With the new recommendations out from Health Canada on cold medicines for children under age 6 and then today from other researchers on the dangers of menthol in chest rubs for infants, you may be feeling like there’s nothing you can do to make your ill child feel better.
Here are some ideas that we like around here (they’ve been getting lots of use lately):
- Humidifier: while cool mist humidifiers are often recommended, I like the warm mist humidifiers better. Just be sure to air out the rooms well and be very careful to place the unit well aware from where it might be reached by little hands (it is boiling water).
- Honey: for babies over a year only, a teaspoon of honey has been shown to be to more effective than cough syrup. (Honey isn’t recommended for babies under a year because of the risk of botulism spores in the honey attacking their wee immune systems).
- Non-menthol chest balms: the trouble with Vicks and the like is primarily the menthol irritating the airways and causing an increase in thick mucous. This chest balm from Erbabviva contains no menthol, is all organic and is much milder on the skin.
Finally, hang in there – cold and flu season stinks, but it always ends. Try to look on the bright and think of all the extra cuddles you can get in now that your kids have been slowed down a bit.