Back to basics: Home remedies to look after your little one
We have good news: not every bump and ailment suffered by your child needs a run to the emergency room. Sometimes all they need is to be home with the people who love them and some good, old fashioned home remedies to bring them health and comfort.
If there’s anything that practised parents can account for, it is this: children are stronger than you think. With the Corona Virus taking over our health concerns in a whirlwind of information and panic this year, we run the risk of new parents becoming over-anxious surrounding their child’s health and ultimately their children not developing the correct antibodies and tough stuff they need to defend their immune systems from future viruses and sickness.
Before we jump in we should add that the below practices should be talked through with your GP or paediatrician - perhaps they won’t mind a quick phone call to double-check. If your child’s symptoms persist or worsen for more than four days, we would recommend ditching the flaming sage and Himalayan salt bath for an appointment with your doctor.
Starve a fever, feed a cold: food and sickness
If you know the feeling of trying to get food into a sick child’s mouth: kudos to you, you’ve officially levelled up! The food you manage to get your child to eat is important, especially when their appetite is limited and the nutrients they can get down are few. When your child is sick and not eating, that’s because the body is using all cylinders to fight the fever, so it’s ideal to feed your child anything hydrating and easy to digest.
A few food options you can try during a fever include:
- Bone Broth for its easy digestibility and essential amino acid content.
- 100% orange or pineapple juice ice-lollies (super easy to make, loaded with Vitamine C and nice and cool for your little one)
- Ginger tea is great for nausea and an immune boost.
- For hydration, coconut water will replace lost electrolytes faster than normal water.
Using food as a natural remedy does not only count for fevers - the same principles can be loosely applied to any cases of diarrhoea or vomiting - keeping your child hydrated with fluids and/or hydrating and nutritional food. You’re going to want to avoid any foods that will have an inflammatory effect on your child’s stomach such as dairy, processed foods, wheat or rich and heavy proteins.
Home remedies are also great for when your child has a common cold. Similar to the flu in symptoms but slightly different in treatment, having a cold means you need to:
- Get plenty of fluids in your kid’s body
- Allow for lots of sleep and rest
- Keep pharmaceutical solutions away from any children under the age of four years
- Invest in a humidifier - these are great for any ailments involving the sinus or chest and help reduce congestion.
Of course, we would be silly to talk about food-based home remedies and not slip in a little chicken soup for the wary parents’ soul! Chicken soup is a pot of immune-saving gold that will have your babe feeling sprightly in no time (even if the soup doesn’t cure their symptoms, they will at the very least feel much better). The ingredients you use (garlic, onion, and vegetables) are all renowned food and cold fighters. Click here for this fantastic chicken soup recipe we found!
A few tips and tricks: coughs, colds, earache and eczema.
There is so much information out there about what you can do to help your child - so we have compiled a list of possible situations and how you can take control from the comfort of your own home.
(Hey, do you know what else you can do from the comfort of your own home? Check out our Oneplan App and sign up for comprehensive insurance in minutes)
Here’s what we suggest you try in the event of:
A Barking Cough:
A cough is one of the most difficult noises for a parent to hear - especially when you can hear it deep in your child’s chest cavity. A barking cough is often a sign of croup and can be alleviated through steaming the bathroom. This is done by closing the bathroom door and all windows and turning as many hot water taps on as you can. This is a good technique for if you have not invested in a humidifier. Keeping close to your child and comforting them whist they have a painful, barking cough is important as panic only worsens the symptoms.
Earache is awful for young children and especially common after a cold or flu. A localised pain in the ear is normal for older children and can often be treated with normal over the counter ibuprofen. Time will tell if the earache is actually an ear infection in which case you should visit your doctor.
If swimmers ear is more your area of experience, we recommend a more preventative method like a few drops of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in your child’s ears after swimming. You can mix the alcohol with equal parts vinegar if you’d like to.
Skin conditions are sometimes frustrating to deal with because you can’t seem to get your child to stop scratching and picking and all you want is to soothe their discomfort. For a condition like Eczema, you may find that some medication may be too strong for your child and you’d prefer something less aggressive. You could consider antibacterial aloe vera gel, coconut oil or apple cider vinegar (although be wary with the acidity of the vinegar and be generous with diluting it).
Even when the nights are long and it seems your little person won’t feel their best for a long time, we commend you for being a great parent and wanting the best for your child’s health - we do, too.
Yours in hassle-free health insurance,