Cough and cold season is upon us. Despite our best efforts to keep our children healthy, a sore throat can come on at any time, day or night and it can be difficult and sometimes painful for our little ones. Before reaching in the medicine cabinet for treatments filled with ingredients you can hardly pronounce (and we can’t either!), why not first try natural remedies that are effective, yet safe, to help ease your child’s sore throat and/or cough. Here are some natural remedies suitable for children that are certainly worth a try:
Dry air is one of the biggest contributors of clogged sinuses and sore throats, drying out mucus membranes, making it harder to clear from nasal passages. A humidifier can naturally ease your child’s symptoms by moistening the air , which helps loosen and break up excess mucus, making it easier to breathe as well as stop any post-nasal drip. Try using a humidifier at night while your child sleeps – they make humidifiers now that are extremely quiet and will run throughout the whole night without the need to refill the tank.
Honey is a natural antioxidant that’s been used around the world over the past 2,500 years for a variety of health reasons, including coughs and throat irritation. But did you know that dark honey contains even more flavor than the light version and provides more nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants to better help soothe coughs and throat irritation naturally? HoneyWorks, a new great-tasting dark honey product line, is made with 100% U.S.-sourced, certified-organic dark honey, providing a natural, safe, and effective alternative to sore throat medicines. HoneyWorks offers a unique soothing throat spray and organic syrup to help alleviate your child’s sore throat. (Honey should only be given to children 12 months and up.)
Dehydration can lead to a sore throat before you know it, especially during the winter season. Keeping your child hydrated will help fight off infections and soothe a sore throat. Be sure that your child drinks plenty of fluids, especially water. Water may help thin the secretions in the throat, and warmer fluids, such as tea, can help soothe the irritation in the throat. Electrolyte-rich drinks will also help your child replenish the salts, sugars, and other necessities they need to fight their sore throat.
Nasal aspirators are another great way for parents to clear their child’s sensitive nasal passages naturally. By using suction, the nasal aspirator removes mucus and other discharge to help children breath more comfortably and alleviate post-nasal drip. This is a great alternative to nasal sprays and can be used with a humidifier to see even better results.
Salt Water Gargle
Is chicken soup too much work for you, and not appealing to your child? Take away the chicken, the noodles, and the veggies, and what do you have? Warm, salty water — which is another time-tested sore throat/cough remedy. It’s been said that the salt from the water absorbs excess fluid from swollen throat tissues, temporarily reducing their size and making them less tender. Several studies have said that this process also loosens mucus, helping to flush out irritants and bacteria. According to the Mayo Clinic, for best results, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water, gargle for a few seconds, then spit it out. Repeat until you’ve gargled approximately eight ounces of salt water.