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Natural solutions for fevers, aches, and pains

Posted May 06 2010 12:24pm

by kiwilog

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Earlier this week, we talked about the safest way to dispose of prescription or OTC drugs specifically, the Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl that’s being recalled by manufacturers. I’m willing to bet that tossing the meds has made some of you more interested in trying natural remedies for your kid’s minor ailments, so I went to KIWI’s own Dr. Rosen for advice. Here, his suggestions:

Fever
“Fever is the body’s way of dealing with infection and inflammation, and is not necessarily a bad thing in itself,” Dr. Rosen says. If your child is running a low temperature but continues playing, eating, and sleeping the way she usually does, treatment isn’t necessary. However, there are plenty of safe, natural remedies that can ease a fever that becomes uncomfortable, Rosen says:

  • Hydration. Fever tends to create dehydration, so offer room temperature water (often, kids like it better than ice water, Rosen says) or warm chamomile tea (don’t worrythe temperature of the tea won’t affect your child’s body temperature) frequently to babies and children over six months old (for infants under six months, check with your doctor). Or, try popsicles made from 100 percent fruit juice or herbal teas.
  • Cold socks. Put a pair of socks in cold water or the freezer, then on your child’s feet. Not all kids will like this, but some do, and it works well to cool them off, Rosen says. A gentler option? Have your kid take a bath in water that’s at or slightly below body temperature (about 90 degrees).
  • Peppermint. When placed on the skin, peppermint essential oil provides a cooling sensation. Mix a drop with a base oil (such as olive oil) and rub behind your child’s ears, on her neck, or on her feet.

Other ailments
Treatment will vary depending on where your child’s pain is, Rosen says. For muscle aches or sports-related injuries, ice the affected area three times daily for 20 minutes and elevate to reduce swelling; or try arnica, a plant-based anti-inflammatory that can be applied topically or taken as a pill. Garlic oil ear drops are a common natural treatment option for earaches, while herbal tea with honey will sooth a scratchy throat.

-Marygrace, KIWI staff writer

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