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If you are a parent who believes in using natural remedies to keep your children healthy, it’s time to start thinking about ways to prevent the illnesses that come along in the winter months. Here are some natural remedies to keep your children healthy during the cold and flu season.


1. ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO WASH THEIR HANDS OFTEN. “Youngsters old enough to wash hands on their own, or with light supervision, should be taught to wash with soap and warm water. If the child rushes slow them down with a song. For babies use fresh, alcohol-free cleansing wipes to clean their hands throughout the day.

2. TEACH CHILDREN TO EAT WELL. Feed children natural illness-busting foods like whole grains and dark greens and antioxidant-rich fruits like colorful berries. Let children select vegetables and fruits by taking them to the grocery store.

3. GIVE CHILDREN DAILY VITAMINS. Try healthful, all natural dye and preservative-free daily multivitamins.

4. MAKE SURE CHILDREN GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Rest is one of the most important ways we help our bodies recover when we are sick.

5. HELP CHILDREN SLEEP BETTER. Prop children upright to help them sleep better. When children are stuffy, elevating them while they sleep can help ease their breathing so they get more rest.

6. GIVE CHILDREN PLENTY OF LIQUIDS. Staying hydrated is always important, but even more so when your child is sick. Water, clear broths, juices help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration, avoid caffeinated drinks, which make dehydration worse.

7. SERVE CHILDREN CHICKEN SOUP. Give your children chicken soup – it’s healthier than you think. Research has found that the nutrients and vitamins in traditional soup may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could lead to temporary ease from symptoms of illness. Also, the movement of mucus through the nose is sped up to relieve congestion.

8. HELP ALLEVIATE SORE THROATS. If your child is age 1 or older, turn to honey for achy throats (DO NOT FEED NEWBORNS HONEY). Mix honey and lemon into a glass of hot water, then cool to room temperature, before sipping. The honey coats and soothes the throat, and the lemon helps cut mucus.

9. TREAT SORE NOSES AND CRACKED LIPS. Use petroleum jelly or an emollient lotion to keep children’s lips and noses from becoming irritated when they are sick.

©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA