Sick days are part of being a child and parents spend a lot of time worrying about the childhood illnesses that they often have to deal with.
The most common children’s health issues include the common cold, coughs, diaper rashes, ear infections, cold sores, asthma, diarrhea, toothaches, stomachaches, skin rashes and more.
Germs, bacteria and viruses are naturally present in our environment. Because a child’s immune system is weak, children get sick more often than adults when exposed to these harmful agents.
As children get older, their immune systems strengthen and they build up immunity to fight off many common infections.
Instead of worrying, parents should work to boost their child’s immunity and seek the active involvement and cooperation of their child care provider.
To boost your child’s immune system, offer him healthy foods, make sure he gets enough sleep at night and proper rest during the day, incorporate physical activities in his daily routine, ensure his safety and give him a healthy environment in which to develop.
At the same time, it is every parent’s duty to ensure good hygiene for his or her children. To prevent infections, parents should teach their children to practice frequent hand washing, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. They should also frequently wash toys, bedding, clothes and other personal things that their children use.
It is hard when your child is sick. However, many of the common childhood health problems are not serious. You can rely on some home remedies to treat many of these health issues. However, remain aware of the warning signs of serious illnesses and, if you are worried about your child, consult a doctor right away.
Here are the top 10 natural health remedies for children.
1. Honey for the Common Cold
The common cold is caused by different types of viruses. Symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, sore throat, itching eyes, mild body aches and a general feeling of illness.
For children suffering from the common cold, raw honey is a good remedy due to its antimicrobial properties. It also helps reduce nighttime coughing and improves sleep. Mix together 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Give it to your child 3 or 4 times a day for a few days.
In case of fever, do not forget to give your child a sponge bath to help reduce body temperature. Also, give your child homemade chicken soup to boost immunity.
Note: Do not give honey to children under age 1 as it can cause infant botulism.
2. Ginger for Asthma
Asthma in children is steadily increasing. It is a lung disease with typical symptoms being wheezing, coughing, tightness around the chest and shortness of breath. The condition can be triggered by allergies, air pollution, respiratory infections and a humid climate.
Ginger is a time-honored natural treatment for asthma. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce airway inflammation and inhibit airway contraction.
- Mix together equal amounts of ginger juice, pomegranate juice and honey. Give your child 1 tablespoon of this mixture 3 times a day. You can also give your child ginger candies.
- Ginger candies can also help ease the symptoms.
3. Olive Oil for Earaches
Earaches in children can be very uncomfortable. The pain can be sharp or dull that comes and goes or is constant. Most often, childhood earaches are caused by ear infections and fluid buildup in the middle ear. They can also be due to the common cold, blockage in the nasal passage and an increase in air pressure.
The best treatment for earaches is olive oil, which works as a lubricant and helps get rid of ear infections.
Put 3 or 4 drops of lukewarm olive oil into your child’s ear canal. The oil will cause the wax to soften, which you can remove with cotton swabs or ask an expert to do it. Be sure not to put the cotton swabs too far into the ear.
Applying a warm washcloth around the affected ear can also help relieve pain.
4. Asafetida for Toothaches
The most common cause of toothaches in children is tooth decay and cavities. They can also occur due to a small scrap of food caught between the teeth, which can be removed with brushing and flossing under your supervision.
Asafetida, also known as hing, is a good remedy for toothaches.
- Fry a pinch of powdered asafetida with clarified butter.
- Using a cotton swab, apply it on the affected part of your child’s tooth.
If your child is old enough to ‘swish and spit’, a salt water rinse is another effective remedy. Make the rinse by adding ½ teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water. Stir to dissolve the salt. Have your child rinse his mouth thoroughly with this solution.
5. Fennel for Stomachaches
Almost all children suffer from stomachaches at one time or another. They can be due to constipation, indigestion, gas, acid reflux, stomach flu, food poisoning, overeating, colic and swallowing air.
Fennel seeds are a good way to help relieve stomach pain in children due to gas or indigestion.
- Add 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to 1 cup of hot water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add a little honey and have your child drink it slowly 2 times a day.
