14 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies for Kids
Out with the old, in with the cold and flu. That’s right, cold and flu season is officially upon us. If you have kids in daycare or school, that means it’s only a matter of time before those relentless little germs make their way into your home.
As a parent, you can’t prevent every cough or sniffle that comes your way. But these all-natural remedies are sure to help get kids better quicker and make them a little more comfortable in the meantime.
Epsom Salt Baths
Magnesium is a mineral that supports overall health and well-being for both adults and kids. But you don’t have to take a daily supplement or force-feed your kids one.
Epsom salt baths are a great way to get an extra dose of magnesium. Bonus, they support relaxation and rest, which both help kids to keep a healthy immune system. Just make sure they don’t drink the bath water, as it could lead to some tummy troubles.
Cold Care Tea
There are few things that feel better on a sore throat than a cup of hot tea. But not all teas are kid-safe.
Enter Organic Cold Care by Traditional Medicines, made especially for kids using small amounts of mild herbs. The caffeine-free, peppermint and chamomile tea will help cater to your little one’s needs and ease sore, scratchy throats or irritating coughs.
Another great bath time cough and cold cure is a vapor bath by the company Oilogic, which uses essential oils extracted from plants and flowers to support immunity, especially during times of illness.
Generously pour the foamy bath serum under warm running water. Then, let your child soak and breathe in the vapors. Don’t worry: The essential oils have been safely diluted, so there’s no risk associated with the soothing bath. Plus, it will make your whole house smell amazing.
Like the soothing vapor bath, Oilogic also makes roll-on oils, so your kids can breathe in the cough-soothing vapors anytime.
While they are relaxing, laying low or going to bed, roll the oils onto their back, chest or even bottoms of their feet. Then, let them work their magic.
When your child is really uncomfortable during bedtime, with a stuffed up nose and a cough, keeping a humidifier at the bedside can help he or she breathe a little easier.
Especially for dry coughs, the moist air can help ease congestion by breaking up the mucus and getting rid of the cold a little quicker.
If you don’t have a humidifier, a steamy bathroom works just the same. It might be a trick as old as time, but sometimes, those are the best kinds.
So, run the hot water and close the door while your kid looks at a book or plays a game. Breathing in that hot, moist air can help break up coughs, make stuffed up snot pour and overall aid in getting those germs out a little faster.
Getting kids to suck on a cough drop is not always that easy. They don’t usually taste yummy; plus, it can be a bit of a choking hazard for young ones. But Lolleez organic throat soothing pop eliminates both problems.
It’s a delicious tasting lollipop that comes in three flavors: strawberry, mango and watermelon. It’s also all natural and contains ingredients such as honey, known to soothe sore throats and aid in your little one’s recovery. Just make sure you hide them because your kids will want to eat them all the time — sick or not!
If your little one has trouble blowing his or her nose, which many kids of various ages often do, despair no more. Nasal aspirators, such as NoseFrida, are popular among parents because it allows you to (literally) suck the snot right out of your little one’s nose, instead of trying to force them to blow it (which, let’s face it, usually results in them sucking it back up).
It’s gentle, non-invasive and won’t transfer germs from baby to you in the process.
While it might be tough to get your kid to eat garlicky food, if you can sprinkle some into a pasta dish, a soup or something else your child enjoys eating, it can work wonders. Garlic is generally considered a super food when it comes to wellness.
It’s been known to support immune systems and help shorten the length of colds. And one study found it decreased the number of sick days by cold or flu by 61 percent.
While perhaps another challenge to get kids to eat, anything even mildly spicy that they enjoy can help relieve symptoms of decongestion.
So, sneak a dash of chili pepper into a dish, make a soup with green chilis or add a few onions to one of their favorite recipes.
Probiotics, which are found in yogurt, certain drinks or smoothies, have many health benefits. They can aid digestion and promote good bacteria in a child’s system, which is essential when they are sick.
If kids aren’t big fans of yogurt, many of which are high in sugar, try kid-friendly squeeze pouches that are fruit and vegetable based. That way, they’ll get some extra vitamins and a hefty dose of good bacteria, too.
Elderberry syrup is a wonderful, all-natural remedy for most childhood illnesses. Some make it from scratch, but it can be purchased from any health food store or online.
While the taste can be a bit bitter, elderberry is well-known for its antioxidants and immune support. If your kids won’t drink it, you can also find the ingredient in gummies.
While a fever, especially for little ones, might be scary, doctors often recommend letting fevers burn. That’s because it’s the body’s way of raising its temperature to fight off whatever is brewing. But resisting the urge to give your child Tylenol or Motrin at the first hint of a fever is tough.
Still, you can make kids more comfortable by keeping them cool with a fever-cooling pack that stays in place with its soft, adjustable strap to bring those fevers down faster. Or a chilled towel can do the trick.
Old-Fashioned Chicken Soup
You might think it’s an old wives’ tale, but chicken soup is still a great cure for the common cold or flu. That’s because it’s packed with tons of nutrients and protein, not to mention the warm broth that feels good on sore throats and helps loosen persistent coughs.
Also, it’s one thing that kids won’t mind eating; they may even ask for it as soon as illness strikes.