Cold and flu season are here once again.
Parents want to help their children feel better fast …and get some rest themselves. It is all too easy to grab a bottle of fun colored liquid to sooth a sick child with out reading directions…I want to get parents to THINK TWICE before medicating a sick child.
It seems like almost everyone I know is sick…on top of sick… and lots of you are looking for answers to your aches and pains. I want to warn you that too many people are waiting too long to seek face to face medical care and asking strangers on the Facebook pages for cheap home remedies. The internet is NOT the place to consult for health care.
I updated this post in early 2018 when all of my grandchildren had strep and different strains of influenza on top of each other. ( You need lab tests to tell which strain you have. Not every strain is covered by the vaccine. Some strains are worse than others.) .
I looked up what is going around the DENVER area that I don’t already know about with my family, neighbors and care-givers. Keep in mind that the Denver Airport is a major stop over and transportation transfer spots. The national news revealed New York ER’s are overflowing with IV shortages are the holiday in early 2018. People were dying.
Before Your Travel for the Holidays, Beware of How Germs Spread.
When sick bugs get off and on airplanes bugs will both stay there and travel. Flu and other bugs get carried home from there even if your neighbor is just passing through..think about it even if you don’t live in or near Denver, Colorado as I did… I suggest this: if you don’t have to travel or if you don’t have to go out…STAY HOME and drink lots of fluids.
Hand sanitizer is nice in a pinch,but, don’t count it. Washing your hands under warm running water is best.Consider paper towels and disposable cups when the family is sick.
Click HERE What Illnesses Are Going Around? for generic information that you can use to help you decide to pick up the to make a doctor appointment or get to the Urgent Care… and sit and wait a long time…BTW: put a mask on when you go….wash your hands and drink your OJ.-or some good source of Vitamin C. (This is NOT medical advice specific for what ails you, but in general to help your daily.)
This post will attempt to pull together safety precautions when caring for ailing little ones. This is NOT intended to be medical advice, but to alert grown ups on stuff that you really should read directions before using OTC and herbal remedies. Understand that these “remedies” are for support only, not a “cure.”
Not meant to be medical advice.
Urgent message: I know that grandma used to do alcohol bath to take fever down. Wrong! Wrong Wrong thing to do. Do NOT use rubbing alcohol to take down a fever!
Cooling your child too fast with alcohol is counterproductive because he may start to shiver, which signals his body to raise his temperature.
Alcohol is also easily absorbed through the skin or through the lungs when inhaled. This can cause alcohol poisoning and lead to a coma or other serious medical complications.
Always, always, always consult your child’s doctor for what pain and fever reducer to use for your child. Read why by clicking the link below.
There is far to much intricate medical knowledge to attempt to convey in blog post. But trust me…don’t mess with only home remedies if you child has high fever. Ask your child’s doctor face to face. Do not delay. It is better to be safe than sorry.
(Don’t give aspirin to children unless a doctor advises it. Aspirin puts children at risk for a rare but potentially fatal illness called Reye’s syndrome.) https://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-true-that-rubbing-alcohol-helps-bring-down-a-childs-fe_10310184.bc
5 Things to NOT Give Sick Kids ( original post)
- Don’t take home remedy advice you read on Facebook even if it has the word “natural”. ( Consult your primary care doctor first.)
- DON’T give OTC medications until you read all the fine print and directions on OTC medications. Consult your doctor first as some medications may both be what is in your child’s bet interest.
- DON’t give OTC remedies until you ask the the pharmacists to interpret the fine print on over the counter remedies. Note: a pharmacist can not prescribe. Bloggers can not prescribe either. Neither can home remedy books prescribe.
- DON’T mix OTC medications when your child is taking a prescription medication or even an herbal remedy without the advice of your child’s doctor. (Most doctors have on-call triage nurses to talk to when the office is closed. They can help you make an assessment from their resources to decide if the illness can wait or a trip to ER is necessary for a professional hands-on examination.)
