Home remedies for common cold in children

Overview

A common cold is a viral infection of your baby’s nose and throat. The common indication includes sneezing, running nose and nasal congestion.

Babies are susceptible to common cold because of their developing immunity. Common cold is transmitted through droplets. Most babies get infected by older children and adults around them. Children in child care centers get infected more often.

Treatment involves easing their symptoms e.g by giving fluids, keeping air moist and keeping their nasal passages open.

Symptoms

  • Congested nose
  • Sneezing
  • Running nose

Other symptoms;

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble nursing for breastfed babies

Home remedies

  • Offer plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. For exclusively breastfed babies there is no need to give other fluids just breastfeed more often
  • Thin the mucus by instilling saline water into the nostrils, this helps to clear the airways.
  • White onion juice. Extract onion juice and offer a tps to your toddler each day. This will clear the nasal passages. You can add honey to enhance test for children over 1 year.
  • Do steam inhalation with eucalyptus drops or peppermint
  • Lemon juice with honey. Mix a little lemon juice with honey add warm water and give to the child
  • For older children give lemon ginger and honey tea
  • Allow baby to rest
  • Keep warm

When to see a doctor

* If baby is younger than 2 months of age. For younger babies common cold can quickly develop into pneumonia or croup.

* If baby is 3 months or older see the doctor if baby ;

-Isn’t wetting diapers as usual

-Has fever of 38°c and above

-excessively irritable

-has difficulty breathing

-has persistent cough

-has thick green nasal discharge

-refuses to feed

-has red eyes with yellow or greenish discharge

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Common cold home remedies

Common cold is by several viruses and is highly contagious, its transmitted through droplets. Symptoms include;

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Running nose

Home remedies include;

  • Honey tea. Mix 2 tps of honey with warm water or herbal tea. Drink it once or twice a day. Not to be given to children under 1 year.
  • Ginger and lemon. Take ginger and lemon tea twice or once a day. You may add honey for taste.
  • Fluids. Take plenty of fluids preferably warm to remain hydrated
  • Steam inhalation. Add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender oil to a bowl of hot steaming water. Cover your head with a towel place it over the bowl and inhale. This relieves congestion.
  • Honey and cinnamon. Take one tps of honey and 1/4 tps of cinnamon powder thrice a day.
  • Turmeric. Add 1/2 TPA of fresh turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink daily.
  • Salt and water gargle. This is effective for treating sore throat and wet cough. Stir a tps of salt in a cup of water until it dissolves. Gargle the solution allowing it to settle at the back of your throat for a few minutes.

Healthy eating for better health

Its advisable to maintain a healthy life style by ensuring that everyday your meals contain the five food groups illustrated in the image below. The main nutrients are;

  1. carbohydrates– 59-60g of total calories should come from carbohydrates. These are energy giving foods and include, bread, potatoes, spaghetti, rice,ugali, chapati etc
  2. Proteins- 12-15g of the calories should be proteins. These are body building food e.g meat, eggs, fish , chicken, milk
  3. Vitamins and minerals– These are protective foods that improve our immune system e.g oranges, mangoes, vegetables etc

The five basic food groups

Group 1:

Bread , cereal , rice and pasta. Eat 6-11 servings a day. These are energy giving foods.

Group 2:

Meat, poultry, fish , beans , nuts and eggs. These protein sources . Eat these in moderation. 2-3 servings per day is recommended. One serving is equal to ; 60-85g of meat, 1 egg, 2 tbs of peanut butter, 1/2 cup cooked peas, beans or lentils.

Group 3:

Vegetable group. Eat 3-5 servings per day. Provides vitamins and minerals. One serving is equal to ; 1/2 cup of raw or cooked vegetables

Group 4:

Fruit group. Eat 2-3 servings per day. Provides energy vitamins and minerals. 1 serving is equal to ; 170ml fruit juices, 1 medium apple , banana, orange, 1/2 grape fruit or 1/4 cup dried fruit.

Group 4:

Milk , yoghurt and cheese . Eat 2-3 servings per day. Provides calcium, vitamin A and D, B complex, essential amino acids,fat and some carbohydrates. 1 serving is equal to ; 1 cup of milk or yoghurt or 1/2 cup of cheese.

