Monday, December 5, 2011

Sick Kid Toolkit

So, I'm stuck at home with a sick pre-schooler. Really, there's very little that can make a parent feel more helpless than a sick kid who can't sleep, can't stop coughing, and feels miserable. Time to break into the medicine cabinet.
So, let's take a look at the standard choices and find better options for substitutions.
Vicks Baby Rub (most of the ingredients aren't really a problem - although petroleum has certainly had it's share of bad press over the last few Proctor & Gamble - long-time proponent of animal testing)
Johnson & Johnson Vapor Bath (animal tested and the fragrance - though it smells really good - is not natural).
Over-the-counter cold medications (most are not recommended for children under 6 years of age, plus they have any number of unsavory this article on the risks and alternatives published by the Mayo Clinic).
Gatorade/Pedialyte (high fructose corn syrup and unnatural sweeteners).
So, not to be all uppity and holier than thou - I have been known to use ALL of the above products. But, that doesn't mean I'm not always looking for better solutions. After lots of shopping and researching, I have found some better, more natural options.
I got this wonderful kit from a friend as a baby shower gift! It really is the perfect present for a new family:

Maty's natural cold relief products

Badger Sleep Balm (I actually used this for our first few flights to calm a frustrated baby):

Gatorade Natural and Glaceau SmartWater don't have high fructose corn syrup...but your better alternative is really probably just tap water (add a little honey, sugar, or salt if your kiddo isn't eating much) - my son also likes club soda with some juice mixed in and a half packet of Emergen-C (they have a kids' version, but it's way more expensive, so I just halve the adult version).
For cough: 1) Apple cider vinegar (I haven't tried it yet, but I'll give it go on my little guy today to see if it beats the over-the-counter stuff. Lots of people swear by it. 2) Hot water, lemon, honey, and whiskey or bourbon - yep, I said it! It's an old-school recipe, one that my own mom used, and one that has been passed down through the generations. It works! And there are no weird side-effects. You don't feel groggy the next morning like you might with Nyquil (which contains alchohol, btw). Of course, I'd keep the alcohol at a smaller dose for a younger child...and I'd leave it out altogether for a child under 6. It's certainly more natural than the chemicals that many over-the-counter meds contain. 3) Chocolate? Hmmmm...well, according to this article by it just might work (like we really needed another excuse to indulge.
Check out this link for a recipe for cough medicine. And my new favorite kids' cold relief product:
Abra Therapeutics Aromasaurus bath powder -
Just a disclaimer: I am not a health care professional, not a doctor of any my suggestions are simply that. Update: I tried the apple cider vinegar/honey/cayenne/ginger recipe on my son. He pretty much immediately threw it back up and told me it was disgusting and he'd rather cough. Soooooo....back to the search....(though I will probably try it on myself for my own cough in the future). I did taste it, and was terrible. I would definitely chase it with something that tastes good.

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