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  1. #1
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    Sep 2000

    Default Your kid has a cold -- what now?

    Your kid has a cold -- what now?

    Story Highlights
    Parents seek answers after FDA advises against cold medications for young kids

    Doctors recommend alternative therapies such as massage and essential oils

    One expert says big doses of vitamin C can help

    By Elizabeth Cohen

    Empowered Patient, a regular feature from CNN Medical News correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

    ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- On the popular parenting Web site urbanbaby.com, a writer asks whether it's OK to give an 18-month-old "a tiny bit of Robitussin" for her "cold/cough and fever."

    "No flames please," the parent requests.

    But flames she got.

    "Idiot," one user writes.

    "The answer is of course not," another writes. "Come on ... these cough syrups are totally ineffective in ameliorating the common cold and are harmful to your child."

    Over-the-counter cough and cold medications for a child under 6 goes against the advice of the Food and Drug Administration -- and apparently that of many fellow parents on the Internet. These medications have been blamed for more than 100 deaths and at least thousands of trips to the emergency room.

    But what else can a parent do?

    "I use these types of meds at night so we can all get some sleep," writes another parent on urbanbaby.com. "It's the only thing that helps with her cough at night," another says.

    Or as one parent puts it succinctly on the Craigslist parenting forum: "It sucks not knowing what to do."

    Here are a few alternatives that physicians give their patients when little ones are miserable with a cough or cold.

    Music and a massage

    "Gentle massage with an essential oil such as lavender may help to promote sleep," says Dr. Michelle Bailey, a pediatrician and associate director of education at Duke Integrative Medicine, which blends traditional medical treatments with alternative therapies.

    She says minimizing stress, since it weakens the immune system, is important, too. "There is a connection between the mind and the body, so relaxing the mind may have a positive relaxation effect on the body during times of illness," she says. "Relaxation tapes or CDs may help reduce stress."

    Tea and a bath

    "I like to recommend ginger tea with honey," says Dr. Paula Gardiner of Harvard Medical School's Osher Institute. (For babies under 1, hold the honey -- it could make them sick). She also tells patients a warm bath with eucalyptus oil helps open stuffed-up nasal passages. Bailey says menthol in the bath works, too.

    Vitamin C and vapor rub

    Vitamin C also is worth trying, says Dr. Kathi Kemper, a professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina and a specialist in integrative medicine. But she says there isn't enough in orange juice. "Doses need to be several hundred milligrams, depending on the age of the child," she says. "My 10-year-old gets two grams daily when he starts to get a cold."

    She also recommends a vapor rub for stuffy noses -- except for infants under 1 month. (She says applying it under the nose can cause apnea in such infants.)

    These suggestions, the doctors say, are in addition to the basics that any pediatrician would recommend: warm liquids, a humidifier, a saline nose spray and a nasal bulb syringe to suck out what's stuffing up your little one.

    But even with all these tricks, there's nothing that will magically make your child's cough or cold go away -- or magically get them to sleep.

    Find this article at:

    “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

  2. #2
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    Aug 2004
    Where I'm comfortable


    For coughs, I've found that a 1/4 cup of honey with the juice of one lemon works great. Give two teaspoons every four hrs. And for colds like runny nose watery eyes I like to give a blend of Enchincea and goldenseal to work on the immune system, for my little ones I just put half a capsule in some orange juice twice a day. Also a hot pot of water with mint in it, have the child hold its head over the pot and put a towel over it(the head) clears a stuffy nose right up.
    "The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger." (Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 8. No.135)

  3. #3
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    Sep 2000


    Jazak Allah khayr for the good tips. I'll be using them often I'm sure. Everyone in my house has been sick off and on for about 2 months now. :|

    “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Toronto, On, Canada


    I was told that ginger tea also is good and peppermint tea and mint tea
    and mixing some olive oil, honey and this other type of herb medicine for colds. OH yes it was oregano oil.
    very strong stuff but im told it works..
    Patience & Understanding is the key to happiness. Is it not time to remember & trust in Allah?
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  5. #5
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    Oct 2009
    United States

    Default Your kid has a cold what now

    Were in a whole new decade-are you going to keep your parenting strategy the same? shake it up? what are your hopes for you, your kids and your family in general?Happy New Yearthis week: The New Year and links


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