Experts Share Home Remedies to Combat the Flu

Photo Credit: debaird™

 Article by Kinsights Medical Director Dr. Carol Wilkinson and Co-founder & Parenting Expert Jennifer Chung

Here we are again-cold and flu season. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) is reporting the cold and flu season has struck early this year. As well, the widespread enterovirus-D68 has been affecting children across the U.S.  Kinsights’ Medical Director Dr. Carol Wilkinson and Co-founder/Parenting Expert Jennifer Chung are sharing their best home remedies to help get you and your family through the flu season.
A cough or congestion can be a little thing that becomes a big deal. These symptoms can not only be irritating, but can keep a child (and parents!) from getting a restful night’s sleep just when it’s most needed. And there’s another problem: while it’s easy to find a wide selection of cough medicines at any drug store, they can come with some serious risks for young kids-rapid heart rate, convulsions, excessive sleepiness and possible risk of overdose. Fortunately, there are some great home remedies that can do the trick, and actually work better than the pricy and dangerous cough medicines. You probably already have everything you need at home:
– Honey. As long as your child is over 1-year-old, this might be the only thing you need. Mix a little honey in warm water (half a teaspoon for kids under 6, 1 teaspoon for kids under 12, and 2 teaspoons for teens), and give it about half an hour to work its way into the system. Darker varieties work best, but anything you have should be fine in a pinch.
– Tea. Soothing herbal teas can be a quick and easy cough reliever. Chamomile and mint are classic favorites, but be sure to try licorice too. Don’t be afraid to combine tea with honey for a double attack on that cough!

– Ginger. Whether it’s ginger ale or you create your own ginger tea, ginger can work as an expectorant and break up the mucus in your throat to help clear out that cough. To make the tea, pour boiling water over a couple tablespoons of chopped ginger into your mug. Oregano and thyme can have similar effects, so go with what sounds most appealing.
– Steam. When you’ve run out of other options, or find yourself in a pinch, you can always fall back to good old steam. Whether it’s a steamy shower or just the steam coming off a mug of hot water, breathing in moist, steamy air can help soothe and relieve the symptoms that are causing your child’s cough.
Again, skip the cough medicines if possible and reach in the cupboard. With a little experimenting, you’re sure to find a recipe that helps everyone get a good night’s sleep.  Keep in mind that if symptoms persist for several days or seem to rapidly progress, it’s important to see a physician. Visit Kinsights for securely storing your children’s medical records online (vaccinations, allergies, current medications, previous illnesses, etc.). You’ll have all your children’s important health information handy if you’re visiting the walk-in clinic or ER with a sick child. With 30% of the U.S. opting for walk-in clinics vs. their primary care physician for acute care (like flu symptoms) and minor wounds, it’s extremely helpful to have the information accessible from your phone for the visit. Parents can also visit Kinsights online advice- sharing community-a safe place to seek answers to your medical questions.

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