*disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a professional in this department. I messaged Gio’s doctor to make sure the items I give him, and what I do, are ok.
This past season Gio was sick twice. Luckily, Gio seems to have a pretty strong immune system for his age ( I will go into detail as to why I believe he does at the end of the article), but I always like to be really prepared.
The last two times he was sick he had a cough and lots of mucus. He was also in and out of a mild fever. Below is what I used/did, and why, while he was sick:
- Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus w/ Dark Honey
- First and foremost, I love this brand. I use to use others, but Zarbee’s seems to work best for Gio, and I strongly believe it’s because of all the natural and wholesome ingredients. The more natural the better in my opinion.
- It’s safe for children 12 months+
- Contains vitamin C and zinc to help support their immune system
- The main ingredient, dark honey, helps coat the throat to calm the cough
- The only things you can consider cons are:
- It doesn’t necessarily have the best taste.
- It’s very, very sticky and can get messy if you’re not careful. I give it to Gio with a syringe which you can purchase at Walmart, Target, Babies R. Us, etc.
- Zarbee’s Nautrals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus Nighttime
- Contains the same ingredients as the one above, except this one also consists of melatonin. Melatonin helps promote a good nights sleep in children which is important while sick since at night is when a cough can get worse. Melatonin is drug-free- it is something our pineal glands produce naturally. It isn’t essential for our sleep but we do sleep better once it’s secreted. I ONLY give what’s on the label or instructed by my pediatrician (as with any medicine) and immediately stop giving it once Gio is well or I feel he no longer needs the nighttime medicine.
- What do I do if Gio has a fever?
- Most fevers are caused by an infection or illness (other reasons: immunizations and teething). A fever is the body’s natural response to fighting an infection. The higher temperature in the child’s body produces an increased amount of antibodies. It is the most effective way to fight infection. So I don’t give Gio anything immediately to decrease his temperature, especially if he is still calm and playful.
- I make sure Gio gets lots of rest, so usually we’ll be indoors
- Lots of fluids! Water, milk, and/or teas to make sure he doesn’t get dehydrated (I do this even with no signs of a fever. It’s important that with any illness for them to be well hydrated, especially if they don’t want to eat much)
- Now, if Gio is very irritable and it seems like he might have a headache or a body ache I will give him Tylenol to help control his pain, but I try to refrain from that
- Here is what I’ve learned about fevers and when to go to the doctor from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Under 3 months: 100.4°F or more
- 3 to 6 months: 101°F or more
- Over 6 months 103°F or more
- The American Academy of Pediatrics, Parenting.com, and BraunHealthcare.come are helpful places to look for help as well.
- Vicks helps relieve a cough and helps open airways for all the mucus to come out
- Different ways I use Vicks:
- Rub it on chest, back, and soles of feet
- Boil it: get a small pot filled 3/4 of way with water, then put a spoonful of Vicks inside
- In a humidifier- here are the two that we own:
- Steam, warm baths
- These help open up the airways and while in the bath a lot of mucus comes out
- Helps soothe and relax their tense bodies
Why I believe Gio has a strong immune system:
- I breastfed Gio for almost 9 months. I wanted to reach the year mark but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. Breastfeeding is known to be crucial for helping babies develop a strong immune system. The breastmilk helps supply the necessary factors to protect against disease, and supplies the necessary nutrients a baby needs which is also keen in having a strong immune system. This is known as a naturally acquired passive immunity. (I know that not everyone can or does breastfeed, which is perfectly ok, so listed are more ways to help with a strong immune system!)
- Nutrition + Nutritional Supplements! Helping kids have a healthy diet is very important. Meaning lots of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, proteins, etc. I started introducing foods to Gio at 4 months (yes, I know it’s said to start at 6 months, but Gio did very well) and was a very, very good eater. Right now Gio has phases when he doesn’t want to eat much so to fill in those gaps while he’s going through a stage I give him smoothies with a variety of fruits and veggies, and everyday I give him a liquid multi-vitamin.
- I tend to avoid giving Gio antibiotics unless that’s the only thing that will help improve whatever it is he may have. (He took an antibiotic once only) As you’ve probably noticed, I tend to avoid the doctor’s office unless it becomes truly necessary to go.
- Lots of exercise! Let them run around, do a sport, join a class that gets them going, go to the park… do anything that gets them up and at it! Gio is very physically active. If he doesn’t get at least an hour a day of just running around, playing, or even going for a walk, he does get irritable- theres a clear change in his behavior when he does or doesn’t get that time. Negative energy and behavior isn’t good for their emotional or mental health which can effect your immunity. Plus, physical activity helps increase the number of killer cells in our bodies
Once again, I am no professional. This is just stuff I’ve acquired throughout my time of being the oldest of all my cousins and being a mom, plus messaging my doctor when I need an extra hand. Also, growing in my Hispanic household has taught me a lot of things.