Coughy. Stuffy. Sneezy. Wheezy.
What do you do when one of your little munchkins gets a cold?
Before turning to medications (which we have *never* administered to our 2-year-old daughter and which we rarely use ourselves), I always try to think of home remedies first.
Dr. Alan Greene, one of my favorite "celebrity" physicians and author of the incredible book Raising Baby Green, has an excellent article entitled Alternatives to Cold Medicines on his website.
I especially appreciated this quote: "It’s worth remembering that what we think of as cold symptoms are mostly tools the body uses to get rid of the virus. A low-grade fever...activates our immune system. Congestion is the dilation of blood vessels, bringing needed supplies to the scene of the battle. Coughing and sneezing forcefully eject the virus from the body. Fatigue helps you get the rest you need to heal. The goal of any treatment is to gently do what it takes to make a child comfortable while the body does its healing work."
In essence, our bodies take good care of us. We don't need to immediately turn to cough syrup. In fact, Dr. Greene doesn't recommend over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for kids under age 6.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a similar stance: "The AAP strongly recommends that over-the-counter cough and cold medications not be given to infants and children younger than 2 years because of the risk of life-threatening side effects. Also, several studies show that cold and cough products don't work in children younger than 6 years and can have potentially serious side effects."
Greene recommends Vitamin C, plenty of rest, and humidified air as three great ways to treat colds...naturally.
Vicks offers a wide variety of humidifiers for you to choose from if you decide to use humidified air as a remedy.
We have the Vicks GermFree Humidifier (which has a 4 1/2 star rating on Amazon.com and retails for $99.99). It features a pure sanitized warm mist that kills up to 99.999% germs, mold, and bacteria in the water, plus 2 tanks for easy filling and longer run times. Vicks actually has a total of 6 humidifiers to choose from. Fortunately, we haven't had to use ours yet (we're all pretty healthy around here), but I will definitely turn to it next time we get the "ah-choos" or the "runnies" in our house.
Vicks also sells a wide variety of thermometers and vaporizers.
WIN IT! There will be three winners. Each winner will receive one Vicks SpeedRead Thermometer (~$7.99) and THREE Vicks Soothing Vapors Plug-In Waterless Vaporizer and Nightlights (~$5.99 each). To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Monday, February 16 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
*UPDATE* The winners are #148 Elizabeth Crawley, #138 Monique Rizzo, and #288 Esther. Congratulations!