With the many recalls that spring up for children’s and infant’s pain relievers, not to mention the recalls for adult medications, it can be helpful to have a few natural remedies up your sleeve. Relieving pain without drugs will reduce the overall exposure that you and your children have to these medications, and therefore reduce the possibility of harm due to a manufacturing or other defect.
Sore Throat: Honey and lemon juice are the perfect combination. Lemon will help ease the congestion while honey coats the throat and quiets coughing and discomfort. A tablespoon of each warmed gently in the microwave should do the trick, just remember that honey is not safe for babies under 12 months due to the increased risk of botulism.
Colic: Chamomile tea will relax intenstinal muscles and ease the discomfort caused by colic. Prepare tea according to package directions, let cool to room temperature, and offer one or two ounces to baby.
Headaches: An icepack wrapped in a towel and pressed against the forehead or temples will relieve a child’s headache. Wrap a bandanna tied at the back of the head to hold it in place.
Body Pain: a homemade heat wrap will soothe neck and other pain. Fill a sock with uncooked rice and tie it closed. Microwave for one to two minutes until warm and place on affected area. Reheat and reuse as necessary.
Swimmers Ear: a blow dryer can help evaporate liquid trapped inside the ear. Set the blow dryer to warm setting and stand about a foot away from the ear. Wave back and forth to avoid scorching.
Ear Infections: while an antibiotic may be necessary to clear the infection, easing the pain can be done without medications. A cloth soaked in hot water pressed to the ear will relieve pain and reduce pressure. Breathing in the steam from a eucalyptus and lavender oil bath can open up the ears. Place a few drops of each in a bowl of boiling water and cover the head with a towel to breathe in steam. For small children, running a hot shower with several drops in the bottom of the tub (with the drain plugged) can help create the same effect.
Avoiding medications whenever possible will decrease the risks associated with taking them. Concerns with liver damage have been associated with acetaminophen, stomach and liver problems have been associated with ibuprofen, and aspirin causes Reye’s Syndrome. Try natural remedies first, and never underestimate the healing effect of extra attention and a hug.