What’s An Upper Respiratory Tract Infection?

Upper respiratory tract infection is one of the most common viral infections in children. Upper respiratory infection is always referred to as common cold. However, influenza is also one of the common upper respiratory tract infections.

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Colds in kids

Kids get about eight colds per year. It is the top reason to miss school and to visit doctor. Most of the colds are caused by rhinoviruses. Rhinoviruses are found in invisible droplets in the atmosphere and in the things we touch. The viruses get into the protective lining of throat and nose. This sets off an immunity reaction in the child’s body causing symptoms like headache, sore throat and trouble in breathing.

What are the common symptoms of cold?

  • Stuffy or running nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

How do colds spread?

Direct contact: A child with cold has virus in his or her nose, hands, mouth and eyes. Colds spread through direct contact like holding hands, kissing or touching an infected child.

Indirect contact: Toys, clothes, towels and utensils used by the infected child carry the virus. Even things like door knobs touched by the infected children carry the virus. The virus from these things spread to a healthy child when they touch these objects.

Through air: Virus spreads through air when the infected child sneezes or coughs. The virus enters the air and may enter another child’s nose or mouth.

How are colds treated?

Most of the colds will go away on their own without any treatment. Antibiotics do not work for colds as they are caused by virus and not bacteria. Medicines will not treat cold but will give relief from symptoms of cold. Home remedies like saline drops and nasal aspirators help in clearing stuffy nose. Warm fluids keep your child hydrated. If you are going for over the counter acetaminophen or paracetamol make sure you don’t give an overdose.

When to visit the doctor ?

  1. Is your baby under 3 months of age? If so, you should visit your doctor if your baby has trouble in breathing and if your child is not eating and if your child has symptoms like vomiting and high fever.
  2. If your child is older, you should take your child to the doctor if
  • Your child’s lips are blue
  • Your child’s breathing is rapid
  • If your child is very sleepy than usual
  • If the mucus from the nose is yellow or green in color
  • If your child is fussy and does not play
  • If the child’s cough is very severe

Influenza

Although both flu and colds are upper respiratory tract infections, they are caused by different viruses. Most of the symptoms of cold and influenza are the same except for a few differences.

The symptoms of flu are generally worse than cold.

  • The onset of flu is abrupt.
  • Colds are rarely accompanied with fever. Flu is always accompanied with fever.
  • Body aches are severe in flu.
  • Stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat are common for colds. These symptoms may or may not be seen in flu.
  • Chills are common in flu.

How does flu spread?

Like colds, it also spreads through direct or indirect contact and through air.

Treatment

Children with flu can be treated at home if the symptoms are not very severe. Children should take rest. They should not be sent to school until the symptoms go off completely. Lot of fluids should be given to prevent dehydration.
You should call your doctor if your child is below one year old, if your child has week immunity, if your child has asthma or diabetes, if your child has symptoms like vomiting, trouble in breathing, dehydration, blood in sputum and bad cough and if your child has seizures.

Ear And Sinus Infection In Babies And Its Treatment – An Overall View

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Sinus infection in babies

Earlier it was believed that children are not affected by sinusitis. However, it has been proven that it is a myth and not true. Children do get sinus infections. The symptoms of cold and sinus infection are overlapping. Many of the symptoms are common. It is important to distinguish between them if you want to proceed to go for the right treatment. Differentiating between cold and a sinus infection is not easy. To differentiate between them you should know the difference between the symptoms of cold and sinus infection.

Differences between the symptoms of sinus infection

  • Cold lasts for 5 to 10 days. If the baby has sinus infection, the symptoms for cold will last for more than 10 days without any signs of improvement.
  • The nasal discharge in cold is watery in the beginning and turns thicker. In sinus infection the discharge is yellowish.
  • Low grade fever accompanies cold and last for a day or two. In sinus infection the fever is persistent and lasts for 4 days or more.
  • Cold symptoms include cough, especially in the night. Sinus infection symptoms include swelling or dark circles around the eyes, especially in the morning. Sinus infection is accompanied by bad breath and irritability in children.
  • In rare cases bacterial sinusitis can spread to the central nervous system. Look for symptoms like sensitivity to light, increasing irritability and persistent vomiting to make sure that the infection does not spread to the CNS.

