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Winter-Proof Your Child: No More Cough or Runny Noses

Updated on November 3, 2016

As winter is quickly approaching, of course, people begin to winter-proof their homes: window and door insulation, warming devices, fireplace preparation, and dripping pipes to avoid frozen pipes. But what about winter-proofing our bodies?! I’m a proud mommy of four beautiful kids. For me, the worst time of the year is when the season begins to change from hot to cold. Children’s bodies can’t adjust to these seasonal changes like our bodies can. Around this time of the year, it’s almost impossible to know how to even dress your child. A winter-coat for morning time has to come off by noon, a long-sleeved shirt might have to be rolled up throughout the pleasantly warm day, and a light jacket might be needed once evening falls. You might turn the heat on at night, and the AC on during the day, and then the next day, you might have the AC on the whole day long. It’s mania!

The first thing you’ll probably notice with your child is a cough. It can be a normal cough, a dry cough, or a wet cough. Then next, you’ll see the drizzle coming from the child’s nose. And if you are a parent of multiple children like myself, you know once one child gets sick, it’s highly possible that all the other children in the house are going to get sick too. I wish they shared their toys like they share their colds!


Quick Facts about Colds in Children

  • most children get 5-8 colds a year
  • most colds happen in the winter
  • the first 3-5 days of the cold shows the worst symptoms
  • colds are caused by viruses
  • common colds are contagious
  • most colds go away within 1-2 weeks w/o treatment
  • doctors don't want you to give medications to children 4 and under
  • Check out more facts at Drugs.com

I’m the type of parent who hates giving my children meds because I hate giving myself meds. I’m not anti-medication, but I do feel like the shelves are stocked with so many different medications for so many different symptoms that it’s intimidating to know what to get and what will work. On top of that, doctor's don't want you to give your child medication for their symptoms if they are four and under. So what can you do for your child besides chest rub, Tylenol or Motrin, and a vaporizer/humidifier?

Now granted, if my child has a prolonged fever for more than three days, we’re going to the doctor because I want to make sure that it’s not the flu, or pneumonia, or an upper respiratory infection. However, in the early stages of these illnesses or at the onset of a cold, there are things that you can do at home to help your child without piling up bills from doctor’s office visits or waiting for the cold to become infection. And honestly, a lot of these “do it yourself” solutions work better than the medications on the shelf and they help prevent the need for a prescribed antibiotic.

Immunity Vitamin Gummies

What I have learned is that as long as they are taking the immunity vitamin gummies, my children are cough-free, runny nose-free, fever-free 90% of the time. But if I skip the gummies for about 2-3 days, then I start hearing a cough...

For the longest, I didn’t realize how major of an effect that vitamin gummies have on your child’s health. What finally awakened me to the truth is when my son caught the flu at two-years-old. You have to understand, I’ve never gotten my children the flu shot. The reason why I didn’t get them the flu shot is because I have never had the flu before (knock on wood) myself, so I figured they would be fine. Then one winter, the flu visited my home and scared me senseless. My son had a fever of 105. Yikes! I rushed him to the hospital and sure enough, he had the flu. They treated his two other siblings with Tamiflu as a preventative measure. The next 12 days were nightmarish.

At the time when this happened, I was giving my children gummies every day, but not immunity vitamin gummies. After that flu-scare, I still don’t get my children the flu shot (I know, I know, bad mommy), I now give them immunity gummies, especially around the time when the seasons begin to change. What I have learned is that as long as they are taking the immunity vitamin gummies, my children are cough-free, runny nose-free, fever-free 90% of the time. But if I skip the gummies for about 2-3 days (which it happens, sometimes I just forget), then I start hearing a cough and I immediately rush to the cabinet to grab the gummies to help build up their immune system. I love using the Lil’ Critters Immune C vitamin gummies. Those things are delicious! My friend gives her son the Flintstone Immunity ones, but I’m not too crazy about those because the bottle is too small for me. You have to understand, I’m gummying-up 4 kids per day, two gummies each, so I need those gummies to last!

Persistent Cough - Use Raw Honey

If honey is this awesome, why aren’t doctors pushing the use of honey more? You already know. The same reason why they don’t tell you that a garlic clove can clear up a yeast infection so much faster and more effective than Monistat-1. It’s because the medical field and pharmaceutical companies are about health, but they’re also about business. If it isn’t making money, it isn’t making sense, and you can’t patent honey.

