During these winter months, a great deal of discussion in Circle of Moms communities revolves around sniffles, sneezes, and coughs. We know too well that there is no cure or magic prescription for fixing the common cold. If your preschooler is dealing with a perpetually runny nose and cold-like symptoms, here are some tips from other moms to help them feel better.
1. Fresh Air
Cold weather seems to bring out the worst when it comes to illness. However, what is going on inside our homes and preschools during this time of year is probably much more to blame than what is going on outside. As Circle of Moms member Sarah L. says, viruses and bacteria thrive in air-tight spaces: "The reason we have a "cold and flu season" is that heating in houses and buildings recycles the air [and] no fresh [air] comes in. [Also,] because it is cold, people spend considerably more time indoors with (you guessed it) other people. Fresh air does wonders to give the immune system a boost."
Circle of Moms member Chrystal B. also recommends a fresh air fix for sick kids, mainly for the psychological benefit: "I still bundle them up and take them outside for like ten minutes when they are sick... just not around people or enclosed spaces where the germs tend to be the highest. It's not really about making them heal faster but boosting their mood."
2. Immunity Boosts
Even for kids who regularly eat healthy, some moms in our communities say a daily multi-vitamin helps their kids stay well. A New England-based member named Lisa points out two important vitamins that we all might need to supplement this time of year: "We give maintenance doses of sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and we all take vitamin D daily. We just don't get enough sun in New Hampshire from October to April."
Even when the symptoms are all in the head and chest, the problem (and its solution) can lie surprisingly deeper. Moms such as Heather B. recommend a daily dose of probiotics to boost a child's immune system: "I put these daily in her milk. Something like 80% of our immunity is located in our digestive system."
Jan G. is a mom of seven who swears by natural remedies, including honey. She says: "Honey is a natural for boosting the immune system and bring healing for inflammation. Also, it's great to get the local raw honey as it helps boost your immunity to local pollens."
3. Congestion Relief
Saline Nose Spray
Several Circle of Moms members talk about the benefits of using a saline nose spray or drops to help with nasal congestion. There are a few different brands out there, and all are safe for kids (and great for adults too). A member who goes by the name of Aunt Em uses saline at night: "saline spray and a boogie sucker right after a long warm bath should get them as clear as possible to be off to a good start for the night."
Steam and Menthol
As Aunt Em mentions, steam can give your child relief from nasal and chest congestion, and vaporizers and vapor baths are highly recommended by many moms. Jodi has a 5-year-old with a seasonal cough, and she swears by the vaporizer at night: "Every night, we put the vaporizer on for her and it really eases her sleep... The nights we forget to use it are the nights she is worse."
Paula P. speaks highly of Johnson & Johnson's Soothing Vapor Bath: "The warm water and the rosemary, eucalyptus and menthol really help with the congestion." Another old-school remedy that is popular among moms in our communities is Vicks VapoRub. Erica B. suggests the following bedtime ritual for a cough: "You should rub the Vicks on the bottom of their feet, then put socks on them, and rub the Vicks on their backs as well."
4. Testing For Allergies
When cold and congestion symptoms persist without relief, it might be a good idea to get your little one tested for allergies. As Nickie M. points out, allergies can come from almost anywhere: "Did you by chance change laundry detergent or bath soaps? Did they get something new in their room? Are they eating a new food? Any of these plus other new things introduced can create allergies."
Gina B. strongly suggests getting allergy tested after what she went through with her 5-year-old daughter: "Her allergies were causing her immune system to work overtime, therefore she caught every cold or flu that was going around. Talk to your doctor about getting them tested, it certainly can't hurt."
5. Growing Up and Getting Stronger
In the end, it may not be easy... but one of the best things you can do is be patient and have faith that your child's immune system will get stronger as she gets older. Karen M., a mom of three boys, remembers going through the never-ending cold with her sons: "Often it felt like the colds where back to back." But as she points out, there is a magical point when it shifts: "By eight it should get better. They have built up a better immune system and are able to fight off more colds."
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.