Causes of sinusitis in kids

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Allergies
  • Cleft palate
  • Abnormalities in nose structure
  • Second hand smoking
  • Enlarged adenoids

Sinusitis in kids can be

  • Acute sinusitis where the symptoms last for less than four weeks and improve with treatment
    Sub acute sinusitis where the symptoms last for more than four weeks and subside gradually with treatment.
  • Chronic sinusitis where the symptoms last for more than eight weeks. It is the result of previous infections that were not treated properly.
    Recurrent sinusitis where acute sinusitis repeats three or more times a year.

Ear Infection

Ear infections are caused when a baby catches cold or has sinus infection or allergies. They can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Children between 6 months to 2 years old are affected more by ear infections because their immunity is low and the size of their Eustachian tubes is smaller.

Symptoms of ear infections

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  • If your baby keeps on tugging at his ears for no reason, it could be an ear infection. Kids tend to pull on their ears when they have pain and discomfort in the ears.
  • If your baby has ear infection, he or she may have discomfort while lying down. When your baby lies down, the pressure is shifted to the middle ear. This causes pain.
  • Ear infections may be accompanied by drainage of fluid from the ears.
  • The child will be fussier, more irritable and crankier.
  • If your little one does not respond to sound, it may indicate difficulty in hearing resulting from ear infection.
  • When the body’s immune system tries to fight the ear infection, the child may have low grade fever.
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting and digestion problems may also accompany ear infections because the virus or bacteria that cause the ear infection can also affect the gastrointestinal system of the baby.
  • Your child may be clumsy and out of balance because the center of balance is located in the inner ear.

Treatment For Sinus And Ear Infection

Sinus infection

Sinus infections can be acute which lasts for less than 4 weeks, subacute that lasts for 4 to 8 weeks, chronic that lasts for 8 weeks or longer and recurrent. Sinus infections may be caused by bacteria or virus or exposure to smoke. There is a growing awareness about the dangers of using antibiotics unnecessarily.

Do you want to know if antibiotics are necessary to treat sinusitis in kids? You should know a few facts to get answer to this question.

  • A research has proven that more than 80% of sinus infections improve on their own without antibiotics.
  • Earlier it was believed that antibiotic treatment is essential to treat kids with sinus infections. Today, the ‘American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommends ‘wait and watch’ approach before prescribing antibiotics to treat sinusitis in children.
  • Sinus infections caused by virus and smoke cannot be treated with antibiotics.
  • If the kid is not dramatically ill, it may improve on its own.
  • Your child needs antibiotics when the nasal discharge is thick and colored.
  • If the symptoms persist for more than a week or 10 days your child should be given antibiotics.
  • If there is double worsening of symptoms it is understood that it is bacterial infection and it needs antibiotics.
  • Not all sinuses need antibiotics. Most of them go on their own or with simple remedies like saline irrigations, nasal aspirators etc. Don’t demand antibiotics from your doctor. Wait and watch. Trust your pediatrician to come up with the right decision.

Ear infection

Most children get ear infections. Children are usually infected in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The ear infections may be caused bacteria or viruses. It is generally believed that antibiotics are the only solution to treat ear infections but are antibiotics really necessary for treating ear infections in children? The truth is that they are needed only in some cases. In most of the cases they are not necessary.

Why are antibiotics not needed in some cases? 

  • If ear infections are caused by virus antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics kill bacteria and not virus.
  • Antibiotics do not help in giving relief from pain. They are not pain killers. They do not give pain relief for the first 24 hours. If the pain is severe, your children should be given pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen for children.
  • Ear infections go off on their own in two or three days.
  • Pediatricians say that children who are not given antibiotics recover just as well as the children who are given antibiotics.
  • You should see the pediatrician only if the symptoms do not improve in three or more days.

