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Simple Home Remedies for Mild Cough and Cold

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Did you know that a cough suppressant can be harmful? The minute you see your child cough, you rush into cough syrups and antibiotics, which is actually not required and may be treated with natural remedies:

1. Plenty of rest: Infections occur when our body is stressed out. Taking rest gives our body the energy needed to fight infections. So allow your child to bunk school and play indoor games of his/her choice when sick with sufficient rest for the day.

2. Plenty of fluids: Taking plenty of warm fluids like warm water, clear soup or broth, rice water, etc. will be soothing, thin the mucus lining and hydrate the body. In case of infants' breastfeed well.

3. Moist air: Cold is common in winter as the viruses thrive in dry atmosphere. Hence moisten your child's room with a humidifier or vaporizer cleaned at regular intervals to prevent mould growth. Else you can take your child in already steamed bathroom (turn on hot shower for the steam) to ease breathing by loosening the mucus in the nasal passage. Or use a Nebulizer to loosen the mucus.

4. Nasal saline drops: In case of congestion that is affecting your child from breastfeeding, administer saline nasal drops in each nostril and suctioning the mucus after 60 seconds to provide relief. Saline nasal drops are available in pharmacy or you can prepare at home by adding 1/2 tsp salt to 1cup warm water. Check the temperature before administering. Do not use the saline drops continuously for more than 4 days as it can dry out the nasal lining.

5. Nose blowing: In case of older children, the mucus can be removed by teaching them how to blow their nose. The used tissue should be discarded. And hand washing after use should be emphasized.

6. Salt water gargling: Throat pain can be relieved temporarily by gargling with warm salt water prepared with 1/4-1/2 tsp salt mixed in 1 cup warm water.

7. Head elevation: Sleeping with head elevated using a bath towel or soft pillow helps in better breathing and drainage of mucus.

8. Vapour Rub: You can prepare vapour rub at home by mixing 2 tablespoon of olive oil with 5-7 drops of eucalyptus oil in a container and shake well after screwing the lid. Apply a little of this rub on the sole of your child's feet and wear the socks, and massage on the chest and back. This gives a cooling effect and may ease breathing. Vicks that comes as a handy rub.

Other home remedies to ease cold - Neem oil (warmed) and rubbed on the chest and at the back, for little older children- camphor mixed in neem oil and rubbed on the chest and back may help.

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