First colds, first ailments: how to decongest the respiratory tract of children

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Punctual as a Swiss clock, with the first colds and therefore the first changes in temperature, the first colds of children or other respiratory ailments, such as coughs and sore throats, also arrive. There is nothing to worry about: everything is normal and especially if the children attend nursery schools and kindergartens, these ailments will most likely accompany them throughout the winter.



Read also: Why are babies always cold? Preschool children have an average of 6 episodes of respiratory tract infections per year, and sometimes they are even more numerous (then we speak of recurrent infections)

In the vast majority of cases they are not serious infections and tend to resolve on their own within a few days, but there is no doubt that that always congested and dripping nose can create some annoyance. Here, then, are some simple ones natural remedy to help decongest the airways of children.



1 Nasal washings

Nasal washes can provide at least temporary relief, because they allow you to remove mucus, phlegm, and any small crusts from the nose. Also they soften the mucus, facilitating an eventual aspiration.

To make them you can use various liquids (physiological solution, thermal waters, sterilized sea water etc..), which can be found in practical single-dose vials or in larger (and cheaper) containers: in this case, they must be injected into the nostrils with a syringe without a needle, about 5-10 ml per nostril.



Caution: not all children enjoy nasal washes. For some, they can be traumatic: in these cases it is better to evaluate whether the game is worth the candle, that is, if the temporary relief that would result from washing is worth the discomfort caused to the child to wash him.

Read also: Nasal washes: can they be dangerous? And when are they really needed?

2 Ambient humidity

The humidity in the air can help. In reality, many places in Del Paese are already "naturally" humid, but in some situations a small humidifier could actually be useful (but be careful not to humidify too much, because otherwise it facilitates the growth of mold which can make things worse, for example the development of allergies in predisposed subjects).



Another possibility is the steam room, especially when the little one is really clogged. Just close the bathroom door and run the hot water from the shower to fill the room with steam, then take the baby into the room for about ten minutes.

3 Lots of liquids

Liquids help thin the mucus and rehydrate the body. So green light for water, milk, broth, juices, herbal teas (without sugar!) And of course al breast milk, if we are talking about a child who is still taking it. Instead, it is better to limit fruit juices, even those without added sugars (however they bring too much sugar, compared to few fibers).

Read also: Milk for babies before 12 months: why avoid the vaccine

4 Healthy food!

In addition to drinking a lot, the little patient must also take adequate amounts of proteins and, above all, vitamins. Make sure the daily meals include always fruit and vegetables, rich in vitamins.

5 Head raised during sleep

Resting well is very important, also because lack of sleep lowers the immune system. Especially during episodes of cooling or coughing, however, it can be difficult to rest well: in this case it can be helpful to have him keep his head slightly raised, for example by inserting a pillow or a rolled up towel under the mattress.


6 Massages, perhaps with a balsamic cream

A gentle chest massage is a beautiful moment of pampering, which by themselves help the little one to relax. If you do it with a balsamic cream, then, it can also turn out refreshing, giving the baby a little relief.

Read also: Baby massage, how to do it and why

7 Honey, after the year

Especially in case of cough, after the year of life a teaspoon of honey it can have a temporarily calming effect. Not surprisingly, honey is the main ingredient in many cough products for children. But beware: it is always better to brush your teeth afterwards, because honey causes cavities to form.

8 No smoke!

Smoking is not good for anyone, much less for children. If they are ill, it only worsens the situation, further irritating the airways and increasing the risk of respiratory complications.

Read also: The dangers of secondhand smoke

Sources for this article: Treating colds in children, informative article on WebMD; Coughs and Colds: Medicines or Home Remedies? Informative article on Healthychildren.org, a site for families of the American Association of Pediatricians

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