Keeping kids healthy and safe is a priority for parents, but the inevitable bumps, bruises and sore throats are part of growing up. Fortunately, parents can make an unpleasant experience a little easier to bear with a few time-tested tricks. Below are tips for treating some of the most common and non-life threatening childhood ailments.
1. Remove a Splinter
Before you reach for a pair of sharp tweezers, try putting a piece of scotch tape over the splinter. Most will come off with the tape easily and painlessly, but for stubborn ones, soak the area in warm water for a few minutes and dry before applying the tape.
2. Stop a Bloody Nose
Nosebleeds can be triggered by colds, allergies, a dry climate or an impact injury. To stop the bleeding, calm your child and pinch the soft parts of the nose together with your thumb and index finger. Hold gently for about five minutes while keeping their head elevated. When the bleeding has stopped, put a light coat of vaseline under each nostril. Use a red or dark colored washcloth when wiping their nose so they won’t panic at the sight of blood.
3. Unstuff a Stuffy Nose
For infants, toddlers and kids who haven’t mastered the art of blowing their nose, try using a bulb syringe to suction the fluids out of the nose. Use a non-medicated saline spray on older kids, and then have them blow their nose into a tissue. For a good night’s sleep, nothing beats a good old humidifier for easier breathing, and an extra pillow to elevate their head.
4. Beat a Bug Bite
If the stinger is still in the skin, remove it by gently scraping the skin horizontally using your fingernail or the side of a credit card. Applying a paste made of equal amounts of baking soda and water works wonders to relieve the pain and itching.
5. Calm a Cough and Relieve a Sore Throat
Comfort a cold by giving kids plenty of their favorite soups and frozen treats. To encourage kids to drink more fluids, offer them fun crazy straws in various shapes and colors. Gargling a few times a day with warm salt water will reduce inflammation in their throat.
6. Soothe a First Degree Burn
Ease the pain and swelling by running cool water over the area until the pain is relieved, then lightly wrap a gauze bandage around the area. Resist the temptation to apply ointment or lotion on the affected area. For uncomfortable sunburn, place a cool wet washcloth over the area for about ten minutes and follow up with a light moisturizer or Aloe Vera lotion.
7. Remove a Band Aid
If your child is worried that you’ll pull the skin off along with the band aid try rubbing a little baby oil around the edges of the bandage. Wait a few minutes and the band aid should slide off easily.
8. Apply Eye Drops
When the highly contagious pinkeye or other eye infection strikes, here’s the best way to make sure the drops stay in your child’s eye. Have them lie down, or have another adult hold them on their lap. Gently pull down the lower eyelid to form a pocket and insert drops. Have your child close his eyes for one minute or as long as it takes to sing two rounds of Twinkle, Twinkle little Star.
9. Give a Child Medicine
For infants and toddlers, use a medicine dropper to squirt the liquid into the side of their mouth. For older kids who can’t bear the taste, ask your doctor if you can mix the medicine with another liquid or a small amount of food. When they have to start swallowing pills, have kids drink water from a water bottle since the smaller opening helps guides the pill toward the back of their mouth and down the throat.
10. Keep Soap out of their Eyes
To eliminate the uncomfortable burning sensation when soap or shampoo gets into their eyes, have your child wear swim goggles during their next bath time. If they resist the goggles over their eyes, have them wear a plastic sun visor to keep the shampoo from running down their face during the rinse cycle.
If your child experiences symptoms that don’t improve after a few days, or get worse, have them checked by a doctor. To research symptoms, diseases or to find a provider near you, download the free iTriage app or visit www.iTriageHealth.com.