Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WFMW: Treating a Cold

Is it cold and flu season already? Seriously? I still haven't recovered from last winter.

I'm a total whiner when it comes to being sick, but having a sick family is 1000 times worse. Now that "they" have taken away all medication for kids under 6 (because a bunch of stupid parents didn't know how to READ LABELS and calculate CORRECT doses, I might add...) we have to get creative in treating our sniffly, sick kids.

Here are my best tips and tricks:

1) Vapo-Rub - Johnson's and Vicks each make a baby formula of Vapo-Rub that no one has tried to take away yet. Smear it on their little chests at night so that they can sleep if they're snuffly.

2) Hot tea with honey - Apparently "they" have decided that kids can't have honey until they're 2 years old now. Whatever. Claire had already started drinking tea with honey by the time the doctor shared the new recommendation with me, so I'm playing fast and loose with this one and giving it to her anyway. She's 20 months old, for Pete's sake. I make half a cup of tea, add the honey, and then fill the cup with cold water. It's warm, not hot, but it seems to soothe scratchy throats and stuffy noses.

3) Chicken soup - Canned chicken soup is for the birds. Make your own. Use broth or bouillon, a piece of cut up chicken (or a can, in a pinch), some mixed veg from the freezer, and some egg noodles. It seriously doesn't take any more time to make than a can of soup, and it tastes SO much better. I add garlic and a bit of crushed red pepper to mine, which really helps the stuffies.

4) Use wipes on the nose - Kleenex is great (buy the extra soft for sick kiddos), but once their noses are all chapped and nasty, try using baby wipes instead, or a wet washcloth. It's soothing to the skin. Also, put some Vaseline on their faces (cheeks and under the nose, particularly) to prevent that chapped face look that is so common this time of year.

5) Tylenol/Ibuprofen - Hallelujah, these are still "ok" to use. I give a dose of Tylenol, then 3 hours later give ibuprofen, then 3 hours later give Tylenol, and so on, for maximum discomfort relief. If my kids still have livers by the time they're 10, it'll be a miracle, but my doctor said it was the way to do it...

6) Robitussin - I'm bad. I ignore recommendations. Fortunately, so does my doctor. Robitussin thickens up the mucus and helps them cough it up. Give it to them during the day. Be sure to call your doctor for the correct dose.

7) Benadryl - yeah, I know. No meds under 6. Blah blah blah. The people who said that don't have kids under 6. Call your doctor and get the dose for your child by weight (not age) and dope their little behinds up so you can sleep at night.

8) How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon - this book includes a line about getting sick "in a pail" and after eleventy trillion readings, MG now at least attempts to aim her puke for the pail.

9) Beach towels - who wants to do a million loads of laundry and care for sick kids? Put a towel under their head and shoulders in the bed, so if they miss the pail, you might be able to save the sheets if you act fast.

10) Vicks Early Defense - We used this a lot last winter, whenever we went to the museum, the library, the doctor's office, or any other germy place, and it really seemed to help keep us healthy.

11) Rest and hydrate - pop the kiddos in front of a movie with their tissues, their "pail," and their tea (or ginger ale) and let them veg. Now is not the time to be running around. Stay home as a public service to others, and relax your rules about television watching until everyone feels better.

12) Enlist help - if you're sick too (God forbid) find a sympathetic relative to come help you out. My mother in law came and helped out last time we were really sick, so we're going to take extra good care of her when she's old. I'm just sayin'. :)

Those are my best tips for caring for sick kiddos... Please leave yours in the comments!!

Visit Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for me Wednesday tips!!


Lorie said...

Very nice!

My SIl went out and bought a TON of childrens meds before they removed them from the shelves! And I am all about correctly dosing the medicine for older kids! I have a great doctor who always gives you a sheet with this helpful info after each visit!

Anonymous said...

Corn Syrup for the mucus, a nurse told us about it and it's a life saver. Give it before nap or bedtime (about a table spoon or two teaspoons) It helps them sleep.

Anonymous said...

In lieu of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, try Un-Petroleum Jelly. The list of ingredients doesn't look nearly as scary.

Kathryn said...

I am pretty sure corn syrup is on the same no no list with honey - it has to do with the possibility that it might contain botulism spores - adult's immune systems can kill the spores, but small children's systems can't. You might want to check with your dr. before trying it.

Baby Bunching said...

Great tips! We're going to feature this on Sunday as one of our bests at

Hillary Dunham said...

Great tips! I'd like to give an Amen to you, too, about the drugs. Come on!! I have a 46 pound 3 year old who has always been super big, so I have always thought he could take it. And he's still here, so that's good!
And, you can also put vicks vapor rub on their feet (and cover with socks, of course). I don't know how, but this little trick is magic! I did it for both of my kiddos last night!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Thank you for the tips! I'm getting to that crazy frustrated "Mama's gonna blow!" phase of my Bubbalu being sick.

Amy said...

I tried the Vicks on the feet thing tonight - I will let you know how it goes!

I had never heard of un-petroleum jelly - I'll have to see if I can find it here. Got a brand name?

Baby Bunching - KEWL! Thanks!!


Erin said...

I still give Katelynn Diamatapp, per pediatrician's dosage whenever she gets stuffed up. That seems to work okay still. I know. I'm a rebel.

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