- DON’T give more medication or natural herbal remedy than is recommended for the child’s age and weight.
BTW: NEVER EVER call medication “candy”. Tell the child what you are giving to help them feel better.
Let’s be honest…
- Caring for sick kids is exhausting and you need to get back work…you NEED a get some sleep drug, but you can’t when your child is miserable. Parents often ask, “ What can I drug the kids with so they sleep for 4 to 8 hours?” * ( Not a safe way to be thinking.)
- Parents give meds to cover up the fact the kids are sick (I know, when parents can’t go to work- they don’t get paid. There is an urgency to send kids back to school so they want to mask the symptoms. *)
*I have never tried those parenting hacks, myself. To be inappropriately drugging your kids is dangerous..
But, having worked in child care centers I sure knew plenty of parents who were making some very poor choices with their children’s health. Since I had a nursing degree as well as being an early child hood educator, I sat down more than a few parents to have some serious talks about drug safety and communicable diseases.
When parents failed to heed my warning, I had no choice but to call in DHS.
Many parents are so focused on not missing work-I can’t blame them-that they continue sending sick kids to school. But what they don’t realize is that when they keep send a child back to class (dosed up with meds to cover the problem for a few hours), is that that child’s ailment is likely still in the contagious stage. Other students get sick and so do teachers….. an entire day care center can get shut down for a while by pubic health. ( Clusters of diseases are supposed to be reported to public health.)
The class room will require an extra careful disinfection then or the class will continue to repeat the illness all winter long.
Child/ Teacher Ratio.
There is a standard for ratio of students to teachers in class room determined by age. Children can not be left alone unless there is a sick room staff. When a child, bless their little hearts, vomit on their classmates or have diarehea all over the chair…the floor… (You can picture that, right?) What is teacher supposed to do when a sick child needs comfort? She has other children to care for. What about cleaning up? One or 2 people can’t do it all.
- Kids get sick: fact of life.
- when parents are medicating just to mask the symptoms chronically is a problem.
- Schools have rules for reason.
- Bottles of medication have direction printed on them for a reason. Too few people read the directions thus putting their children at risk of harm.
Things Parents NEED to Know About Treating Sick Kids
- Over the Counter OTC does not infer that those drugs are safe to play around with. The majority of OTC had been prescription medications at one time. (Read quote below.)
- “Natural” or “organic” treatments are not with out risks. Do you know the protocol of your child’s age and weight? Do you know what herbs not to mix with other herbs ( or essential oils? and how to properly prepare then administer? ( Example: Water: H2O is, in theory, about as natural as you can get. But, if you hold your face in a pool of water too long you drown. If you stick you hand in boiling water you get burnt.)
- Mucous; phlem; snot is supposed to be in our bodies to protect and support the respiratory and digestive systoms…let mucous do it’s job! Don’t be in such a hurry to dry it up! (See quote below on Mucous.)
- There is a big difference between supporting a child with a virus than it is to treat a bacterial infection.
- Most often the best and most cost effective treatment regime for sick kids is a protocol only you can provide: TLC (tender loving care): Tincture of Time; Rest; Liquidation ( fluids to drink and moisture in the air)
- The dosage amount is NOT and indication of how “powerful” a medication is.
- Medications can go by different names.(Example: Tylenol is brand name for acetomenaphine.)
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a prescription….
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration decides whether a medicine is safe enough to sell over-the-counter. Taking OTC medicines still has risks. Some interact with other medicines, supplements, foods or drinks.
Parents can make horrible mistake when mixing this and that OTC drug with out first checking with an expert. A large number of popular over the counter drugs have acetaminophen for a pain reliever as part of the compound. Too many people are not aware that by combining meds will over does the child. Acetaminophen is a drug that is processed through the liver. Too much of it at one time will cause irreversible liver damage.
