Cold Remedies for Kids


cold remedyWith hundreds of different viruses floating around, it’s no wonder children fall ill so often. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the common cold. That said, you can relieve your child’s symptoms and reduce the duration of his or her illness with a few effective cold remedies for kids.

Practical Tips

When their kids fall ill, parents often visit the doctor to ask for antibiotics or some other pharmaceutical cure. In reality, however, these medications have no positive impact on common viral infections. Sadly, time is the best cure for a cold, and most run their course in four to ten days. In the meantime, you can make your child more comfortable with the following at-home prescriptions:

  • Rest: Rest is essential to recuperation, especially when we’re ill. Sleep can boost your child’s immune system and speed recovery.
  • Elevation: By elevating your child’s bed or mattress, you can promote drainage and reduce congestion.
  • Humidifier: Relieve stuffy, dry nasal passages by adding moisture to the air. Just be sure to regularly clean the device to prevent bacteria and mold from accumulating.
  • Fluids: Hydration is especially important when we’re sick; however, you should avid caffeinated or sugary beverages in favor of water, herbal teas and broth.
  • Chicken Soup: Warm chicken soup doesn’t just sooth the throat; in fact, studies suggest it has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce common cold symptoms.
  • Shower Steam: By producing warm steam, showers can reduce congestion and help your child breathe easier.
  • Saline Nasal Sprays: Comprised of a simple mixture of salt and water, these sprays affectively loosen mucous and help clear sinuses.
  • Gargling: Post nasal drip can cause painful sore throats. Relieve the pain by having your child gargle with warm water containing one-quarter teaspoon of salt.
  • Honey: Studies indicate that buckwheat honey actually outperforms dextromethorphan-base cough syrup when it comes to silencing a bad cough. Just be sure to contact your family physician before giving honey to a child under one year of age, since this can lead to botulism in rare instances.
  • Nasal Strips: These can be life-savers, when stuffy noses keep children awake at night.

Keeping Colds at Bay

It’s not always easy to care for sick children without contracting their illnesses. To reduce your risk, wash their hands and your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizers after every interaction.

Dr. Jeannie Kenkare

Written by Dr. Jeannie Kenkare

Dr. Kenkare is a highly experienced clinician with a background in family medicine. As a founding member of PhysicianOne Urgent Care's parent company Happy Mountains, she is also our Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Kenkare provides guidance and leadership to our health care team, and is responsible for the review of clinical guidelines, decision tools, and outcomes to develop and implement strategies that will improve patient care and clinical quality.


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