Hello and welcome to the blog of one crazy mom!

Here I want to share about my life, my struggles and successes, the brighter pieces of my life's mosaics and the darker ones, too. They all are a part of the masterpiece God is working on, it just takes time to see a bigger picture.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stuffy nose, endless cough and other winter woes

So here we are again: cold weather, weakened immune systems, stuffed and runny noses, endless coughing and all the "beauty" of the winter season. My son's asthmatic condition makes it even worse for us since every coughing spell can trigger an asthma attack. And I've noticed that often the leading cause for coughing is nothing else but the congested nose... 

There are so many home remedies and OTC medicine to offer relief for cold and flu symptoms, that it's often hard to decide where to start.

"Saline, baby!" - says my good friend Lana, a registered nurse from Florida.
"A humidifier and Baby Vick", recommends my kids' pediatrician.

It seems I have tried it all. Saline is definitely on the top of my list, as well as a decent humidifier (how would we survive without you, my friend?!). However, when the congestion gets so very stubborn that nothing seems to work, I rely on my mom's tried and true method of hot boiled eggs...

First, I boil two eggs,

Then, while they're still hot, I wrap them in a cloth and apply them to my kid' nose just at the top of it, letting the warmth penetrate the nose (the real trick is to make your kids sit still and allow enough time for the procedure:)),

I like to use two eggs, but my mother-in-law suggested today that I use one and just roll it across the nose:
It seemed to work just as fine.

When the warmth gets to the very bone, the air passages naturally open up (for my kids it works much better than the hot steamy room) and allows for further manipulations.

If you even decide to try in on your kids, I do recommend you try it first on yourself, so you know how thin/think the cloth should be to allow the egg to warm the nose without burning the skin.

Another trick I've learned over the years is to have a GOOD (and I mean really good and effective) nose aspirator. A while back a friend of mine, an American missionary who lives in Ukraine, gave me an unusual gift - a nose aspirator she bought in Hungary. That thing is a work of art! You actually get to attach it to a vacuum cleaner to suck out all the mucus from the nose! That was one amazing gift! I am still using it. You can watch the demo of Arianna Nose-Vac at YouTube, however I must say that my daughter didn't take it as nice as my son or the kids from the demo :) -

I have lately found some very similar products on Amazon, that do not require the vacuum cleaner and seem to be more cost effective:

 Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator
Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator

 BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (Blue Sky Baby) 

BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (Blue Sky Baby)

I haven't tried any of them personally but they seem to have the same concept as the Nose-Vac that has been our wintertime life-saver for over 4 years now. By the way, we often skip the vacuum part and use our own lungs to help kids breathe, especially at nighttime.

As for the cough,.. I am still quite at loss how to fight it. Another friend of mine, a mother of four, has recommended Echinacea/Astragalus herbal supplement from Herbs for Kids. She says it has been her go-to remedy for a couple of years now. I give it to my kids at the onset of the coughing along with Kid's Cough supplement from Sun Harvest. I am not as consistent with it as I should be, so my results are not as great as I'd like them to be. My MIL gives kids warm milk at bedtime and Pertussin (an herbal cough syrup we get from Ukraine). Combined together, these remedies seem to soothe the cough but nothing has proven to completely get rid of it. Perhaps, you might have tried and true remedies that work like a charm for your little ones?..

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