Dietary guidelines

  1. Eat a variety of foods from each of the five groups
  2. Maintain healthy weight
  3. Eat plenty of vegetables
  4. Choose diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Use unsaturated oil for cooking e.g olive, corn or sunflower.
  5. Use sugar in moderation
  6. Drink plenty of water and if you drink alcohol do so in moderation

Healthy tips

  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  • Natural foods are preferred over the processed ones
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat regular meals do not skip them
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce sugar, fat and salt intake.

Baby colic

Also known as infantile colic, is episodic crying of new born babies that lasts for hours and nothing you try seems to calm them down.

Doctors have described it as crying that;

*lasts for more than 3 hours in a day

*for more than 3 days in a week

*for 3 weeks or more in an otherwise healthy baby

Colic starts at about 6weeks of age and ends at about 3 months. Normally babies cry for attention when in need of a nappy change, when hungry or uncomfortable or wanting to sleep. They would calm down when these needs are met. For colic babies nothing of the above consoles them.

Colic is not a disease or a diagnosis, its cause is not really known. The good news is that it clears.

Signs and symptoms of colic

This is how you know your little one could be having colic;

  • Crying occurs at the same time everyday, mostly in the evening or night
  • Crying seems to occur for no reason( baby isn’t hungry, diaper is dry etc)
  • Feeding and sleeping is disrupted by the crying – refuses to suckle suddenly or sleeps for a few minutes and wakes up into ear shuttering wailing
  • Baby pulls up his legs and clenches his fists during the cry
  • Baby strains while crying as if in pain
  • He may pass gas or spit up during the cry

What causes colic?

The exact cause of cause of colic is not really known but there are theories that explain the possible causes;

  • Trapped intestinal gas due to immature digestive system– food and gas passes through the gut in a wave-like motion called peristalsis. The digestive system is controlled by a complex a complex nervous system which is said to be immature in new born babies. The systems are literally learning to function. Gas may get trapped in the baby’s gut causing discomfort and pain.
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux – almost all babies have a tendency to spit up while others are not able to clear the acidic gastric juices that reflux. When acidic contents remain in the oesophagus it leads to heartburn , pain and discomfort.
  • Over stimulation – some babies are irritated by excessive noises around them, they then respond by wailing
  • Your diet – elements of the mother’s diet could sometimes causes colic on baby. Dairy, soy, wheat and caffeine could be the cause
  • Over feeding – your baby could be over feeding leading to tummy discomfort and the resultant colic pain
  • Milk protein allergy- milk contains certain proteins . When baby’s immunity react to these proteins negatively, irritation and inflammation of the intestines may occur. This leads to pain and discomfort.
  • The fourth trimester theory – pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp proposes missing 4th trimester theory to explain colic. In his theory he explains that colic is the result of baby’s immature nervous system being disturbed by the nerve signals occurring before a bowel movement (passing stool) known as gastro-colic reflux.
  • Bacterial imbalance- The digestive system is made up of bacteria naturally, usually known as normal flora. Imbalance of this bacteria could lead to tummy disturbances in babies.
  • Tobacco exposure– studies have shown that babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy or those living with smokers tend to develop colic

Tips and remedies for colic

  • Gripe water – this water contains natural ingredients which are known to help expel gas from the gut
  • Keep a colic diary – Document your baby’s colic episodes each day in order to help you anticipate next episodes and probably pinpoint the causes.
  • Herbal tea – Traditionally fennel tea has been used as colic remedy, may be you could try it too.
  • Probiotics – Probiotics containing lactobacillus rauteri is known to help reduce colic episodes.
  • Motion- A gentle rocking , vibrating motion or slow dance has been shown to sooth some babies.
  • Watch what you eat– Try eliminating gas causing foods (e.g cabbage and cauliflower), acidic fruits, allergenic food (eggs, soy,wheat, peanut and fish)
  • Give a warm birth to relax the baby
  • You can try a pacifier
  • Always burp baby after feeds to expel gas
  • Try hypoallergenic formulas for formula-fed babies
  • Play soothing music

Should you see a doctor?