When are antibiotics really needed?

  • When the child is under 6 months old.
  • When the child is between 6 months to 2 years old and the pediatrician is sure that it is an ear infection.
  • When the child has health issues like poor immunity, cleft palate, Down syndrome and cochlear implant etc.
  • When the child has chronic fluid in the ears.

Coriander and Dill weed oil in common colds – How Do They Work

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Coriander oil and dill weed oil have a myriad of health benefits. They have been used in ayurvedic medicines since ancient times.

What are the health benefits of coriander oil?

Coriander oil is also referred to as cilantro oil. It helps in getting rid of the gas and bloating. It acts as a natural diuretic. It helps in better digestion. It has anti microbial and anti inflammatory property. It acts as a natural skin moisturizer and soother. It is rich in vitamin C.

What are the health benefits of dill oil?

It promotes restful sleep. It has anti inflammatory properties. Its natural diuretic properties make it useful in treating urinary tract infections. It alleviates the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

How do coriander and dill oil help in common colds?

  • Both of them have anti microbial properties. This helps in fighting against the cold causing virus.
  • Both of them have anti inflammatory properties. This helps in reducing body aches and throat aches related to common colds.
  • Both of them have antioxidant properties. Anti oxidants enhance your immunity and protect your body from getting common colds and other infections.
  • Dill oil has been proven to work in treating cough.
  • Coriander is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C reduces cold severity and increases immunity.
  • Dill oil promotes good sleep and reduces stress. Extra sleep allows your immune system to fight against colds. Stress decreases your ability to stay healthy, especially, in the cold and flu season.

Rubs and other natural products with dill oil and coriander oil are surely effective in treating common colds. They are safe and the risk of side effects in very low. When used in right dosage they are safe to be used on children too.

Our Nasobuddy Cough & Cold balm is based on 6 Essential oils, including coriander and dill weed oil.

Eucalyptus oil in common colds – Eucalyptus Radiata for babies

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It is a fact that essential oils have plenty of health benefits. Eucalyptus oil is one of the essential oils with many benefits. It helps you to breathe easy, to heal cold sores, to decrease joint pain, to clear your chest and to disinfect wounds. However, you should remember that using essential oils for babies is not the same as using them for adults. Some oils are dangerous to be used on babies. Is eucalyptus oil effective in treating common colds and is it safe for little ones?

Eucalyptus in common colds

A few drops of eucalyptus oil added to the bath or hot shower or steam inhaler can definitely give relief from sinus symptoms and from congestion. Inhaling the eucalyptus vapor loosens the mucus from your chest and in expelling it. It has been used for several centuries in Asian countries to treat common colds.

Is eucalyptus oil safe for babies?

It has high 1, 8-cineole content. 1, 8-cineole is also called as eucalyptol. It is known for its mucolytic action on respiratory tract with proven clinical efficacy. When used on babies it can cause problems related to central nervous system and breathing. Moreover, the oil is very strong and can harm the delicate skin of infants. Rarely, it can lead to seizures in babies.

It’s a shocker to know about the side effects of eucalyptus oil on babies. The good news is, not all species of eucalyptus oils have high 1, 8 –cineole content. Some species with low 1, 8 –cineole content are safe for babies if used in the right dosage and in the right way.

Eucalyptus radiata for babies

Eucalyptus radiata is one of the milder forms of eucalyptus oil and is safe to be used on children. It is not as powerful and not as strong as eucalyptus globulus that is most commonly used in adults’ chest rubs.

How to use eucalyptus radiata on babies?

