Who hasn’t had a sore throat? You know how horrible it can feel. A little child, especially those under the age of two, can’t explain to you that they have a sore throat. Watch out for a young child who cries during feedings, tries not to eat, and tries to drink but then begins to cry. Their throat is probably itchy, painful, scratchy and causing all sorts of pain, especially when they swallow. Fortunately, sore throat remedies for kids can be easy and effective, and can get him or her through the worst of the sore throat without any medical treatment.
Sore Throat Remedies for Kids
In most cases, a sore throat is caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Kids can get these infections through many ways, including someone coughing near them, or touching something that harbors the virus, such as the handle of a shopping cart or even the hand of another child. Sore throats are usually not a serious condition, but they can certainly be serious for your little one! Here are some common ways to get rid of the problem.
- Gargle with warm salt water. This is one of the oldest, simplest remedies for a sore throat. That’s because the water is soothing, and salt is an antibacterial agent that helps relieve a sore throat naturally. Simply add a half teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water, then teach your child how to properly gargle with it. Repeat this several times.
- Get plenty of liquid. Even though it might hurt to swallow, the wetter you can keep the throat, the better your child will be. Soothing liquids, such as warm teas or cool water, can help prevent the dryness and irritation that many of these infections can cause.
- Drink honey. Honey has a sweet taste, and it coats the throat, making it feel much better. Let your child lick on a teaspoon of organic honey, or add honey to a glass of warm water and mix well. Kids really seem to like this added to warm tea. Just remember to NEVER give anything containing honey to a child who is less than two years of age, as it can lead to a kind of food poisoning that only affects small children.
- Try garlic. Garlic is a fantastic antibacterial agent that works to kill bacteria, and this can help a sore throat heal faster. Crush cloves of garlic to form a paste, then simmer this in boiling water. Once the water has cooled, offer it to your child, or add it to vegetable juices.
- Use Ginger. Ginger is also one of those simple remedies that has been around for ages. Older kids can actually chew on a piece of ginger, swallowing the resulting juice. Smaller kids can be given ginger in a cup of warm water, sweetened with honey.
For Sore Throats Caused by Mouth Open When Sleeping
This happens quite often with little kids, especially those who might have a cold and have trouble breathing through their nose. Offer your child something to drink as soon as he or she wakes up, and to help ward off the problem, use a humidifier in the room at night to keep the air moist. If the problem persists, talk to your child’s physician.
For Sore Throats Caused by Post-Nasal Drip
This is an unfortunate side-effect of many colds, coughs and allergies. The best way to treat this is to rinse the nasal passage with a saline solution to keep things moist. Also remember that as soon as the cold goes away, the sore throat will likely go away too.
For Sore Throats Caused by Strep Throat
In some cases, strep throat goes away within seven days without antibiotics. However, antibiotics can help your child feel better much faster, and can also lessen the chances of other people getting sick. Start your child on antibiotics as directed by your doctor, and make sure to provide plenty of home remedies to treat the sore throat in the meantime.
For Sore Throats Caused by Virus
Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics, and therefore you will have to provide supportive sore throat remedies for kids during the time they are dealing with the virus. These can include all of the treatments listed above, as well as a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat fever and pain. Use a liquid medication for those children whose throat is too sore to take pills.
Things to Avoid When Treating Sore Throat in Your Baby
When trying out sore throat remedies for kids, remember that some things might actually make the problem worse. Here’s what you should never do:
- Don’t give your child throat sprays, unless directed to do so by your doctor. Many of these sprays contain medications that can cause allergic reactions, and besides that, there is no evidence that they really do work for a sore throat.
- Never give a young children a cough drop, throat lozenge or hard candy. These are a clear choking hazard.
- Never use any leftover medications that might have belonged to someone else in the family. You might be giving the wrong kind of medication for your child’s problem, or you might give an inappropriate dose.
- Remember that antibiotics work on some types of strep, but they do not work on viruses. The only way to be absolutely certain of what your child has is a visit to the doctor. Remember that taking antibiotics when they do not help can mask other infections or can make treatment much less effective in the future.