Posts Tagged ‘ colds ’

Say Goodbye to Summer Sniffles with These Products

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

When you’re experiencing cold-like symptoms, it’s easy to swallow some meds and get on with the day. But it may be years before your little one learns how to swallow a pill, and he may not be enticed by chewable remedies, either.   

This is where sprays come in. Arm & Hammer’s Simply Saline Nasal Mist and OCEAN Saline Nasal Spray are both drug-free products designed to help those suffering from nasal congestion. All Simply Saline sprays and OCEAN Nasal Care products are safe to administer in conjunction with other oral and nasal medicines (consult your doctor first, as sprays may flush out any other nasal remedies), plus they’re A-ok to use while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Arm & Hammer offers various versions of the Simply Saline Nasal Mist, including a product specifically for babies (ages birth and up) as well as one for kids (ages 2 and up). The spray for babies has an infant-safe nozzle. Compared to Neti Pots (which are suitable for those ages 5 and up), the Nasal Mist is gentler on little noses and easier to use as a whole. 

OCEAN for Kids Saline Nasal Spray is safe for children and infants, and it, too, includes a smaller spray tip for young ones, plus it provides extra moisture.

Though the weather is warming up, it’s still important to be mindful about cold prevention. Summer colds are common, as slightly over half of the respondents in a Simply Saline survey, released last week, report experiencing one within the past year.

Confused about how to administer nasal spray? This video can help.

How to Give Nasal Spray
How to Give Nasal Spray
How to Give Nasal Spray

Images courtesy of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC and Simply Saline, respectively. 

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Meeting Kristin Davis? All in a Day’s Work

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Product launch parties in New York City are similar to fancy parties that you always dreamed of attending as a child (or, in my case, also as an adult). There are tiny finger foods floating around the room, swarms of journalists boasting of their latest ventures, cameramen lazily snapping pictures of the scene, and, you know, a celebrity or two.

(All right, maybe I was the only child who dreamed of a party like that.)

Regardless, today’s event was fantastic. I went to a product launch for Zarbee’s new adult line of honey-based cough products. Zarbee’s is the queen bee of natural, drug-free cough relievers for kids–and now parents!–and their products have earned them a few Hollywood mega-fans, including one certain Sex and the City star.

As I sat in the gorgeous penthouse suite of a swanky Manhattan hotel, surrounded by well-known bloggers, editors, and writers, Kristin Davis herself sashayed into the room on sky-high Louboutins (“They’re Charlotte’s heels!” she later whispered to me) and surprised the speechless crowd.

Kristin, who is mom to one-year-old Gemma Rose, chatted about the difficulties of trying to be the perfect mom while also being a single parent. “It’s challenging,” she admitted, “but so very worth it.” As you could guess, the celeb was just as sweet and bubbly as her old on-screen character, Charlotte, complimenting my outfit and repeatedly thanking everyone for coming. After a quick picture with her (she touched my waist!), I skipped out the door, grabbing a Zarbee’s goody bag and a macaroon on the way. My travel back to the Parents headquarters was spent in a dazed, smiley state—which most likely terrified other people—and I contemplated the likelihood of Kristin and I becoming best friends. (Outcome? Unlikely.) Still, no complaints for a day’s worth of “work.”

Which celebrity would you be most shell-shocked to meet? Tell us below!


Image: Kristin Davis with author via Zarbee’s

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I’m a Snotsucker

Monday, March 5th, 2012

It’s official: I’m now in the subculture of parents who suck out the stuff that’s clogging up their kids’ nose.

You may already be aware of a product called NoseFrida–aka The Snotsucker. We’ve written about it in Parents before (most recently in our March issue, because Christina Applegate was raving about it), but I had never tried it myself until last week. I’m a convert.

I have two daughters, ages 6 and 3. I thought I’d use NoseFrida on my 3-year-old, Lila, who has a cold at the moment. She’s also pretty fearless, so I figured she’d have no problem with me putting a small plastic tube in her nostril while I extracted its contents by sucking on a smaller plastic mouthpiece. (Don’t worry! There’s a foam filter that prevents anything from actually getting into your mouth.)

But Lila wanted nothing to do with it. So I asked my intrigued 6-year-old, Julia, to let me demonstrate on her. I thought she would flatly refuse; she’d swatted away that (useless) blue rubber suction bulb ever since she was a newborn. But Julia jumped right on board and we put on quite a show. (I’ll spare you the details.) And this is when I realized that the NoseFrida isn’t just for congested children. You see, Julia is bizarrely unskilled in blowing her nose. I’ve tried for years to teach her, but she can’t seem to pull it off without extreme concentration. Faced with a tissue, her natural instincts seem to be to either inhale through her nostrils, or blow out of her mouth. (Or cry.) It’s been frustrating for both of us, but NoseFrida has changed all that. Clearing out her nose is now a source of amusement. Victory is ours!

