Flu is common name of the viral disease Influenza. It is a highly communicable respiratory disease that is spread due to coughing and sneezing of an infected person. In fact you can also contract flu by a simple handshake with an infected person. Often common cold is confused with flu since both have similar symptoms.
The symptoms of flu are:
• Cold sweats
• High fever
• Dry cough
• Joint ache
• Nasal blockage
• Pain in the limbs
• Loss of appetite
• Feeling exhausted and fatigued
• Vomiting and nausea
Small kids are especially prone to catching infections. This is because flue is a seasonal virus and young children are vulnerable, since their immunity is still building. Little children may feel extremely tired even without doing anything. Parents feel completely helpless to see their little one in pain. When suffering from flu, the child may not be able to sleep properly and this makes the parents also sleepless. Kids might even have to miss school on so many days due to flu. Most parents don’t want to give their kids any heavy medication since these cause drowsiness and also affect the liver in the long run. Home remedies are more reliable and give long term relief.
Here are a few home remedies that every mom can follow for their kids:
1. Hot drinks such as chicken soup – Taking hot drinks such as clear chicken soup helps to provide instant relief from flu. Not only does the hot soup provide warmth; it also stops the neutrophils in our blood from causing any inflammation. This helps to prevent the production of mucus and its accumulation in the chest. Add some black pepper to your soup and make your child enjoy this time-tested remedy.
2. Hot Tea – Although tea is not considered to be healthy for parents, it provides a lot of relief from flu symptoms. Tea contains lots of powerful herbs that help to ease the discomfort. If you can add a few slices of ginger to the tea; it will be even more beneficial for your child. Ginger helps to fight viruses and also strengthens the immunity.
3. Drink lots of water – Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water. This helps to eliminate all the toxic substances from the body. When your body is devoid of toxins, you are less vulnerable to catch any infections and diseases. Drinking ample water ensures that mucus doesn’t thicken and is easier to eliminate it from the body. It helps to keep the eyes hydrated as well. If possible you can make your child drink warm water with lemon juice and honey. This not only helps to soothe the throat, but also kill microorganisms.
4. Place a humidifier in the bedroom – A humidifier helps to keep the air moist and thus the mucus doesn’t coagulate and thicken.
5. Dress the child in various layers – Make your child wear a lot of layers so that you can remove a few layers when your child starts to sweat and feel hot. If, however, your child feels cold, you might need to add a few layers and make him/her sit in a quilt.
6. Gargling with salt water – Flu is often accompanied by a sore throat. Gargling with salt water is the best way to soothe a sore throat. Although children find it difficult but they should be encouraged to do so, since it is for their own good. Just heat water in a cup and add some salt to it. Tell your child to gargle with it twice a day.
7. Steaming – Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water is a natural boost for flu. Take a large pot and boil some water in it. Now make your child lower his face on the pot and cover with a towel. Steam should be inhaled for at least 15 minutes. In order to get maximum benefit from the hot fumes, you may add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or thyme oil. This helps to open the nasal passages and clear the congestion.
8. Garlic – This aromatic condiment is known for its antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. The presence of allicin in garlic helps to get rid of flu, since it is a compound that boosts the immune system.
9. Chamomile – Take a pan and heat water in it. Now soak a chamomile tea bag in it and then place this tea bag over your child’s eyes. Chamomile is known for its calming properties and it really helps to reduce pink eye. You can also make your child sip some chamomile tea since it has a great taste. It not only helps to reduce fever and inflammation but also enables you to sleep better.
10. Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps to fight infections fast and children must be given fruits that are rich in Vitamin C. Citrus fruits contain lots of Vitamin C.
11. Fenugreek – Another natural remedy for fighting influenza is fenugreek. Fenugreek seeds have antiviral properties. Just boil half cup water with a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds until just about one-third o the water is left. Strain the concoction and add a few drops of honey along with a teaspoon of freshly squeezed ginger juice. Give this tincture to your child once a day for 3-4 days.
As they say prevention is better than cure; it is always better to protect your kids from getting the flu. Make them aware that they need to keep distance from a person who is suffering from flu. Inculcate the habit of washing hands before and after every meal and after using the washroom. Nose picking should be avoided. Keep them dressed appropriately, especially during a change of season. Always avoid crowded places when the weather is unpredictable. It is very easy to get infected at such places. If your child is already infected, it is better to let him/her stay at home so that other children don’t get infected.