When taken as directed most OTC are safe to use. The article associated with the clickable link will list some health conditions that will raise your risks when you use some OTCs. https://familydoctor.org/otc-medicines-know-your-risks-and-reduce-them/?adfree=true
Just in case you don’t click and read the link there is something you should know..Do NOT take your a VITAMINS at the same time with OTC drugs or RX medications.
Do NOT take my word for it. Ask you doctor ; talk to your neighborhood pharmacist asking for some common examples; or check out the article at the clickable link below.
More than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines contain acetaminophen. Some medicines combine acetaminophen with other active ingredients to treat pain, symptoms of colds, flu, allergy, and sleeplessness. To find out if an over-the-counter medicine contains acetaminophen, look for “acetaminophen” on the Drug Facts label. If a prescription medicine contains acetaminophen, the label may not spell out the whole word or may have the abbreviation “APAP.”
- More is NOT better. Giving a double dose will NOT get the kids well twice as fast
MUCUS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
Healthy mucus helps to protect, moisten, and defend our airways. Mucus is a part of our body’s frontline defense against infection. It’s produced by the mucus membranes which line your mouth, nose, throat, sinuses and lungs, and it works with your cilia, the tiny hairs which line your airways. Mucus traps particles, such as:
to stop them entering your system.
Thank you Mucinex. com. For interesting details and easy to understand information click to read this link:
9 Things to Know About Cough and Cold Medicines
Mucous: When there TOO Much of a Good Thing:
Expectorate (help thin mucus to be able to expel more easily): Expectorants are a good daytime strategy because ultimately we want to clear the body of excess mucus….
Suppress (reduce the amount of coughing): Since coughing is generally a way for the body to get rid of excess mucus or infection, suppressing a cough isn’t a great idea unless…..
Did you know that some OTC and RX actually are made with carefully measured herbs?
One of the most typical over the counter expectorant medicines is guaifenesin. In the herbal world, common expectorants include mullein, marshmallow (not the puffy white kind), ginger, wild cherry bark, horehound, and pleurisy root. Also used are eucalyptus, thyme, anise and garlic.
How many of us grew up with this natural home remedy for a cough?
- A teaspoon of Honey, lemon and ginger .
It sure does help sooth a cough! ( BTW: I grew up on natural foods; herbs and over does of vitamins. My parents made some big mistakes that are still affecting me decades later. I also received extensive training in herbology and essential oils. I keep feet in both world with an important word of advice: Everything in moderation.)
- Being a party pooper I MUST give a WARNING! Do NOT give babies honey! There is naturally occuring botulism in honey. I actually cared for several babies in Pediatric Intensive Care who were paralyzed after someone gave honey on a pacifer to soothe the crying infants.
Yes, I know honey has amazing natural properties! but NOT for infants under age 12 months.
Don’t take my word for it. Thanks to the world wide web and to copy and paste capabilities I copy and pasted 2 credible links below to get your started on your own research.
Honey and Infant BotulismPublished: June 2,1997 | Reviewed by: Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, Liat Simkhay Snyder | Last reviewed: July 07, 2008
Is “Cough Medicine” Good or Bad?
In my opinion, use “cough medicine” with CAUTION. Above I directed you to links about mucous, so now you know more about snot than you ever knew …if you read the article.
Did you know that teens are abusing cough syrup?
They may be taking 5 to 10 times the recommended amount to HIGH!
Brace your self for a shock…
Now read below a list of well known, highly advertised OTC seasonal self administered drugs that make it all to easy for a teen to abuse….
Dextromethorphan’s primary use is as a cough suppressant, relieving coughs associated with the flu and the common cold, including minor throat and bronchial irritations.
Dextromethorphan (DXM or DM) is an active ingredient in several over-the-counter cough medicines, including generic labels and store brands (TheraFlu, Delsym, Coricidin, Vicks, Dimetapp, Robitussin, Benylin, NyQuil).
…one in 10 American teenagers has abused products containing DXM in order to get high, making it more popular than cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, and LSD….
Do NOT Leave “Cough Syrup” Where Children Can Reach!
