Small children and infants are mainly prone to colds and cough because of their weak immune system. Babies have up to seven colds within the first year. They pick up various infection-causing viruses through contact with an infected person or contaminated air or surfaces. In this articles you can learn many home remedies for Colds and Coughs in Babies.
Symptoms of Colds and Coughs
Some symptoms of colds and coughs in babies are given below,
- Congested nose
- Runny nose
- Low-grade fever of up to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in sleeping
It could be very difficult dealing with sick children as parents or caretakers. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents against giving cough and cold medication to children under 6 years of age. This is because of the medicines potentially fatal side effects, it is best to stick to natural methods. Home treatments help in easing the symptoms and strengthen the immunity. But when the temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or lasts more than a week, one should definitely call the doctor. Always consult the doctor if the baby is younger than 3 months and has a fever.
Home Remedies for Colds and Coughs in Babies
1. Sponge Bath
To reduce fever in babies, it is advisable to give them a cool water bath or sponge bath to regulate the body temperature. A bath has additional benefits of relaxing the child and it will help them in sleeping better which is very important for faster recovery.
How to Use?
- Soak a washcloth in water with room temperature
- Wring out the excess water and sponge the armpits, feet, hands and groin to reduce the body temperature
- For small babies, give a sponge bath twice or thrice a day
- Another option is to place a cold, damp washcloth on the baby’s forehead and change it every few minutes
- Older children may take a cold shower using normal water
- Do not use very cold water as it will tend to raise the body temperature
Lemon is another good remedy for treating babies with cold and flu. It is rich in vitamin C, which helps in boosting the immune system and assists the body in fighting from common colds and fever. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties the reduce the symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose and coughing.
How to Use?
- Squeeze out the juice and peels from 4 lemons and add 1 tablespoon of ginger slices in a pan
- Add enough boiling water to cover the ingredients
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes
- Strain the mixture and dilute I with equal amount of warm water
- Add raw honey to it for taste
- Give this to the child few times a day until recovery
Honey is a safe home remedy for babies and children who are suffering from common cold and cough. It has high anti-bacterial, antioxidant and immune-boosting properties that help in easing cough, soothe a sore throat and kill the bacteria causing infections. However babies under 1 year of age should not be given honey because it contains bacteria that can cause infantile botulism.
How to Use?
- Mix 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Give this mixture to the child every few hours for relief in symptoms
- Also, you may consider giving children, buckwheat honey several times a day
- One teaspoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk can relieve dry cough and reduce chest pain
4. Chicken Soup
Warm chicken soup is an effective remedy during colds and coughs for children of all ages. It is light and nutritious and also helps in relieving congestion. The antioxidants present in it speeds up the healing process. In addition to that, chicken soup improves function of protective cilia in the nasal cavity that prevents contagions from entering the body. According to a study published in the Chest journal in 2000, chicken soup contains a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity for upper respiratory tract infections.
How to Use?
- Serve the child homemade chicken soup twice or thrice a day
- You may also add some vegetables such as carrots, beetroots and spinach for added benefits
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which helps in production of white blood cells that fights the cold and flu germs. It also boosts the immune system and alleviates the symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and runny nose.
How to Use?
- For children of the age of 2 and above, one or two glasses of orange juice can be given everyday
- For younger babies, dilute orange juice with an equal amount of warm water and give it at regular intervals
- Older children can eat oranges to increase the vitamin C intake
Ginger is yet another effective ingredient to cure colds and coughs due to anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-tussive or cough suppressant properties. It is also effective in inducing sweating and expelling heat, which in turn relieves mild fever. It also has immune-boosting properties to help in speedy recovery.
How to Use?
- Put 6 cups of water in a pan and add half a cup of thinly sliced ginger and 2 cinnamon sticks
- Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and then strain it
- Add raw honey or sugar to it and give it to the children several times a day
- For babies less than 1 year of age, this liquid can be diluted in warm water before giving it to them
- Older children may also be given ginger slices or ginger candies to chew on it
The above home remedies will help in relieving the cough and cold symptoms in babies and older children. It is always better to consult the doctor in case the condition persists.
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