It's cold and flu season. I interrupt my very long blog-cation to bring you a vent and a plea.
Don't be the one.
Don't be the one whose kid is coughing every 2.4 seconds at the park/ museum/ play group/ grocery store. Sneezing on the snacks. Covered with dripping snot, trailing mucus across the room.
If the kid is sick, I beg you, stay home. It's better for the kid. I know, I know, you're going crazy with cabin fever. I know, I know, as soon as one gets better the other one is down with it.
It's just one of those sacrifices we make. For motherhood and public sanitation.
But what about when you're sure no one is contagious any longer (or at least you've convinced yourself that's the case... ahem)? But that cough is hanging on and the snot is still dripping- just a little bit, right?
Have no fear. There are tricks to be had.
By now I assume everyone knows that traditional pharmacy cold medicines are bad for kids. Some are still available, some doctors still recommend them despite the AAP's warnings put out several years ago, and new 'safe' over-the-counters are always popping up.
Here are some better, safe alternatives:
Cough- this one is easy. The AAP now recommends honey as a cough suppressant for children. YAY! for the AAP getting something right! Buy a RAW honey, the darker in color and thicker in consistency the better.
1 teaspoon is effective for 2-4 hours depending on the severity of cough. I dip a baby spoon into our gallon of thick raw honey and let my coughing child suck on it like a lollipop.
Most health food stores sell raw honey sticks, plastic straws with honey inside. Carry these in your purse with some scissors for a quick-fix if the cougher starts going when you're away from home.
A water bottle or a warm tea with lemon and honey in a thermos are good for away-all-day outings with a coughing child- or mom!
Sneezing- Sorry to state the obvious, but it seems that some moms need to be reminded that children have to be taught how to handle sneezes. My son is currently traumatized after our beautiful snack tray was sneezed on- repeatedly- by a young boy, whose mom was sitting right next to the snacks at a playgroup. Seriously.
The Running Nose- besides the painfully obvious need for the mum of a child with a running nose to be quick and vigilant with the tissues and hand sanitizer, we regularly use a neti pot to keep our kids' noses in tip-top shape. After a salt water treatment, the running should stop for an hour or two.
We were using a traditional neti pot, which was great for our 7 year old, but our 5 year old couldn't do it so she was using an eye dropper to get the salt water through her nose. The 2 year old, too. But when our pot recently broke and we couldn't find a ceramic one to replace it, my husband grabbed a sinu-cleanse sqeeze bottle. I was skeptical. But after 1 use, we're converted. The 5 year old can do it; the 2 year old hates it, but it works.
For babies, there is a product called "Little Noses" that is simply a saline solution in a squeeze bottle sized for a smaller nose. It works like a charm.
(If you've never heard of neti pot-ing, the basic concept is: fill a special pitcher with warm salt or salt/ baking soda water, and pour into one nostril. The saltwater flows through the nasal and sinus cavities, loosening the phlegm, and it all flows out the other side. Then you do the other side after some serious nose-blowing. The salt kills germs and washes them away, preventing them from multiplying on your mucus membranes. It also hydrates the mucus membranes, which is helpful during dry winter weather.)
So that's it, my vent and my plea for cold and flu season. I am now past 12 weeks and feeling a bit more like a human being. I've got some more non-dairy yogurt tips and a new breakfast to share, so hopefully I can get those posts done this week.
"You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment."
~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"