Red Chief and Tiger Lily have been down with colds and coughs for the last couple of weeks. Other than never wanting to see another used tissue on the floor again, I am holding up pretty well (except my scratchy throat—please don't let me come down with it too!).
In any case, treatment of colds has changed since I was a child. Traditional cold and cough medicines are out. I'm not convinced they help much, anyway.
As we left the pediatrician's office after a quick check-up earlier this week to make sure all was well in the lungs (it was), Red Chief asked me if he had an uncommon type of cold. I'm sure he will learn all too soon how common the cold really is.
Here is what I have been doing to help my children, as suggested by my kids' doctor and by my own experience. Their coughs have been getting so bad the past few nights that I've been having to do nearly all of these things before bed, which extends bedtime for quite a bit. But it's worth it! We all sleep better when we do these things.
- Put a humidifier in their room.
- Go to bed early to get some extra rest. (Naps are not amiss either.)
- Take a hot bath before bed.
- Rub the chest and feet with Vicks Vaporub or Mentholatum. Cover with cotton t-shirt and socks. I cannot tell you how effective this is!
- If the area under the nose is becoming irritated, give it a coating of Vaporub/Mentholatum (if they will let you) or of Neosporin or Vaseline. If the skin is broken, use Neosporin.
- Take something to promote sleep. I have been using Zarbee's natural cough syrup. It contains honey; vitamins; and melatonin, which puts them to sleep. I got mine at Target.
- Elevate the head with an extra pillow.
- Give lots of love and comfort. Consider reading them an extra book or two so they're more likely to fall asleep soon after you leave them.
- If they wake up coughing during the night, help them sit up and blow their nose (many coughs come from post-nasal drip) and take a drink. Rearrange pillows so the head will still be elevated.
What do you do for colds at nighttime?
Up tomorrow: Treating coughs and colds during the day