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There are few things as miserable as a winter cold, especially one that forces kids to stay indoors. Add to that a runny nose – the constant sniffing, the mucus that seems to get everywhere – and the whole family can start to feel very low. If your little one has a case of the sniffles, there’s actually plenty you can do to help them feel a bit better: here are five easy home remedies for running nose woes.
5 ways to stop a runny nose from ruining your kid’s day
These home remedies for a running nose can help little ones (and larger ones) feel better when a dribbly cold strikes. Just remember: for medical advice, it’s always best to check in with a healthcare professional.
- Mix up some soothing hot drinks.
When you have a cold, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. This helps replace the water you lose from having a constantly runny nose. Tasty drinks can encourage little ones to drink more, and the warmth is nice and comforting during the chilly months. Try combining hot water with a squeeze of lemon and half a teaspoon of honey* for a traditional runny nose remedy.
- Create a steam tent.
The worst thing about having a runny nose is that feeling of never-quite-being-able-to-clear-it. A little scented steam tent can help with this. Boil some water, pour it into a bowl, and add some menthol or eucalyptus essential oil** – perhaps alongside one of your little patient’s favourite scents. Once it has cooled down a bit (but is still steaming), sit them down in front of it, cover their head with a towel, and have them breathe in the steam for about 10 minutes.
- Keep Cushelle soft tissues on hand.
When you notice the first symptoms of a cold, the best remedy for a runny nose is simply to blow it. As soon as those sniffles start, make sure you buy plenty of Cushelle tissues and keep them in easy reach around the house, and buy some pocket packs to keep in bags and the car.
- Soothe sore noses with balm.
If you blow your nose a lot, it is going to get a little sore, even with the softest tissues in the world. If you notice your child’s nostrils are getting red or cracked, try putting a little neutral (no scent or flavour) chap stick or moisturiser around them to soothe the skin.
- Run a warm bath.
Last on our runny nose remedy list is a 20-minute warm bath with Epsom salts. If you like, you can also pop in some of the essential oils** mentioned above – after all, your bath makes steam, too. Not only will the scented steam help clear the nose, the heat from bath can help the body reach a good temperature for some much-needed recovery sleep. Epsom salts are a laxative, so don’t let kids drink the bath water, even if it is nicely scented!
What causes a runny nose?
A runny nose is essentially the result of the body producing too much nasal mucus. When it isn’t caused by allergies, it often comes hand-in-hand with a cold. That said: if you’re not sure about the reason for a runny nose, or if it seems to be hanging around for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s time for a trip to the doctor.
What helps stop a runny nose from getting the whole family ill?
There are a couple of things kids need to learn early on about what helps stop a runny nose. Firstly, teach them to blow their nose using a tissue (instead of just wiping it wherever) to keep germs from spreading. Secondly, remind them to put every tissue in the bin after they’ve used it, and wash their hands as soon as possible after blowing their nose.
For a simple common cold, these remedies should be enough to soothe symptoms and help carry kids through the worst of it. Get well soon!
*Please note it is not suitable for kids under 1 year of age to ingest honey. If you are unsure on the uses of honey with kids, please consult a health professional.
**If you are unsure of the usage of essential oils with kids, please consult a health professional.