Gentle Help for Colds

TissuesCough and cold season has officially struck my family, and we’re not quick to reach for OTC drugs. But it’s brutal to hear my little one hacking away all night. It took us a couple of days to unpack our humidifier (with which I have a love/hate relationship because of how hard it is to clean), but once we got it going in her room, she slept much more quietly. I happen to be a big fan of Zicam nasal gel—you’ve got to put it in your nostrils with a Q-tip-like applicator—which contains zinc. If you use it as soon as you feel a cold coming on, I’ve found that really can prevent symptoms from hitting full force. Apparently, putting zinc directly into your nose (where cold viruses hang out ) makes it harder for the viruses to multiply, and is more effective than sucking on zinc lozenges. A new study just came out proving that a spoonful of honey is actually more effective than cough medicine for kids. The researchers used half a teaspoon for kids ages 2 to 5 and one teaspoon for kids ages 6 to 11, and said its also okay to dissolve the honey in some decaf tea (that’s what I did at home). One note of caution, however: It is never safe to give honey to babies under age 1 because it can cause infant botulism, a potentially fatal infection. If you have a baby or toddler, you might want to check out the NoseFrida nasal aspirator from Sweden. You place the nozzle right next to your baby’s nostril (not inside it) and suck the mucus out by inhaling through a fifteen-inch plastic tube. (Disposable filters make sure you don’t actually come in contact with the mucus.) It looks wacky, but Swedish parents have been using it for years. Finally, if the smell of Vicks makes you remember how your mom took care of you when you were a sick kid, you might feel better offering your child new Puffs Plus with the scent of Vicks tissues. 

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  1. by Debra

    On December 7, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I love, love, love my NoseFrida! I never quite got the hang of the bulb aspirators and my poor son hated me attacking his little nose with them. NoseFrida works so well – it’s easy to use and is quick (makes my son much happier!) I’ve told other mom friends about it, too!

  2. by Freebee Foreign Pharmacy

    On December 7, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    I cant believe that honey is as affective as OTC meds treating coughs. This just goes to show how much influence big pharma’s advertising has on us. The best thing about honey is that you don’t have to worry about accidentally giving your children the wrong dosage, which has been a problem as of late. And if you do, all they have is a sugar rush.

  3. by Danielle Dancy

    On December 7, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Nosefrida has been such a lifesaver for us, I just don’t leave the house without it! It’s so quick that my son barely has time to protest, and you will not believe how much stuff comes out! A really good product that I give to all my friends as a shower gift.