Your child started to cough and is constantly rubbing his or her nose. And, you guessed it! The nose is running, and your little one may even have a mild fever. The one thing that all parents dread is when their kids get sick, and even though there are so many viruses that are worse than a cold – it is still far from easy when that cold virus hits your child.
Colds can cause kids to not get enough sleep and as a result, they will be extremely cranky and miserable. Additionally, their appetites can be affected as well which is always concerning. However, even though a cold cannot be cured, there are 9 simple hacks that parents must know about when it comes to helping to ease their kids’ cold symptoms. Let’s look at those now:
1. Be sure their heads are elevated at bedtime – As long as your child is over a year old, it is not only safe to use pillows but maybe throw an extra one underneath your child’s favorite pillow. The purpose is to keep the child’s head elevated so he or she can breathe easier. If your child is under a year old, then placing a pillow underneath the crib mattress will help as well.
2. Steam is your child’s friend right now – Your child may not like this suggestion but this can be one of the best hacks around for helping kids manage their cold symptoms. That means your child will need to inhale some steam for about 15 minutes in order to help relieve congestion and loosen up mucus. And no, we are not talking about putting a towel over your child’s head while inhaling steam from hot water in a bowl. Kids hate that, understandably so. What you will want to do instead is turn the bathroom into a steam room. Close the doors, put on the shower or the bath water on and make sure it is piping hot so it becomes steamy. Because it is recommended that this treatment is done 15 minutes before bed, then you will want to make sure that your child’s favorite toys and books are in the bathroom because that will help the time fly by quicker. If your child is bored, then he or she will act up!
3. Put the humidifier in the child’s room – One of the best hacks around is by placing a cool-mist humidifier near your child’s bed for overnight. This will help keep his or her airways moist and clear overnight which will relieve a lot of congestion for the next day. Plus, a working humidifier produces relaxing sounds to help your baby sleep throughout the night just like a white noise machine. Just be sure to keep the doors and windows open once your child is awake in the morning to reduce the chances of mold growing!
4. Spray a saline solution in your child’s nostrils – There is a very high chance that your child will strongly dislike this method but it works like a charm. The saline solution will help loosen up mucus which will reduce post nasal drip which can cause your child to cough and become even more comfortable. Expect to have your child resist this and fight you on it, but this hack is very helpful for making your child’s cold more manageable. Be sure to use a nasal aspirator as well in order to remove anything from the nose as well.
5. Honey works well – Unless your child is over 6 years of age, it is highly not recommended that you give cough syrup to your little one. Instead, what you can do is make some tea and put some honey in it. That will help relieve a lot of the cold symptoms and it is quite soothing for the throat as well. However, be sure not to give your child honey if he or she is under a year old because this can cause your baby to become very sick!
6. Allow your child to suck on a hard candy – Unless your child is under the age of 4, why not give your little one a sugar-free candy to suck on. That will help relieve cold symptoms for him or for her, and that is also quite soothing to the throat. With that said, while you are looking to get candies for your child to suck on in the sweets aisle at the grocery store, why not pick up a sweet for yourself? You are dealing with the stress from having to care for a sick child! Go and indulge a bit!
7. Chest rubs are great – Be sure to stock up on chest rubs like Vicks VapoRub because that is incredibly healing and soothing for kids, or for anyone who has a cold or flu! Massage some of the rub on your child’s chest before bedtime. It may not reduce the coughing, but it will help keep your congested kid more comfortable. As a result, this will help your child get a good night sleep! That is what your little one needs more than ever with a cold!
8. Put the rub on your child’s feet as well – It has been said that the chest rub works quite well if it is massaged on your child’s feet! And after doing that, be sure to put warm socks on your kids’ feet right after. This can also help calm a stubborn cough. Why? It is unknown how this works, but it just does so give it a try.
9. Keep giving your child fluids, and lots of it – A cold can reduce your child’s appetite, and don’t be too concerned if this is short-lived. The sooner your child feels better, he or she will be eating plenty to make up for lost time quickly. However, it is highly important that your child is kept properly hydrated. Additionally, fluids will help loosen up the mucus and thin any secretion which will cause your child to become more comfortable. Warm tea and water are best when it comes to the best fluids to give your child during a cold. Be sure to avoid giving your child milk because that can increase congestion. Also, be sure to not give your child orange juice because that can irritate the throat. Apple or grape juice is fine if it is diluted as well.
The takeaway is, even though it is stressful whenever your child ends up with a cold, fortunately, these hacks mentioned above will help keep your little one as comfortable as possible. Even though catching the common cold is not preventable, the odds are lower if your child washes his or her hands with soap and water after touching toys from other kids that are filled with germs. Good luck and stay healthy!