Check out NoseFrida in action here. And you can purchase it here. Are you already a snotsucker? Let me know how it works for you!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating Children’s Fevers

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Note: This guest post is by Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician and mom of two children. She is partnering with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, makers of Children’s Advil®, this cold and flu season on a fever education program.

With cold and flu season underway, many parents will have concerns when caring for their sick, feverish children. New national surveys of parents and pediatricians reveal that the actions many parents take to alleviate their child’s fever are not always in line with the most current recommendations made by doctors.  Recently, the makers of Children’s Advil® conducted two online surveys, one given to 1,000 parents to find out how they treated their children’s fevers and a follow-up survey given to 250 pediatricians on their views of parents’ misperceptions and where education was needed. Based on the “Dose of Reality” study, follow the advice below to treat your child’s fever in safe ways.


1) Dose based on weight. The preferred way to dose a children’s fever reducer is to dose based on your child’s weight, yet more than one-third of parents (36 percent) surveyed dose based on their child’s age. Follow the dosing instructions on the medicine label, but if your child’s age and weight don’t match up, follow the weight dose. If you don’t know your child’s weight, follow the age dose.

2) Use a long lasting fever-reducing medication. Remember that the main goal of giving your child a fever reducer is to make him more comfortable, not to bring the temperature down to normal.  It’s important to consider how long a medication will last. For example, products containing ibuprofen (like Children’s Advil®) provide up to eight hours of relief with just one dose.

3) Wait 24 hours after the fever breaks before sending a child back to school or daycare. More than half of the parents surveyed admitted to sending their child back to class less than 24 hours after the fever broke. Pediatricians advise that parents keep their child home from school or daycare until the she is fever-free for at least 24 hours.


1) Worry. Fever is the body’s normal response to an underlying infection and parents should talk to the pediatrician about the proper treatment.  Definitely call the doctor if: a child is under three months of age and has a fever of 100 degrees or more;  a child has a high fever over 103 degrees; or a child has had a persistent fever for more than a few days.

2) Give adult medication to a child. Nearly a quarter of the parents from the survey gave their child an adult over-the-counter medication and estimated the dose.  This is dangerous. Children are not mini-adults and should only be given medication that has been formulated for them, unless specifically advised by the pediatrician.

3) Wake a child at night just to give fever medication. Pediatricians believe that feverish children who are sleeping comfortably should not be awakened to take fever medication. Instead, close monitoring is a good idea and parents should always check with the pediatrician.

For more information and a $1 coupon for Children’s Advil, visit or

More about treating your children’s symptoms on

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Let’s Talk About Drugs

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Pop quiz for you:

Which of these conditions are not helped by antibiotics?

A. Bronchitis

B. Flu

C. Colds

D. Non-strep sore throats

The answer is: It’s a trick question—none of those ailments warrant antibiotics, because they’re all caused by viruses, and viruses don’t respond to antibiotics. In fact, if you take the drugs, not only will you feel no better, you’ll just set yourself up for possible failure later on, when you have an illness that really could be helped by the meds.

Antibiotic resistance is on its way to becoming one of the world’s biggest public health threats—it’s estimated that roughly half of antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed—and this is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated November 15 to 21 its third annual “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.”

The CDC breaks down the illnesses that benefit from antibiotics and the ones that don’t here. Even if you think you know this info already, it’s worth taking a peek to make sure you’ve got all the facts.

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Natural Remedy for Allergies and Colds

Friday, May 16th, 2008

NasopureIt’s been a brutal allergy season, and now I’ve also got a cold. So I decided it was time to try Nasopure, a "nasal wash system" that literally cleans the inside your nose with salt water to loosen stuffiness and flush out pollen, dust, bacteria, and viruses. This concept has been getting a lot of buzz lately. A recent study found that regularly washing your nose reduces the length of colds and can actually prevent them, and Dr. Mehmet Oz demonstrated the use of the Neti Pot on Oprah. But Nasppure, developed by Dr. Hana Solomon, a pediatrician who has been recommending this for 20 years, is much easier to use. Watch a video here of a 4-year-old using it. And she now makes a smaller version called Little Squirt to go for children as young as 2. "The saline solution makes thick mucus thinner so it’s easier to blow out, and it also unplugs the opening to the sinuses so they can drain out," she explained to me this morning. It’s also helpful for children with asthma (whose symptoms are often worsened by allergens and air pollution), and those who are prone to getting ear infections after a cold (ear infections typically happen when mucus plugs the opening to the Eustachian tubes, which connects the back of the throat to the middle ear). You can keep it in the bathtub, and let your child get used to playing with it before using it.

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