely. Not only for basic safety reasons, but also for cleanliness. We’ve stopped going to our local indoor mall playground because it was literally a haven for germs. Clean up time was at 3 pm daily; however, it only entailed wiping the adult side seating with a generic cleaner. The rest of the inside matting and equipment were virtually untouched. Hopefully, yours is better.
3. Serve a balanced diet.
This means giving your children a diet full of vitamin C and probiotics. Our children’s school has a sticker reward system for children that eat fruits and vegetables during the course of the month. This can also be applied at home as a fun incentive to make wise choices while eating.
4. Give them adequate sleep.
Sleep allows the body to recover and focus on rebuilding its cells. Adequate sleep boosts the immune system and helps with recovery.
5. Teach them not to touch their face.
This includes their eyes, mouth, and nasal passages. Germs enter our bodies their these venerabilities. Avoid touching the face to prevent the majority of child colds. If your child must rub or scratch, be sure to do so only after thoroughly washing their hands.
Let’s understand more about child colds.
To begin, understand that except with newborns, child colds in healthy children aren’t typically dangerous. Also, they usually go away in 7 to 10 days without treatment. You can recognize a cold by the symptoms of:
- Runny nose
- Feeling of tiredness
- Fever (sometimes)
- Sore throat
Next, antibiotics will NOT cure a cold. Antibiotics work solely on bacteria. The cold that your child is suffering from is caused by 1 of any 200+ viruses. Typically, doctors will only prescribe medication if the child develops an ear infection, or other issues, from a secondary illness.
With that being said, I previously wrote a full post on mommy tips and recommended that every family own an ear scope. It’s a simple way to check if a doctor visit is even necessary. Of course, if your child’s cold becomes more severe, or doesn’t show signs of improvement in a few days, you should take them to a pediatrician anyway.
We are a prudent prescribing family.
In full disclosure, we are a prudent prescribing family. That means that we are highly unlikely to administer medication if the symptoms can be helped naturally. Additionally, our children are all underage for most over the counter cold medications anyways. (5, 4, and 1 year old). In my opinion, there’s very little evidence that children’s cold medicines actually help; and instead, pose the risk of major side effects. To me, the risks associated with administering children’s cold medicine to my littles is far greater than the benefits. Using that knowledge, we basically don’t give them any form of medicine except when they are running a fever.
How to treat child colds naturally:
- Saline drops for stuffy noses.
- Nose Frida (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. THIS REALLY WORKS)
- Honey for sore throats; but, not until the baby was over 1 year old and proven not to be allergic. Dark honey, such as buckwheat honey, may work best because they’re higher in antioxidants.
- Cool mist humidifiers.
- Plenty of fluids and broths.
- Clean up all infected areas. This spot vac is perfect for cleaning micro-fiber couches (even after an accident).
- Time. Give them things to take their minds occupied such as cards, music, games, coloring, etc.
And that concludes our post on child colds and what to do when your littles get sick. I’d love to hear your experiences and feedback. What other tips do you suggest?
As always, when your hands are full, live your life to the fullest! (Even if you’re sneezing along the way.)