Call 911, or poison control at 1-800-222-1222 if you take too much dextromethorphan.
A few years back too many antibiotics were being prescribed in appropriately.
Now don’t be blaming the doctors.. tho’ doctors and nurses know how to tell the difference between a bacterial infection and virus. They also know that some illness only need a tincture of time with a good dose of TLC from mom or dad at home. .BUT,.doctors were buckling under mom’s assistance for an antibiotic..
- Moms were insisting or the school weren’t letting the kids back in school with out an RX. (This dumb practice has created not so good consequences.) Some moms feel that getting an RX for an anitibiotic is proof to the boss that their child is really sick.
- Antibiotics are for bacterial infections only, not a viruses. Some bacteria in the gut is supposed to be there to help digestion. ( We have now created super mutant bugs that are resistant to treatment. The significant Issue can be the secondary infections that are life threatening.)
- Did you know to give the full prescribed dose of antibiotic in the exact amount prescribed unless directed to stop by a licence medical professional? Continue giving the full course even when the child seems to feel better. (Why? the bacteria may not be all killed off, yet. Bacteria gets a chance to lie down and die then get right back up to fight some more even more nasty. Click the link and read Consequences of antibiotic resistance below.).
- If it appears a prescribed medication is causing an allergic reaction, do not give any more, but, call your child’s doctor. for directions.
- Do NOT hoard antibiotics to pop when your feel a cold coming on.. Do NOT share antibiotics (Consequences of antibiotic resistance)
Risks with Antibiotic Misuse:
What causes antibiotic resistance?
Common viral infections that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment include:
- Flu (influenza)
- Most coughs
- Most sore throats
- Some ear infections
- Some sinus infections
- Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)
Consequences of antibiotic resistance
… 23,000 people die annually from antibiotic-resistant infections….
Please click and read to entire article: from Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720
Is Chicken Soup a Miracle Cure?
Well, maybe not a miracle. Maybe not a cure. But chicken soup sure is a comfort when many people feel all stuffed up and yucky..
Why does chicken seem to work so well with a tincture of time?
Chicken soup seems to act like a multi-purpose comforting vaporizor that tastes good.
As I see it, the steaming salty broth moisturizes your nostrils and looses up the snot so it can get cleared out of your head. The hot soup is kind of like a saline nasal flush that tastes good and feels good on your throat..A steaming hot shower will help lossen junk in your chest so you can cough it out, as well.
Chicken soup not only has the fluids your body needs so you don’t get dehydrated, but, the broth also contains vitamins and minerals to help support your body’s balance while your body is working on healing its self.
EVERYTHING has a chemical make-up:
Ewww! DRUGS all have side effects! Yes, they do. .. That is why you don’t give drugs to your kids that they don’t need.AND why you should carefully read and follow the directions and proper dosages.
So you only use essential oils and herbs which are natural,,,good for you…but, I have news for you…stop being so smug!
Both Drugs and Herbs have chemical compositions and both drugs and herbs can cause adverse reactions and side effects. Any one who does not follow common sense can even over dose on water, orange juice, prunes, chocolate….you name it. Most grown ups should know when to stop eating food simply because our bellies feel is full. We know we had is enough.
Example: We all learn pretty fast to not eat too many prunes or we get the runs! And it is NATURAL!
Pooping too much to often will give most people an electrolyte imbalance… and that can be serious.
When we eat too many cookies we learn we will get a tummy ache. Too many greasy fries gives us indigestion.But with medications,..we need directions to follow from reliable sources who have tested the product.
- Guessing is not an option to play around with. Just because a medication/ drug works for one person does not mean that drug is appropriate for every one. We don’t have an option to taste from buffet to see what we like as we do with food.
- Some medications can make you sleepy. Sometimes getting the rest is a good thing. But being too drowsy to drive can be deadly.
- Some drugs can be addictive.
- Some drugs can cause ulcers.
- Some drugs may make your air well swell up so you can;t breathe.
