Thursday, January 13, 2011

Since It's Flu Season...

With the colder months, typically comes a lot more sicknesses, especially the flu, croup and head & chest colds. Thankfully God's been very merciful to all of us this year and we haven't had a cold for several months.

Since some kiddos with DS can have a challenging time with the cold, due to their narrow airways, I thought I'd post an article from our book on certain things you can do to help combat the nasty chest congestion that some colds bring.

O struggled with croup and chest congestion from colds when he was little. But, thankfully, we were able to get him healthy again pretty quickly by using the things below. Especially by giving him Ridgecrest Herbals Clear Lungs. That made a huge difference for him when he was little and actually helped prevent him from getting very congested.

So, without anything more, here is the article.

Home Remedies for Croup
By Kim Fish

Croup is usually a viral infection that affects children under the age of six. It can appear suddenly or be the result of the common cold. The vocal chords will swell, usually at night, and result in a cough that sounds like a barking seal. If the child wakes up in the middle of the night while having a croup attack, it can be a very scary experience. The key is to try to keep the child (and yourself!) calm. The more the child cries, the harder it will be for him to catch his breath.

There were a few times, early on as a mom, that I called 911. This is not a bad thing, especially if the child is gasping for air. It is better to have some oxygen given to the child to stop the attack than to have something serious happen. I have also spent one night in a hospital with one of my sons with a serious croup attack, accompanied by stridors (a high pitched sound usually during inspiration that shows there is a blockage of the airway). During that night, I learned several things from the Respiratory Specialist about things to try out at home. Since then I have discovered several home remedies that can help with croup and there are a few things that can be done to actually help stop an attack that is in progress. Probably the most important thing to remember is to remain calm as the parent. If you are freaking out then this will not help the child to calm down.

Here are a few things to try DURING a croup attack:

A Hot Steamy Room: Sometimes taking the child into a small bathroom or shower stall with the water turned all the way onto hot will create enough steam to help the child to breath easier and in turn the child calms down. DO NOT put the child into the hot water, just hold him on your lap, and encourage him to calm down and breathe in the steam.
A Blast of Cold Air: Sometimes, just the opposite helps to stop an attack midstream. I usually wrap the child up in a blanket and walk outside into the cool air. I have spent many nights just sitting outside on a chair holding a child.
Molasses and Castor Oil: This is used when a child is having a croup attack. Mix 1-Tablespoon molasses with 1-teaspoon castor oil (this can be found cheaply in the pharmacy section of Wal-Mart). Mix together and spoon down being careful not to choke the child. I do not know the scientific reasons as to why this works, but it does.
Whiskey and sugar: Mix 1 Tablespoon of whiskey with 1 teaspoon (or more) of white sugar. Spoon it down. As in the remedy above, I also do not know why this one works but, it does.
If a child wakes up unexpectedly and has a croup attack then I do several of the ideas below for the next few days in order to help prevent another attack. Here are a few ideas for dealing with tight lungs, coughs, or croupy coughs:

These first two are what I do first for my family:

1. Onion packs - Slice a brown onion all the way down. Do not separate the rings. Place in between 2 pieces of thin material (an old t-shirt works good for this). Lay it on the chest with a hot water bottle or heating pad on top. It is usually more comfortable to be in a semi-reclined position (propped up with pillows).
2. Onion syrup - Slice a brown onion. Then make alternating layers of onion and brown sugar; maybe 3 or 4 layers of each. Place a lid on it and set it off to the side for awhile. After a few hours, there will be juice in the bottom of the pot. Spoon out some on a teaspoon or Tablespoon and take it. You can let it sit over night on the counter but after about 24 hours, strain out the liquid, and keep it in the fridge.
You can also do the following things:
3. Thyme tea - Take about 1 Tablespoon of this ordinary kitchen seasoning and place it in a coffee cup. Cover with boiling water, add a little honey if you like, and let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain out the thyme and drink the tea down.
4. Traditional Medicinal Throat Coat Tea - This can be bought at most health food stores. It's main ingredient is Slippery Elm, which is known for its soothing properties. You can also find just straight Slippery Elm tea, although it is not quite as tasty as the Throat Coat.
5. Water, Water and More Water - It is best to drink a sip of water every few minutes rather than chugging 8 ounces every hour. Continual hydration is key in keeping a cough at bay.
Other ideas:
6. Ridgecrest Herbals Clear Lungs - This is a capsule formula that can be bought at most health food stores (about $18 a bottle) or online (it is cheapest at But, if you are in a hurry, it is definitely worth the price. I have found this to work really well. Usually after 1 or 2 treatments there is a noticeable difference.
7. Vicks Vapo Rub - Great to put on when you don't have an onion pack on. Rub on the soles of the feet and put socks on the child. Works great!
8. Cool mist - The item to buy is called an Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. They go on sale sometimes at Wal-Mart for $30 or so. Set it up so that it can blow directly over the sick person's head while they are sleeping.
9. Cool mist in a tent set-up - For extremely tight chests and/or croup, place the humidifier in a small pop-up tent (2 man works well, set-up in the house). Zip the doorway halfway (or more) shut and create a tent of mist. Have the sick person sleep in it.
10. Cool mist with Hydrogen Peroxide added in - There is a lot of information about hydrogen peroxide treatments online. This will oxygenate the air coming out of the humidifier more. The amount is 2 cups of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide mixed into 1 gallon of water (distilled water is better for humidifiers but, if you do not have it on hand use normal faucet water).

Hopefully, some of these ideas will be beneficial. These ideas are not necessarily meant to replace the care of a doctor, but they are things that can be tried to help the child.

(P.S. You can get up to 30% off our book by a couple codes that are good in January. You can see the info & codes here.)



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