Blocked nose, dry lips, sore throat. We’ve all been there, done that and got the t-shirt but coughs and colds always seem infinitely worse in a poorly child who can’t necessarily tell you what’s the matter.
We seem to have veered from one bug to another this winter (BB projectile vomiting over the donkey at her school Christmas fayre had to be the low point).
Sadly the days of vaporizers with candles under them – something my mum always put in our bedrooms overnight when we had colds when we were young – are long gone, and although they worked a treat banning naked flames is probably a good thing.
So what can you do to try and ease their pain – and yours?
7 fun ways to treat kids’ colds
1. Be (a little bit) irresponsible. We all know the body repairs itself when resting, but of course that’s easier said than done when you’ve got a whirling dervish of a toddler on your hands. Forget your usual rules – if lolling in front of the telly or giving them unlimited access to the apps on your phone means they actually lie still, do it. (Don’t go mad though, you don’t want to overstimulate them).
2. Distract them. This is one of my favourite methods of dealing with most things as a parent! Buying them a new book when they’re poorly always works a treat in our house, and you can make it fun with things like finger puppets.
3. Help them breathe. Among my bag of tricks is Vicks VapoRub, which is suitable for ages two and up and helps relieve blocked noses, sore throats and coughs. Just rub a bit on their chest and bingo.
4. Give them ice lollies. They might not want to eat anything but it’s really important they stay hydrated and get plenty of fluid, especially if they’ve got a high temperature. Ice lollies are perfect – they’re fun, a treat and will do the job nicely.
5. Use a muslin instead of tissues. Admittedly it turns into a snot rag rather quickly, but using a soft cotton mussy instead of tissues means their skin won’t get irritated by constant wiping with paper.
6. Dose them up. If they’re really under the weather with a sore throat and fever it’s perfectly ok to give them both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time. Space the doses apart as directed on the bottle – it’s amazing what a transformation this can make.
7. Give them honey at bedtime. This is only for the over ones though (apparently honey isn’t safe for kids under one because of the risk of infant botulism, and you don’t want a whole new problem on your hands). Giving half a teaspoon of honey at bedtime has been proven to suppress coughing – and tastes way better than cough syrup.
What are your tricks for coping with cold and flu in little ones? I’d love to hear your tips!
This post is an entry for BritMums’ #VicksTricks campaign.
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