Colds and Flu are an inevitable part of growing up.
They are also a very necessary part of developing your child’s immune system.
Most babies will catch up to 7 colds in their first year.
Both the Common Cold and Influenza (Flu), are caused by a viral infection. Different types of viruses are responsible for causing common cold.
Rhinoviruses and Coronaviruses are most common ones.
Symptoms and Signs
- Runny nose, alternating with a blocked nose that often interferes with baby drinking or sleeping
- May develop into sneezing, postnatal drip, coughing
- Flu symptoms include: achy body and joints, headaches and lethargy with or without a fever
Treat your colds and flu when the symptoms interfere with energy, moods, sleep or appetite
What you can do to help your child:
A healthy immune system is the best prevention against colds and nutrition is the key to a healthy immune system. Once a cold has taken hold, the following can be helpful in boosting the immune system:
- Eat lightly. Let your child’s energy go toward eliminating the virus instead of digesting food. A decreased appetite is common and not a cause for concern
- Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, diluted vegetable juice, and soup. Continue to breastfeed as often as possible.
- Limit sugar intake. Sugar intake depresses the immune system. This includes: fruit juices, and dairy drinks
- Wash your hands and encourage your children to do the same
- Encourage rest, and sleep as much as possible.
A FEW Handy health tips to ease the course of the infection:
- Prop up the head end of your babies cot, or elevate your child’s head with extra pillow- This helps to drain the nasal passages and reduce night time coughs.
- A few drops of pure saline nose drops will help to make the mucus runny and easier to drain away.
- A Humidifier can make the air a lot softer and easier to breath, especially when your child is sleeping on their back. Try adding a few drops of Eucalyptus, Rosemary or Lavender essential oils to help open up the nasal passages.
- A gentle massage along the sinuses when your child wakes up from sleep, will help to clear any congestion, and help prevent infections.
Seek medical advice if:
- There is a fever is over 39 degrees Celsius and not responding to treatment
- There is stiffness or pain in the back and neck
- Your child is complaining of a headache
- You notice a shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty in breathing
- The symptoms last longer than 7-10 days
- Your child is too sick to drink, and you are noticing signs of dehydration.
Your go-to remedies to reach for:
Influenzinum 6ch: Taken at the first sign of cold or flu, and repeated every few hours.
You can also take this remedy as a preventative once a week.
Bryonia : Another remedy if taken immediately, will often prevent a cold that is presenting with sneezing, headaches and aching limbs. Often there is an increase in thirst, as the skin and mucus membranes are tight and dry.
Aconite: This remedy can be given at the first stage of illness, when symptoms come on suddenly after exposure to cold dry wind (like an aircon). Often the child is anxious or restless, and worse at night. There is frequent sneezing, burning throat, increased desire to drink.
Natrum Mur: Thick egg white nasal discharge. Copious sneezing, with an increase in water discharge from the eyes. The child often looks pale, and feels weak on waking. The child will often complain of headaches, especially in the morning.
Gelsimium: A slow onset with flu like sensations. Aching body, lethargy, heavy eyes and headache. The child will complain of sore bones and muscles. There is a chill that runs up and down the spine, with marked shivery despite a high fever. Marked sneezing, burning throat and no desire to eat or drink.
DOSAGE: Give the indicated remedy every 3-4 hours and decrease the frequency as the symptoms improve.
Gentle First year, Dr Gowri Motha and Karen Swan Macleod, Thorsons, London,2006.
Homoepathic Medicine for children and Infants, Dana Ullman, Piatkus, California,1992