Even though you may be sure that your baby could having colic, always consult your pediatrician

Disclaimer

The information on this article should not be used in place of professional guidance always seek your doctors advice first. By alemohealth.com

How to increase breast milk supply

Being a mom is every woman’s joy, breastfeeding and lactation is at the center of it. Health experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for up to 6 months. Breast milk has all the nutrients a baby needs at this age. These nutrients include calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that strengthen the baby’s immune system in order to fight infections.

Inadequate supply of breast milk may occur due to various factors e.g stress,hormonal changes, illness, alcohol consumption, dehydration and certain medications. There are several foods a woman can take to increase her milk supply, a few are listed below:

Fenugreek seeds

Take a spoonful of fenugreek seeds ,put in a cup of water let it soak over night. In the morning sieve out the seeds and drink the solution

Fennel seeds

Take a spoonful of fennel seeds and add into a cup of hot water leave it for 15 minutes drain it and drink the solution.

Cinnamon

Mix a spoonful of Cinnamon with a cup of warm milk, relax and allow the system to produce milk.

Oatmeal porridge

Oatmeal is known for lactation benefits, add it to your snacks.

Sesame seeds(simsim)

Eat simsim balls occasionally during your snacking breaks. You can also soak the seeds in water and eat them.

Garlic

Its known for its lactogenic properties, add it to your dishes

Other ways of increasing milk supply

* hydration is key- drink plenty of water

* avoid stressful situations

* avoid consumption of alcohol

* breastfeed more often

*sleep whenever possible

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are derived from the plant Salvia hispanica . It is a super food with great nutritional value. The seeds are rich in;

Salvia hispanica

*proteins

*fibre

*omega-3 fatty acid

*calcium

*zinc

*phosphorus

*manganese

Two table spoonfuls of chia seeds contain;

140 calories , 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fibre, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, calcium and traces of minerals l.e zinc and copper.

How to eat chia seeds

You can add one spoonful of chia seeds in a cup of water or milk or even yoghurt. They are also used as a functional ingredient in baked cakes, pastries and snacks.

Benefits of chia seeds

  1. They are loaded with antioxidants which fight production of free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are known to damage cell molecules and contribute to diseases e.g cancers
  2. Chia seeds are fibre rich. With its high fibre content , chia seeds absorb up to 12 times its weight in water becoming gel-like and expanding. If ingested it expands in the stomach increasing fullness and slowing down absorption of food. This automatically reduces the amount of calories one needs to eat. Some health experts argue that this is how chia seeds help with weight lossloss
  3. Chia seeds are high in quality proteins and amino acid
  4. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health- *it lowers cholesterol , *regulates heart rythms and blood pressure * prevents clot formation in the deep veins and *prevents inflammation.
  5. Chia seeds are said to improve our immune system

Urinary tract infections (UTI)

UTI is inflammation of the organs in the urinary tract i.e bladder, kidneys uretus and the urethra. Its caused caused by a gastrointestinal bacteria called Escherichia coli. Its mostly common in women.

Causes of urinary tract infections

*Poor personal hygiene

*inadequate water intake

*pregnancy-pregnancy hormones change the normal pH of the urinary tract hence predisposing the woman to infections

*urinary tract procedures e.g catheterization may cause UTI

*use of strong iv antibiotics may interfere with the urinary system bacteria’s leading to infections

*low immunity

*immobility

Signs and symptoms of UTI

  • Pain during urination or burning sensation (dysuria)
  • Frequent need to pass urine
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fevers
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Abnormal colour of urine-cloudy bloody
  • Feeling tired or shaky

Urinary tract infections are confirmed in hospital by during a urinalysis test..you will be asked to give a urine sample for analysis in the laboratory

Treatment for UTI

After confirmation that you have UTI your doctor will put you on antibiotics to treat the infection. You may be given other drugs eg painkillers for the lower abdominal pain and paracetamol for fevers if any.

How to prevent UTI

*maintain personal hygiene..ladies should wipe themselves from front to back after using the toilet and not vise vasa

*drink a lot of water

*doctors/nurses should maintain high standards of cleanliness during urinary system procedures