Now that is scary and it should be.
Many herbs taste good and we can safely try them in small amounts without harm, generally. But we never want to over-do, either, especially with our children. Herbs can upset your PH balance.
Example: I love black licorice, the candy. But I should not eat it. I should not drink, but only a tiny amount of tea with licorice root in it. Herbalists say that licorice root have therapeutic benefits.
Why can’t it eat licorice? Or maybe why should should not pig out on licorice of over do the cups of tea? Licorice is large amounts will raise your blood pressure, so, you end up in the ER with dangerously high BP will you think to tell them you drank 20 cups of licorice tea? Probably not, because its’ NATURAL!
Too many cups of spearmint or peppermint tea in a row can play havoc with your PH balance that mess up a whole bunch of levels and even death. But who thinks about it? Mint tea is NATURAL. Keep in mind that children are even more sensitive.
Everything in moderation!
Illness that we get over the winter season most often run their course without heroic intervention as long as we provide our children with appropriate support. If a sick child is not recovering in a reasonable time, then seek medical attention for the most appropriate action rather than trying guess what OTC drug on the grocery store or herb you have in the cupboard will “treat”. the ailment.
What ever way (drugs or herbal) you decide to help a sick child get through the winter achy, snotty, tired, barfy, poopy symptoms please be aware that your efforts will be only to SUPPORT not cure.
- Too much of any good thing can throw even a healthy person into a crisis.
- People with some health condition need to avoid certain foods; certain drugs; and even certain herbs. (Consult your doctor)
- Trending buzz words- Alkaline and Acidic: do you know what herbs are alkaline forming or acid forming? The PH may be one thing on the outside but different in the digestive tract. We need a standard set of guilde lines to follow when doing ourselves and children. ( A book page copied and pasted by a consultant or advice from a blog post is not adequate enough to generically “treat” any one. Please don’t take a chance with your children.
Q. Why won’t the FDA approve natural remedies like herbs? Wouldn’t natural healing be better then pharmaceuticals?
A. Of course natural alternatives would be best.
No Non-cents Nanna’s take on FDA not approving natural treatments:
If there were a consistent method of growing herbs, for examples, with the exact measurable properties, I would think, why YES, the FDA would approve the use of many more natural treatments.
If I grow an herb garden in my back yard, the chemical values of this vitamin or mineral will be different from someone growing the same herb in another state or country. There fore it makes studies almost impossible to do with any accuracy. There simply is not enough concrete documentation, yet, on owrd of mouth.
This post is not meant as medical advice.
The flu or influenza is upper respiratory virus not gastrointestinal like most people think.You can’t cure the FLU.It has to run its course and sometimes with medical support.
Often times people don’t want to say, ” I shit my pants than I pooped and pooped”…gross. So they just say, “I had the flu”. Maybe they had a virus or maybe they had food poisoning. Guessing on what OTC to take or calling up your essential oil rep who looks in a book for an “ailment cure” is not the thing do. An EO rep is not a licenced medical professional.
- An herbal book does have a licence to treat you especially with a list of symptoms.
Do you remember when I wrote above about too holding your head under water too long and you drown? Well, duh? You knew that! But, did you know that you can die from WATER INTOXICATION?
Drinking distilled water if often suggested for “cleanses” by natural alternative people. But drinking distilled ( H2 o) too often and for too long will leach mineral from you body. This serious. and can be deadly. Fluid over load is not a joke. Children can be over loaded with water must faster than an adult be overloaded..
To avoid water intoxication know the quide lines by age and weight. ( Not addressing this in this post.)
Know the signs and symptom of dehydration as well and when to seek medical attention.
Links on Water Intoxication
Yes, you can drink too much water and become very sick or die.
Commonly used OTC during winter
Below are clickable links to common OTC medications parents give kids. I’m not prescribing any of them, nor I am saying to not take them either.
I am encouraging you to read about the medication way before you drag you exhausted behin into Walgreen for a quick fix….
On drug interactions: