First, it's important to encourage children to get plenty of sleep, stay well hydrated and eat a diet rich in nutritious foods.
Good hygiene can reduce the spread of germs, particularly in a school setting where children share many common items. It's important to teach kids to wash their hands the right way, scrubbing them all over with soap for at least 20 seconds and drying them with a clean paper towel. Children should also be encouraged not to share eating or drinking utensils or to put objects in their mouths.
To help reduce the spread of cold and flu viruses, children should learn to sneeze and cough into the back of their hand or their elbow crease. To keep nasal passages clear, have children blow their noses gently but often and use a humidifier at home to keep the air moist.
Sore throats can be soothed with warm drinks, while older children can gargle with a mild saline solution. Always check with a doctor if a child's sore throat is severe or if symptoms indicate a serious illness.
Following a statement by the FDA discouraging the use of cough and cold medicine in children under 2 years of age, many parents prefer to use safe and effective homeopathic medicines. Unlike conventional over-the-counter cold and cough medicines that suppress symptoms, homeopathic medicines work with the body's own natural defenses to relieve the symptoms of seasonal illness. Homeopathic medicines are safe even for very young children: Hyland's Baby Tiny Cold Tablets and Hyland's Baby Cough Syrup are specially formulated for infants 6 months and up. These statements are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Visit www.hylands.com and www.hylandsbaby.com for more information about natural medicine. Hyland's products are available nationally in natural food stores, groceries, supercenters and pharmacies such as Walgreens.
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