The first thing you should do is to blend eucalyptus oil with carrier oil. The proportion is as follows:

  • For newborns below 2 months – 1 drop eucalyptus oil with 2 teaspoon carrier oil
  • For infants from 2 months to 18 months old – 1 drop of eucalyptus oil with 1 teaspoon carrier oil
  • For kids from 18 months to 3 years old – 2 drops in 1 teaspoon carrier oil
  • For children from 3 to 6 years – 3 drops in 1 teaspoon carrier oil.
  • The most recommended carrier oils are almond oil or olive oil or coconut oil.
  • You can use it in baby’s bath.
  • You can use it as massage oil. If you are using it to massage your baby, you should add 2 more teaspoons of carrier oil to the blend. If your baby is below 6 months old, it is better to massage only the back and not the chest.

If you are buying baby rubs for your kid, make sure that it contains eucalyptus radiata and not eucalyptus globulus.

Our Nasobuddy Cough & Cold balm is based on the Eucalyptus radiata essential oil .

 Chamomile and lavender oils for baby’s cold – How to use and why to use

Parenting is not an easy joke. You have to take some difficult decisions right from the infancy stage. When your baby is too small, you have many decisions to male. One of them is to decide whether to go for natural remedies or to go for allopathic remedies to treat baby’s colds and other minor health issues. Now-a-days most parents are shifting back to natural remedies and grandmother’s cures because of safety and decreased risk of side effects. Essential oils are frequently recommended for the well being of children but not all essential oils are safe for babies. Chamomile and lavender oils are safe for babies and are effective in treating baby’s colds.

Why should you use chamomile and lavender oil?

They have the ability of soothing your baby and promoting sleep. A child with cold feels irritated and finds it difficult to sleep. Both lavender and chamomile help your baby to sleep soundly. Moreover, they have healing properties. This helps in giving relief to the babies from cough and colds. They are recommended for babies. They do not cause any side effects if used correctly.

How to use chamomile and lavender oil?

Lavender oil

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You can add a few drops of lavender oil and two tablespoons of one of the carrier oils to a diffuser. This will purify the air in your child’s room and help with the respiratory problems of your baby.

You can put a drop or two of lavender oil on the child’s mattress, pillow and crib. Just breathing the oil will work wonders in putting your baby to sleep and giving relief from cold symptoms.

You can give the baby a massage with lavender oil after blending it with carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil or sun flower oil. The safest proportion is adding 1 drop of lavender oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Rub the blended oil on the baby’s chest and back before putting your baby to sleep.

Chamomile oil

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You can add a drop of chamomile oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil and give your baby a bedtime massage.

You can add the blended oil to your baby’s bath.

Blend of lavender and chamomile

You can add a drop of chamomile and lavender oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Blending lavender and chamomile helps in giving better relief. You can also add other safe essential oils like dill oil and sweet orange oil (less harsh than lemon oil) to it.

Do you feel you will not be able to get the essential oils in the nearby shops in your area? Are you too busy to make your own blends of essential oils? Don’t worry. Go for baby rubs that contain safe essential oils in the right proportion. Apply it on your fussy baby and help it to sleep soundly.

Our Nasobuddy Cough & Cold balm is based on 6 Essential oils, it includes chamomile oil and lavender oil.

How essential oils help with your baby’s cold and cough

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Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for the good health of humans. They are used to relieve colds, coughs, pains and stress etc. Is it advisable to use essential oils for babies? Do they really help with your baby’s cold? Let’s find out.

How does lavender oil help with your baby’s cold & cough ?

It has anti viral and anti bacterial properties. This helps in giving relief from cold. It also gets rid of stress and exhaustion of your baby and promotes good sleep. Your baby will sleep soundly when lavender oil with carrier oil and rubbed on chest and back. A study showed that newborns that smelled lavender oil while undergoing heel prick test experienced less pain and lower heart rate than those who did not smell lavender.

How does chamomile oil help with your baby’s cold & cough ?

It has anti inflammatory, soothing and anti microbial properties. It relieves pain and calms the baby. It provides good sleep to the baby and decreases cough and congestion.

