• Sore throats and snuffly noses: get ready for winter with A Guide to Child Health

    by  • 7 November 2013 • Child Health and Parenting • 0 Comments

    A Guide to Child Health cover A Guide to Child Health, now available in a fourth revised edition, is the go-to guide for parents looking for a more holistic approach to raising healthy children. Based on Dr Michaela Glockler’s and Dr Wolfgang Goebel’s twenty years experience treating children, it’s packed full with helpful holistic tips and up-to-date medical advice.

    So just in time for winter, we’ve brought together some of Dr Glockler’s and Dr Goebel’s advice to help ease three common cold symptoms. It may be cold outside, but winter needn’t mean that you or your family has to suffer from sore throats, blocked noses or dry coughs.

    Help for sore throats

    Home treatments for sore throats are easily made, making use of store cupboard essentials. For those with a slight ache, simply sipping well-warmed sage tea with honey and lemon – or gargling with strong sage tea – could help to ease sensitive throats.

    More acute sore throats and hoarseness can be calmed with a hot lemon-juice com­press applied around the neck. To make your compress, Dr Glockler suggests:

    • Place half of an unsprayed lemon in a small bowl, cover it with very hot water, make a few cuts in it, and hold it in place with a fork while you press the juice out using the bottom of a drinking glass.
    • Fold a cotton cloth (not too thin) to the right size to cover the throat but leave the neck vertebrae exposed.
    • Roll the cloth up from both ends toward the middle, wrap it in a longer piece of cloth and dip both cloths into the hot lemon water, leav­ing the ends of the longer cloth dry.
    • Pick up the ends of the longer cloth, drape it around a tap, and twist the ends together to wring it out thoroughly. The drier the hot compress, the more comfortable it will be on the skin.
    • Remove the compress from the wringing cloth. Test the temperature before unrolling it onto your child’s throat, beginning at the larynx. The compress should be as wrinkle-free as possible.
    • Secure it firmly with a scarf.
    • Duration: At least five to ten min­utes.

    Breathing easy

    Fresh air from an open window can be very comforting to a stuffy nose but sometimes it’s just not enough to ease discomfort. In this case, fresh steam-moistened air prevents drying of the mucous membranes and softens nasal discharge, making it eas­ier to sneeze and swallow.

    • If you have central heating or radiant floor heating, Dr Goebel recommends hanging damp cloths in the room, rewetting them frequently.
    • You could also try spreading a little eucalyptus oil or Olbas oil on a cloth or saucer and placing it on a heat source in the room. (NB: not in the bed)

    Keeping coughs at bay

    Dry coughs caused by a cold can be comforted with chest rubs and hot moist compresses. Rubbing your child’s chest with 10% lavender or mallow oil, for example, is a simple measure that brings relief. Dr Glockler also favours a chest compress with beeswax. This compress is a favourite with par­ents and children because it’s simple to use. They recommend ready-to-use compresses but if you prefer to make the compress yourself (method available in A Guide To Child Health), make sure to use beeswax with minimal contaminants.

    When to see your doctor

    You should make an appointment to see your GP if:

    • you have a persistent (lasting several days) high temperature above 38C (100.4F), which is not reduced by medication
    • your symptoms do not improve after two weeks
    • you have frequent sore throats that do not respond to painkillers
    • you’ve had a cough for more than two weeks after a viral infection
    • if your cough is progressively getting worse

    If you experience breathing difficulties, chest pain or you cough up blood, speak to your GP immediately.

    More about A Guide To Child Health

    This acclaimed guide to children’s physical, psychological and spiritual development is now available in a fourth revised edition. Combining up-to-date medical advice with issues of development and education, this is a definitive guide for parents. This fourth edition includes updates on treatments for tonsillitis, croup, sunstroke and headlice. The section on vaccinations includes the latest recommendations including measles, meningococcal and HPV. There is also a new section on electromagnetic pollution, including mobile (cell) phones.


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