Feed a cold and starve a fever? Or is it starve a cold and feed a fever? Read on to find out the best way to deal with that annoying cold.
The most prevalent cold virus, the rhinovirus, can be repelled by washing hands often. According to a recent report from AOL’s Parent Soup, in elementary school tests, school children who washed hands regularly had 50% fewer absences due to gastrointestinal ailments and 24% fewer from respiratory illnesses. Other good prevention practices are to avoid rubbing the eyes or nose, keep hands away from the mouth, and use tissues rather than handkerchiefs. Echinacea is an herbal remedy recommended for cold prevention in children as well as adults but it is little help once symptoms have begun.
Non-prescription, over the counter medicines for relieving the nasal congestion, runny nose or cough associated with colds usually contain Phenylephrine Hydrochloride, which may cause sleeplessness or irritability in children. Brands recommended for younger children (ages 2-6), including Triaminic and Pedia Care Infant Drops, should help children feel better with fewer side effects.
If you’ve never exposed your child to any of these products, try externally-applied symptom relievers with a camphor, menthol or Eucalyptus base, or a homeopathic cure. In Europe, garlic is sold as an OTC cold remedy; elsewhere, travelers can drink two cloves of fresh garlic diced into water or take nutritional supplements containing allicin. Chicken soup is another folk remedy with a scientific basis. Research has shown that inhaling soup vapors and drinking it at half-hour intervals inhibits phlegm production, thins mucus and “washes” cold viruses out of the body. Drinking plenty of fluids rehydrates mucus membranes and prevents dry mouth and sore nasal passages. Vitamin C and zinc lozenges are also touted for minimizing cold symptoms but both remain scientifically unproven.
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