How does eucalyptus oil help with your baby’s cold and cough ?

Eucalyptus oil is known for its ability to treat colds, congestions and respiratory disorders because of its anti viral properties. However, you should remember that there are many types of essential oils and not all of them are safe to be used for babies. Eucalyptus oil contains a compound called cineole. The more the cineole content the more it is unsafe for the baby. Some of the species with very high cineole content are recommended for use only for children above 10 years of age. Eucalyptus radiata is one type of eucalyptus oil that is safe to be used for babies because of the low cineole content in it.

How does patchouli essential oil help with your baby’s cold ?

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Common colds and cough affects the baby’s sleep quality,  denying them the comfort and rest required to overcome their ailment.  Patchouli oil helps them to settle in for a peaceful nights sleep. In dilute quantities  in a balm , it can really  work wonders.

Points to remember while using essential oils for your little one

  • It should not be used without diluting with carrier oil like coconut oil or sunflower oil.
  • It should not be used directly on kids younger than 3 months old. You can add two to three drops in hot water and place it under the crib. The vapor gives soothing effect and gives relief from nasal block.
  • It is strictly not recommended for internal use. Keep essential oils out of reach of children to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Make sure that you use pure essential oil and not adulterated oil.
  • Make sure you do not expose the baby’s skin directly to sunlight after applying essential oils. It may cause irritation and rash on the skin.

 Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

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I am sure most of us have the memory of our mothers applying rubs on our backs and chest to help us breathe better whenever we catch cold. However, as a parent, most of us are reluctant to do the same without knowing if it is safe to use it on kids. Are you one among them? Do you want to know if balms and rubs are safe for babies? Here’s an analysis.

Are baby rubs and balms safe?

Yes, they are safe for your baby if they do not contain harmful ingredients that can cause irritation to your baby’s skin and cause other side effects. According to studies , rubbing baby rubs will give relief from cough and congestion to your baby and will help your baby to sleep peacefully if you use the right product with right ingredients. It is up to you to make the right choice. Read further to know which ones are safe and which ones are not.

Which ones are not safe?

Rubs with camphor are not safe: Camphor may cause reddish rashes, dryness in skin and will increase the risks of eczema. Some cases of seizures and deaths have been reported in babies below 2 years of age when they ingested camphor accidentally.

Rubs with menthol are not safe: It may cause redness, stinging, burning and blistering in little ones. It may also cause adverse side effects like respiratory troubles.

Rubs with petroleum jelly are not safe: Petroleum jelly clogs the pores and causes skin irritation.

Which ones are safe?

Rubs with lavender oil: It is a natural ingredient that promotes good sleep and treats respiratory tract infections.

Rubs with chamomile oil: It is a safe ingredient that contains compounds to fight colds and to calm babies in physical distress.

Rubs with Eucalyptus radiata: There are two species of eucalyptus oils, one is eucalyptus globulus and the other is eucalyptus radiata. Eucalyptus globulus is not safe for babies  but eucalyptus radiata is safe. It eases respiratory difficulties.

Rubs with coriander oil: It has relaxing and anti viral effects.

All the above oils are essential oils that are safe to use on babies but you should remember that it is safer to mix carrier oils with essential oils. When base essential oils are blended with carrier oil you are assured of 100% safety. Make sure that carrier oils like coconut oil and/or peanut oil and/or sunflower oil and/or olive oil are added to the rub.

Study the ingredients carefully and if you are convinced that they are safe to use on babies, go ahead and use it on your kids to give relief to them from nasal congestion and cough.

Further reading : 

What’s inside the balms and baby rubs ?

Do balms and baby rubs really work ?

What’s inside the balm and baby rubs – An Overview

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It is true that a baby’s medical kit must have a vapor rub or a chest rub but you should know what is inside the chest rub that you are planning to use for your baby.

What are the common ingredients in popular balm and baby rubs

Camphor

Why is it used – It is used because of its cough suppressing and analgesic properties. It is a sleep inducer.

