Since my kids were born prematurely, I've always felt I did a pretty good job of being careful during cold/flu season and about germs in general. Now that we've learned a simple cold mixed with some allergy triggers can result in a hospital stay for Aidan, I've vowed to be even more careful. Trying to find a balance between helicopter, germ freak mom and aware but not paranoid mom has been difficult, but ultimately I just want to keep my kids well. Germs and illnesses are unavoidable (unless a kid in a bubble is your idea of fun) so I've found it best to be dilligent about handwashing and have a plan for when the sickies surface.
Honey...kids love it and it does some serious damage control when it comes to coughing. I'm not really into holistic treatments but I'm also not really into pumping any more medication that necessary into my children, especially when it usually doesn't work. When the kids had coughing/congestion as toddlers, our pedi would prescribe medication while telling me it probably wouldn't help them. Great huh?! Then one day I read somewhere that a spoonful of honey is a great treatment for coughs. I was skeptical, but it worked!! And since it's honey, the kids were more than happy to take a "dose" when their coughing would get out of hand.
**Never give honey to children under the age of 1.**
For stuffy noses and congestion, we do a Vick's vapor rub and saline routine. A few days of saline squirts in their noses and Vick's on their chests/backs and things start getting back to normal. Again, this tends to sit better with me than loading them up on cold meds. (In our house, congestion or cough also means albuterol breathing treatments for Aidan since things can go south rather quickly for him.)
I'm a firm believer that fever happens for a reason, to fight infection. That said, I'm not willing to let a fever go completely untreated. We do rub downs with lukewarm washcloths and the usual tylenol or motrin.
What about you? Have any home remedies or tips on how to fight the sickies? I'd love to hear 'em!