Once caught, there are a number of home remedies that can be used to reduce the misery of a cold or flu. These include:
- Drink up! Ensure your child consumes at least 6 glasses of fluid per day to combat dehydration and keep mucus on the move. Include plenty of water; also mix a drink of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey in hot water. The lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids and the honey helps to soothe a sore throat.
- Allow for plenty of rest and relaxation. Continuing to carry on as normal will hinder the body's ability to fight the infection - and may infect others.
- Keep warm and, especially in the first few days of the cold, try to induce a sweat through a warm bath. Have your child eat small amounts of pungent foods such as chilli and onions, if they feel chilled, or sip on peppermint tea if they feel hot.
- Boosting vitamin C and taking small regular doses of Echinacea will help little bodies to recover from the cold more quickly. This can be commenced as soon as the first sign of a virus emerges, such as a tickle in the throat.
- Sore throat? Sucking on zinc gluconate lozenges will help. Several clinical trials have now demonstrated that zinc lozenges can significantly reduce the duration of a cold.
- Blocked nose? Inhale steam to relieve a stuffy nose. Half fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over the child's head to trap the steam and have them inhale for a few minutes. Adding several drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil will work as a decongestant. Tea tree oil can be used it there is a lot of yellow mucus being discharged from the nose.
- Phlegm? Children with phlegmy coughs respond well to placing a warm heat pack over the back, before applying percussive massage techniques over the upper back to stimulate the movement of phlegm.