Is it safe to use in baby rubs – It is easily absorbed by the skin. When it penetrated deep into the skin it can be highly toxic. It can cause irritation to your baby’s skin. It can also cause irritation to eyes and mucus membranes.

Menthol

Why is it used – It has analgesic properties. It gives a cooling effect.

Is it safe to use in baby rubs – Experts say that menthol tricks the brain to think that breathing has become easier by triggering cooling sensation. It can be of a little positive physiologic consequence in older children but not in kids. It can actually cause respiratory distress in little babies. 

Petrolatum or paraffin wax

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Why is it used – It is used because of its moisturizing properties and it’s a cheap base.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is not water soluble. It creates an illusion of moisturizing skin. However, blocks the pores and restricts air flow into the skin. This prevents the skin from breathing.

Eucalyptus

Why is it used – It has anti microbial, decongesting, cough suppressing and pain relieving properties.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is safe when used in the right quantity. Study the ingredient list and make sure the dosage is minimal, especially, if your baby is below 2 years old. Eucalyptus radiata is a milder and safer variant.

Lavender oil

Why is it used – It has calming and soothing properties. It encourages a fussy baby to sleep.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It does have sedative effects and it does not cause any side effects .

Rosemary oil

Why is it used – It helps in clearing mucus and in decreasing inflammation.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is safe for children when diluted. When used without diluting it can cause side effects on skin. To be on the safer side check the dosage of rosemary oil on the label.

These are the common ingredients in baby rubs. Some of these ingredients do have potentially harmful side effects. 

Natural  rubs contain essential oils and real moisturizers like sunflower oil or coconut  oil. They contain beeswax or shea butter in place of petrolatum. Organic or natural baby rubs and homemade baby rubs are best for your baby’s health. 

Further reading : 

Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

Soups And Common Cold(for older babies) – Does It Soothe The Symptoms

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There is no complete remedy for colds. It is the harsh truth. All you can do is to take steps to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Soups are generally recommended to soothe the symptoms of cold. Do soups really work?

Science and researches have not yet confirmed that soup is a key to improving the symptoms of cold. However, doctors and nutrition experts say that soups do help because of the following reasons.

1) Soups help in decreasing inflammation and congestion

Ingredients in soup like garlic, onions and pepper etc. are natural antioxidants and help in reducing inflammation which in turn reduces the symptoms of cold.

Chicken soup has the property of reducing congestion. How is it possible? Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine. It has anti viral, anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It breaks apart the mucus and alleviates congestion.

Capsaicin in pepper helps in healing sore throats.

Garlic is nature’s antibiotic.

Ginger is a natural anti inflammatory ingredient. It gives relief from pains like throat pain, body ache and headache related to colds.

2) The heat of the soup has healing properties

It is a medically proven fact that hot liquids help in soothing cold symptoms. A clinical study was conducted to find out the effects of hot liquids to alleviate the symptoms of cold. The subjects who participated in the study were divided into two groups. The subjects in one group were given a hot drink. The subjects in the other group were given the same drink in room temperature. The researchers concluded that subjects who drank hot drink demonstrated better relief of symptoms than the subjects who drank it in the room temperature. Hence, it is proven that when you give hot soups to your babies it will surely help them.

3) Soups keep the children hydrated

Doctors say that it is important to keep your children hydrated when they are suffering from colds. When the kids are not well hydrated, the mucus turns into hard cement like substance. It becomes very difficult to get rid of hardened mucus. On the other hand when the kids are well hydrated the mucus gets loosened up and starts to move around. This makes it easier for you and the baby to clear it.

4) Soups are easily digestible

The ingredients in the soups are well cooked. The fiber in the vegetables and other ingredients is tenderized making soups easily digestible.

5) Soups are packed with nutrients

A soup is a well balanced diet with several nutrients. None of the vitamins and minerals is lost from the ingredients of the soup. A wholesome soup will provide the nutrients needed by your child. It improves your child’s immunity and helps in giving quick relief from cold.

