Coughs and Colds: Medicines or Home Remedies?

Medicines

Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines can cause serious side effects in young children. The risks of using these medicines outweigh any benefits from reducing symptoms. Therefore, in October 2008, the Food and Drug Administration recommended that OTC cough and cold medicines never be used in children younger than 4 years. 

From ages 4 to 6 years, they should be used only if recommended by your child’s doctor. After age 6 years, the medicines are safe to use, but follow the dosage instructions on the package. Fortunately, you can easily treat cough s and colds in young children without these nonprescription medicines.

Home Remedies

A good home remedy is safe, inexpensive, and as beneficial as OTC medicines. They are also found in nearly every home. 

Here is how you can treat your child’s symptoms with simple but effective home remedies instead of medicines:

1 Runny Nose: Just suction or blow it. And remember, when your child’s nose runs like a faucet, it’s getting rid of viruses. Antihistamines (eg, loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine) do not help the average cold. However, they are useful and approved if the runny nose is caused by nasal allergies (hay fever).

2 Blocked Nose: Use nasal washes.

◦ Use saline nose spray or drops to loosen up dried mucus, followed by blowing or suctioning the nose. If these are not available, warm water will work fine.

◦ Instill 2 to 3 drops in each nostril. Do one side at a time. Then suction or blow. Teens can just splash warm water into their nose. Repeat nasal washes until the return is clear.

◦ Do nasal washes whenever your child can’t breathe through the nose. For infants on a bottle or breast, use nose drops before feedings.

◦ Saline nose drops and sprays are available in all pharmacies without a prescription. To make your own, add 2 mL of table salt to 240 mL of warm tap water.

◦ Sticky, Stubborn Mucus: Remove with a wet cotton swab.

◦ Medicines: There is no medicine that can remove dried mucus or pus from the nose.

3 Coughing: Use homemade cough medicines.

◦ For Children 3 Months to 1 Year of Age: Give warm, clear fluids (eg, warm water, apple juice). Dosage is 5 to 15 mL 4 times per day when coughing. Avoid honey because it can cause infantile botulism . If your child is younger than 3 months, see your child’s doctor.

◦ For Children 1 Year and Older: Use HONEY, 2 to 5 mL, as needed. It thins secretions and loosens the cough. (If honey is not available, you can use corn syrup.) Recent research has shown that honey is better than drugstore cough syrups at reducing the frequency and severity of nighttime coughing.

◦ Coughing Spasms: Expose your child to warm mist from a shower.

4 Fluids: Help your child drink plenty of fluids. Staying well hydrated thins the body’s secretions, making it easier to cough and blow the nose.

5 Humidity: If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier. Moist air keeps nasal mucus from drying up and lubricates the airway. Running a warm shower for a while can also help humidify the air.

Treatment Is Not Always Needed

• If symptoms aren’t bothering your child, they don’t need medicine or home remedies. Many children with a cough or nasal congestion are happy, play normally, and sleep peacefully.

• Only treat symptoms if they cause discomfort, interrupt sleep, or really bother your child (eg, a hacking cough).

• Because fevers are beneficial, only treat them if they slow your child down or cause some discomfort. That doesn’t usually occur until your child’s temperature reaches 102°F (39°C) or higher.

• Acetaminophen (eg, Tylenol) or ibuprofen (eg, Advil, Motrin) can be safely used in these instances to treat fever or pain.

Summary:

If treatment is needed for coughs and colds, home remedies may work better than medicines

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Seven Notable Quotes About Learning

Deep learning is facilitated through questioning. Rather than giving answers, adults help teens become good learners by helping them identify questions that pique their curiosity. When we help young people make associations between what they are studying at school and the world outside of the classroom, they learn that everything in the universe is connected, that learning is an endless lifelong process.

How adults help teens become life-long learners

Plato was a thinker of diverse interests and he was dedicated to the acquisition of knowledge. He holds the distinction of being the first Western thinker whose work has survived intact, and his ideas have greatly influenced the development of Western philosophy.

The School of Athens, “Who is Who?”

Is Your Kid Hooked on Smartphones? 


More and more my patients are becoming addicted to their devices. I am concerned that their communication and social skills may be stifled. We are who we are in a large part by what we do. Children and adults who spend hours on devices miss opportunities and to grow as individuals. 

It is best to limit exposure to the internet and social media. There’s a false narrative of what’s real. Unfortunately it is not the curators of the net to assume that responsibility.  As parents and as families it is our role to take over responsibility. 


5 Tips for Parents


Keep devices out of kids’ bedrooms.

Set up online firewalls and data cutoffs.

Create a device contract. 

Model healthy device behaviors.

Consider old-school flip phones for your kids.

Taken from:  Is Your Kid Hooked on Smartphones? 5 Tips for Parents

Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

Sharenting: Impact on Children’s Privacy

 

Jozef Israëls (Dutch Realist painter, Mother and Child by the Sea Jozef Israëls (Dutch Realist painter,

A parent’s own decision to share a child’s personal information online is a potential source of harm that has gone largely unaddressed. Children not only have interests in protecting negative information about themselves on their parent’s newsfeed, but also may not agree with a parent’s decision to share any personal information—negative or positive—about them in the online world. There is no “opt-out” link for children and split-second decisions made by their parents will result in indelible digital footprints. While adults have the ability to set their own parameters when sharing their personal information in the virtual world, children are not afforded such control over their digital footprint unless there are limits on parents. 
Excerpt from:

Sharenting: Children’s Privacy in the Age of Social Media

Facebook ! How much are you sharing?

I am afraid that my patients as well as their parents are naively and freely disclosing personal  information online in mediums that they trust and believe to be secure.  As all the recent hacks of government and corporpate networks that information is not secure. Now it is becoming more evident that the behemoth techno companies  Alphabet (Google) and Facebook (aka Instagram and WhatsApp) know too much about their users. 

What this means is that even more than it is in the advertising business, Facebook is in the surveillance business. Facebook, in fact, is the biggest surveillance-based enterprise in the history of mankind. It knows far, far more about you than the most intrusive government has ever known about its citizens. It’s amazing that people haven’t really understood this about the company. I’ve spent time thinking about Facebook, and the thing I keep cominfg back to is that its users don’t realise what it is the company does. Read more in the following article. 
Excerpt from “You are the product”