According to Perri Klass, M.D., there’s no medicine to help children feel better when they are coughing, sneezing, and drippy-nosed. There’s nothing that works, and medicines can have bad side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no over the counter cough and cold medications for children under 6. Not only do they not help, but they can also do real harm. Many children were showing up in emergency rooms with hallucinations, irregular heartbeats and depressed levels of consciousness. This means they had trouble waking babies up.
Parents are often disappointed about this information because they know how miserable a cough and a runny nose and congestion can make a small child feel, from cranky days to disruptive nights. Parents are always worried that something bad is happening and they have to do something. Childhood illnesses are a part of life and most of them are self-limiting. These illnesses are how the child’s immune system learns how to fight off bugs and it primes them for a stronger immune system later in life.
But not giving medications does not mean that there is nothing that can be done to help them feel better and support their immune system. Parents can help comfort their children without giving medications, offering plenty of fluids to keep children well hydrated, and honey for a cough in children over a year old (no honey for babies under a year because of the risk of botulism).
It is not necessarily best to suppress coughing. The innate wisdom of the body is trying to get the phlegm and mucus up and out, and coughing can prevent pneumonia. And while we all hate mucous, it is actually the body’s perfect disease-fighting, packaging material. It surrounds the viruses and bacteria, encapsulates and neutralizes them, and then is slippery enough to be coughed or sneezed out. Our bodies know what to do to help us survive and thrive. We can count on that innate wisdom.
And fever is the same. When we have a fever, we are “cooking” and killing off the bad guys. And of course, watch out for symptoms that might suggest that something more than a cold is going on. Any respiratory difficulty in a child has to be taken seriously, so a child who is breathing too fast or working harder than normal to breathe should be checked out. High fevers can be concerning. Most importantly, pay attention to how they act. Are they abnormally lethargic? Can they drink and keep it down? Parents should listen to their own innate wisdom about how their child is really doing.
Many children benefit from humidifiers, steam and saline nose drops. Also, Echinacea, Vitamin C, and Elderberry syrup help with the immune system. And there is nothing like homemade vegetable or chicken soup, loaded with onion and garlic. Try to avoid dairy, as it can be mucous forming.
Chiropractic Adjustments help the immune system. It’s as simple as that. It has been shown that the immune system is boosted by an increase in T-cell production up to 200% after an adjustment. And parents whose kids are under regular chiropractic care say that their kids are the healthiest they know.
Never underestimate the power of Love. Snuggling up on the couch with mom and dad, reading books, watching silly movies, and just giving your babies attention and reassurance that they are going to be ok is the most powerful medicine of all.
Who do you know that could benefit from chiropractic care? Mention this blog for your complimentary consultation and exam ($75 value!) to see if chiropractic can help you!* Call us today at (512) 346-3536 or request an appointment here.
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