When to Try Home Remedies for Kids and When to See a Doctor

It’s normal for kids to get sick, and sometimes it’s easier to try home remedies for kids, whereas other times it’s important to know when to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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By now, you’ve probably heard about the wonders of essential oils for health, cleaning, beauty and mindfulness, but what about the classics? While I don’t doubt that essential oils can be useful for a number of household tasks, when your family is sick and you want to try home remedies for kids, there are a few tried-and-true home remedies that even doctors approve. That said, it’s just as important to know when to see a doctor. After all, we have doctors for a reason! Whether it’s a cough that won’t go away, a rash that doesn’t heal quickly enough or consistent pain, it’s always a good idea to see a professional. When it’s just the sniffles or yet another bout of the common cold, home remedies could do the trick instead needing to ingest antibiotics! 

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6 All-Natural Home Remedies for Kids Worth Trying

All of these all-natural home remedies are considered safe by doctors for average symptoms. If you’re ever not sure about a treatment for your kids’ symptoms, always consult a doctor. Otherwise, try these at-home methods for easing common colds, colic, headaches and more.

  1. Honey & Lemon for Sore Throats – The number one home remedy for kids and adults to help ease sore throats is honey and lemon. That could mean hot lemon water with a tablespoon of honey to drink like tea or simply a “spoonful of honey” before bed to help ease your kids’ sore throats. Honey is NOT safe for babies under one year old, but it’s a safe and effective way to create a soothing coating on a sore throat. Lemon juice, on the other hand, can help dry up congestion, so the two are a perfect pair for the common cold. 
  1. Humidifier for Colds – During cold winters when the air becomes dry, your resistance to infection actually decreases. Keeping the air at comfortable humidity levels (about 40-50%) can help prevent a cold or make kids feel better faster. This simple home remedy can be used all year, proving very useful for desert-dwellers who have hot, dry summers as well dry winters. 
  1. Oregano Oil for Food Poisoning – If your family has ever been sick with food poisoning, you know how awful it is for those afflicted as well as everyone else in the house. A safe, all-natural home remedy for kids with food poisoning is actually oregano oil. Surprisingly, oregano oil is proven to reduce the effects of food poisoning, including abdominal paint, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It is safe to ingest pure oregano essential oil, or you can take the oil in an encapsulated form, but it’s recommended that you take it at the first sign of illness and ingest 500 mg four times per day to reduce the symptoms.
  1. Probiotics for Gastrointestinal Issues – It’s very common for doctors to suggest probiotics as a natural part of you and your family’s diet. However, when your kids experience gastrointestinal problems like colic, gas or diarrhea, probiotic foods could be the key to ease symptoms quickly. As far as home remedies for kids go, probiotics are one of the easiest to find last-minute because they can be found in foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut or even kombucha. There are also other great foods that help boost kids’ immune systems!
  1. Apple Cider Vinegar for Ear Infections – Children are very prone to ear infections, and unless the infection results in a high fever that may require other treatment, apple cider vinegar could do the trick. Although not definitive, some studies show that apple cider vinegar can kill fungi, bacteria and viruses, such as the ones that cause ear infections. Try mixing equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water. Then use a small syringe to dropper bottle place 5-10 drops in the affected ear(s) for a quickly home remedy for kids prone to ear infections.
  1. Ginger for Motion Sickness – Fresh ginger is useful for a variety of ailments! One way to use it in your home remedies for kids is to make a simple ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger in hot water and then let it cool for kids who get carsick or motion sickness. For kids over two years old, mix it with a little honey for better flavor. Then have them drink the ginger tea mixture about 30 minutes before getting in the car, flying in a plane or going on amusement park rides. It should help reduce the contractions that cause nausea.  

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When to Take Kids to the Doctor

Home remedies can’t fix everything. Modern medicine has come incredibly far, and there are some things home remedies won’t heal or will take longer to heal. When your kids’ have the sniffles or a little car sickness, it’s nice not to have to force-feed them antibiotics, but if you kid has strep throat or a higher than normal fever, it’s another story. No one wants to see their kids suffer, and some illnesses could be prolonged without a doctor’s help. Other illnesses can cause larger problems if not treated properly. 

Here are just a few of the instances when you SHOULD take your child to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment:

  • Infant under 3 months has ANY fever
  • Child 3-6 months has a temperature at or above 101 degrees F, or child over 6 months has a temperature at or above 103 degrees F
  • Skin rash develops after child experiences cold symptoms 
  • Persistent cough or illness
  • Child vomits more than once or symptoms last more than a few hours
  • Respiratory problems 
  • Rash doesn’t improve with over-the-counter treatments or is extra painful 
  • Child complains of pain while urinating

Hopefully, these are “duh” moments for many parents, but a little reminder never hurt. As wonderful as home remedies are for helping improve kids’ health without subjecting them to antibiotics, they are not always the answer. Don’t avoid doctors – they are your allies! You just don’t want to spend every week in the doctor’s office for a new symptom, and that’s a-OK.

Do you have any favorite home remedies for kids that have worked for your family?

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