Soups are not only helpful in alleviating the symptoms of cold but also are helpful in building the immunity and preventing your child from catching frequent colds. Build their immunity with hot soups.

Light Soup Recipes To Feed Your Child With Cold Symptoms

Here are a few recommended  child-friendly soup recipes from nutritionists to feed your child when he has a cold.

1) Clear mixed vegetable soup

Ingredients

  • Carrot (grated) – 1
  • French beans (minced) –  a few, say, 5 or 6
  • Beat root (grated) – Half
  • Tomato (chopped) – 1
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Small onions (chopped) – 4
  • Ladies finger (chopped) – 4
  • Peas – ¼ cup
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(You can add any seasonal vegetables of your choice but adding carrots and peas give a good taste to the soup).

Method

Cook all ingredients for about 15 minutes in a pressure cooker in slow flame. When cooked, mash the vegetables with a wooden spoon. Strain and then add a little pepper and salt. Don’t add too much of pepper. Serve when it is warm.

2) Thick mixed vegetable soup

The ingredients and the method are the same except for one variation. When the ingredients are cooked and cooled down, you should pass them in a blender instead of straining. The benefit of thick soup is that the fiber content is not lost in this method.

Note: This soup is not suitable for small children because the fiber content makes it a little difficult for digesting.

3) Clear chicken soup

Ingredients

  • Chicken – 100 g
  • Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
  • Small onions – 5 to 6
  • Pepper corns – 4 to 5
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes in slow flame. Strain the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. (You can skip pepper because you have already added pepper corns to the soup).

Note: Chicken provides protein content to the soup. If you want it to make nutritious with vitamins and minerals, you can add chopped vegetables with chicken.

4) Vegetable pulse (dal) soup

Ingredients

  • Moong dal or split green gram – ¼ cup
  • Chopped vegetables – 1 cup
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(The chopped vegetables can be of your choice including carrots, French beans, cabbage, ladies finger and peas etc.)

Method

Cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes in slow flame. When cooked blend in a blender and serve warm after adding salt and pepper.

Note: Moong dal is packed with protein. This makes this soup a wholesome food. Avoid adding other pulses like Bengal gram and red gram because they are not as easily digestible as split green gram.

5) Tomato soup

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (Finely chopped) – 3
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Small onions – 4 to 5
  • Pepper corns – 3
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) – ¼ tsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker. When cooked, strain the broth. Add salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Note : Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in building immunity that facilitates quick recovery from cold.

Do Balms/Baby Rubs Really Work ?

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I am sure everyone remembers how their mom rubbed vapor rubs on their chests when they were a child. However, most of the young parents today are reluctant to do the same to their own kids. They are not sure if it really works or it has some harmful ingredients.

In the year 2010, a study was conducted on a group of 138 children aged 2 to 11 years. All the children who participated in the study had cold symptoms. The children were divided into three groups. Children of the first group were treated with rubs. The second group was treated with petrolatum and the last group was given no treatment.

The children were studied after two days. Factors like ability to sleep, severity and frequency of cough and congestion were studied. The results showed that the symptoms were better for all the children but there were significant differences in the levels of improvement.

Statistical data showed that children who were treated with rubs had the best improvement. They slept better. Their congestion improved and they had less severe and less frequent cough. The least improvement was found in children who were given no treatment.

The essential oils like eucalyptus in the balm have proven health benefits.

The study proves that baby rubs do work in improving the symptoms of cold in the little children.

Nevertheless, you should not forget that you should be careful in choosing the rub. Avoid baby rubs that contain  menthol, camphor, petroleum jelly. They can have adverse effects and worsen the baby’s health.

You should make sure that there are no harmful ingredients in the rub. A natural ,  essential oil based rub will help ease your baby’s nasal congestion and cough.

Further reading : 

Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

What’s inside  the balm and baby rubs – An overview