Persistent Cough – Use Raw Honey

I think this is the most irritating symptom. Your child coughs and coughs and coughs, and it always worsens at night. You take your child to the doctor and there’s nothing they can give them, nothing they can do about it. They’ll tell you to try some over-the-counter (OTC) products (if your child is old enough) or give the child honey because it’s a cough suppressant. The only way they give your child medication is if it has turned into an infection. But who wants to wait until their child is that sick in order to do something about it?

So I finally decided to take this honey thing seriously and I was so surprised by the results. Here’s the thing. You can’t buy the honey in the cutesy teddy bear containers. You have to get the raw, unfiltered honey that looks like a dark amber color. It’ll usually run you anywhere from $9.99 a jar and up, but it’s oh so worth it! The kind I like to use is Aunt Sue’s Raw and Wild Honey. I buy it from my local Food Lion.

It is very thick and difficult to swallow, so I suggest mixing 1/2 TB of raw honey with 1 tsp of water. Stir until the honey becomes more liquefied. Then pour it into a medicine cup and let your child drink it. I usually do this in the morning before my love-bug goes to school and at night before my love-bug goes to sleep. Works like a charm. But keep in mind that you can’t give honey to children who are age one and under because honey has a spore called Clostridium botulinum, which can cause infant botulism, which is rare but fatal. See this link for more information: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/honey-botulism.html .


You can’t give honey to children who are age one and under because it can be fatal.

Here’s why honey is so great. Honey has excellent healing properties because it offers antibacterial activity. Also, honey has a high viscosity, which helps it to form a protective barrier that prevents infection. Check out the NCBI website for more information on honey’s medicinal properties: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/ .

Two very common illnesses in children are upper respiratory infections and pneumonia, which both can be caused by bacterial infections. Basically, the child retains a cold in them so long that it turns into infection. Giving your child honey can not only suppress the cough, but it can also work on the inside of your child to prevent infection. So use honey as a preventative measure, giving it to your child before the first signs of illnesses or at the very first signs of sickness.

Some of the Health Benefits of Honey

Runny Noses - Saline Spray & Bulb Syringe

One reason why children stay sick so much longer than adults is because they don’t spit it out. Sorry, I know. Yuck! Children struggle to have a productive cough and even when they do have a productive cough, they don't spit out the mucus like a grown-up would. So the cold sits inside of them and stays longer, and a lot of times, this nasty cold turns into infection. To help your child with this, get the mucus out of them!

I like to use Little Noses Saline Spray. Children hate this product. The cold spray going up their noses is rather startling. What I have learned that works rather well with my children is to allow them to help in the process so it doesn’t seem like you’re doing the work, but instead, they’re doing it. When it’s time to clean my youngest daughter’s nose (she’s currently 2), she knows where I keep the equipment. She goes and get the saline solution and the bulb syringe. She takes off the top of the saline solution and puts the bottle to her nose. I have to help her push the bottle so that it’ll spray for her (you can also choose to drop the drips instead of spray them). Wait a few minutes so that the salt solution can do its work in loosening up the mucus. Then take the bulb syringe and suck the snot out of ’em!

Avoid sticking the stem of the bulb syringe up their nose because if you hit something one time in their nose, trying to get them to cooperate again with a bulb syringe will be a nightmare. Instead, I like to put the syringe in their nose at an angle, against the side wall of their nose. Go ahead and press the bulb ball in prior to putting the syringe to their nose. That way, all you’ll have to do is release the bulb part and it’ll have a strong pull to make the loosened mucus come down. Suck out as much as you can as often as you can, and watch and see don’t your baby get better quicker.

If your child has a fever that’s higher than 103, or if your child has a fever that has lasted three days or longer, go to the doctor.

In Closing...

These three home remedies—immunity vitamin gummies, raw honey, and saline/bulb syringe—are easy do-it-yourself solutions that work quickly and much more effectively than OTC drugs. I suggest that you use these remedies as preventative measures or as solutions to early-onset colds. If your child has a fever that’s higher than 103, or if your child has a fever that has lasted three days or longer, the infection might have already settled in and in that case, you will most likely need to go to the doctor so that your child can begin an antibiotic treatment.

Here's to a winter-proofed body for you and your child for the upcoming season!

Summarized Facts

  • Immunity vitamin gummies boost the immune system to fight off colds
  • Honey is a cough suppressant and boosts the immune system
  • Nasal spray & bulb syringe helps to get rid of the mucus quicker
  • There are preventative or early-onset remedies
  • For high fevers and/or persistent fevers lasting longer than 3 days, seek medical treatment

What home remedy do you use to treat your child's cold?

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