For a cold: Throw out those pediatric decongestants and antihistamines. They are ineffective and can even be dangerous. Try natural home remedies like:
- Saline nose drops like Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist. This will loosen mucus and can have a gentle decongestant and antiviral effect.
- A vaporizer or humidifier. It helps thin mucus, allowing for easier discharge.
- For anyone over age 3, try organic cough drops like Organix Organic Cough and Sore Throat Drops or, for over age one, a spoonful of honey.
Ear Infections: Ear infections are the #1 reason for antibiotic prescriptions in kids, but often misdiagnosed. To help combat resistance:
- See if there is fluid in the middle ear first with EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor. Fluid build-up is a key sign of an ear infection.
- All natural ear drops or warm baby or olive oil can help combat discomfort. Similasan Earache Relief drops can be purchased over the counter.
Teething pain: Instead of Benzocaine, which can be just as irritating to babies as the pain itself, try:
- Organic teethers moistened and cooled in the freezer.
- Simply massaging the gums will also often soothe sore gums.
Diaper Rash: Get rid of ointments and lotions with harsh or unproven chemicals and try:
- Fresh air! As often as practical, allow your little one to go diaper-free & change diapers frequently
- Try soothing zinc diaper balm or an A, D, and E ointment made without harsh chemicals
- Look for products made by companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics www.safecosmetics.org
- Instead of antibacterial soaps, try Clean Well, a sanitizer that kills 99.90% of germs naturally.
- Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist- Walgreen's $5.99
- Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler- CVS $29.99
- Organix Organic Cough and Sore Throat Drops – Walgreen's $3.49
- EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor- Wal-Mart $58.97
- Similasan Earache Relief Drops- Walgreen's $9.99
- Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer (1 oz travel size) – Whole Foods $2.99
More tips from Dr. Greene:
Understand the Label: Toluene in nail treatments can cause harm to pregnant women. Is there mercury mascara? What's with the lead acetate in hair color?
Don't be Fooled: "Hypoallergenic" is a word that does not have to be verified and "Organic" can be used if only 1 percent of the content is of organic origin.