- You can also give your child a small amount of roasted fennel seeds to chew after a meal.
Also, give your child warm water to drink at regular intervals while experiencing a stomachache. This will help expel gas and also prevent constipation.
6. Turmeric for Coughs
Coughing is one of the most common health problems in children. Coughing is a response to a blockage or irritant in the throat or upper respiratory passages.
It can be due to a viral infection, the common cold, flu and other health problems like asthma. It is often accompanied by an itchy throat, chest pain and congestion.
Turmeric is a good remedy for coughs due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral action.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and give it to your child to drink twice daily.
- For a dry cough, mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 teaspoon of honey and give it to your child 3 times a day.
Drinking warm lemonade can also help treat coughs in children.
7. Cinnamon for Bedwetting
Bedwetting, the process of unknowingly passing urine while sleeping, is common in young children. Children do not wet their bed purposely or due to laziness.
It happens due to a small bladder, excessive urine production, constipation, or stress. It becomes less common as the child gets older.
Cinnamon is the best home remedy for bedwetting. This spice keeps the body warm, which in turn helps prevent bedwetting.
- Give your child a small cinnamon stick to chew thoroughly once a day.
- Another option is to sprinkle cinnamon powder and sugar on a piece of toast and give it to your child for breakfast.
Massaging your child’s lower abdomen with warm olive oil for 5 minutes, a few times daily, can also help treat bedwetting.
8. Bananas for Diarrhea
Diarrhea is loose and watery stools that often occurs with abdominal pain. It is the body’s way of ridding itself of germs, and can last from a few days to a week. Children get diarrhea due to some kind of infection, consumption of contaminated food or water, or food poisoning.
When dealing with diarrhea in children, give them an unripe green banana which can be eaten with white rice (brown rice is difficult to digest). The high pectin content helps treat diarrhea.
Bananas are also high in potassium that helps replace electrolytes that may be lost during diarrhea. If your child does not like bananas, make a smoothie with yogurt and banana.
You can also give your child bland foods like boiled potatoes, rice water and clear broths.
9. Aloe Vera for Skin Rashes
Rashes on the skin is another common concern of parents of small children. Skin rashes cause redness, itchiness and, at times, pain and inflammation. These rashes can be caused by allergies, insect bites, mites, excessive sweating or contact with certain poisonous plants like poison ivy or oak.
The soothing and calming properties of aloe vera help treat skin rashes in children.
- Apply some fresh aloe vera gel on the affected area.
- wait 20 minutes and then rinse it off with cool water. Repeat this remedy a few times daily.
You can also rub some extra-virgin olive oil on the rash a few times daily.
Applying a cold compress on the affected area can help ease itching, swelling and inflammation. However, do not put ice cubes directly on the skin.
10. Coconut Oil for Minor Wounds
Children often suffer from minor wounds while playing around in the park or at home. When the outer skin layer becomes torn or punctured, it can produce symptoms including bleeding, redness, swelling, inflammation, pain and tenderness.
To treat a wound, you need to thoroughly clean it first. Keep the affected area under clean running water to get rid of any dirt, dust and other particles. Wash it with a mild antiseptic soap and pat dry.
To facilitate healing, apply extra-virgin coconut oil on the wounded area and cover it with a bandage. Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a day for a few days. The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties of coconut oil will promote healing and prevent infection.
- Make your child wash his hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom, after playing outside and before eating.
- Make your child brush his teeth twice daily, once in the morning and again before going to bed.
- Make sure your toddler does not put his or her hands in their mouth.
- Monitor your children’s activities to ensure that they are practicing good hygiene.
- Keep your kids’ toys clean.
- Feed your children healthy foods that boost their immune systems.
- Keep your home clean and free of dust and clutter.
- Make sure the plates and cups your child is using are clean and that the food he eats is prepared hygienically.
- Give your child clean water to drink at regular intervals.
- When your child is sick, make him rest to speed up recovery.
- Do not allow a sick child to play outside, as it will put other children at a risk.
- Take your child for regular checkups to be sure he is meeting developmental goals appropriate for his age.