Science is really starting to invest in some effective alternative treatments
for the common cold and cough – which can be especially helpful for your little ones. After all, who wants to give their child an alcohol-based cough syrup like Nyquil?
So, what are these alternative treatments that we speak of? Well, the next time your child is coughing (and miserable) at night, try giving him or her some honey instead of the typical over-the-counter medicine.
Yes, honey! According to Israeli researchers from the Pediatric Community Ambulatory Care Clinic, giving a child just one or two teaspoons of honey before bed can eliminate most of the symptoms brought on by the common cold. Not only that, but it may be much more effective (and much better for you) than conventional cold medicines. Details of the Study
For the study, the team of researchers assembled a group of 300 children who were suffering from upper respiratory infections, all between the ages of one and five. Each child had been sick for seven days or less and spent their nights coughing. As a control, there were four possible treatments that were randomly chosen to be given to the child 30 minutes before bed: two tablespoons of citrus honey, libiatae honey, eucalyptus honey, or an extract that didn’t contain any honey, yet looked and tasted like the real thing.
Parents took a survey before the treatment, and were asked to complete a second survey the day after treatment. Results indicated that all
of the children showed improvement over time (upper respiratory infection is a limited disease, after all), but the kids who received the honey treatments were relieved of symptoms much faster, and improved more significantly. Why YOU Should Choose Honey
Of course, honey has been recognized for its health benefits
long before this study was conducted. It’s packed with vitamin C and flavonoids, which means plenty of antioxidants for your body. Additionally, the thick, sweet texture of the honey lubricates your throat and stimulates salivation, which helps in reducing cough.
Commercial medicines, on the other hand, are not as good for treating colds in children. Aside from the danger of an accidental overdose, several life-threatening side effects can occur, including convulsions, rapid heart rates, and death. In fact, close to 750 babies and toddlers are taken to the emergency room each year due to a bad reaction to cold medicines. Of these 750 children, several will die.
One reason for so many trips to the ER? Parents are so quick to head to the nearest pharmacy to get some over-the-counter medication for their children that they don’t take the time to consult a pediatrician or seek alternative methods, and this leads to wrong doses being administered. In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public warning against giving children under the age of two any over-the-counter cold medicine and cold syrup containing decongestants, antihistamines, expectorants, antitussives, and cough suppressants.
Overall, the benefits of reaching for the sweets cupboard instead of the medicine cabinet when you are treating your child’s cough and cold are numerous: give their immune systems a boost with the surge of antioxidants, relieve their symptoms in less time, and avoid the risk of dangerous side effects that can quickly turn a mild cold into something much worse. Cited Sources
"FDA: No OTC Cough Syrups for Little Ones." CNN.com
. CNN Health, n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2012. <http://articles.cnn.com/2008-01-17/health/fda.syrup_1_otc-cough-consumer-healthcare-products-association-charles-ganley?_s=PM:HEALTH>.
" Honey a Sweet Treatment for Kids' Night-Time Cough." NIH.gov
. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 6 Aug. 2012. Web. 24 Aug. 2012. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_127961.html>.