At that time, when those who read this article were not happy parents, and not less happy children, they fought with cold by methods that are called physiotherapy in scientific language, and in everyday life – folk ones: mustard plaster on the chest, banks on the back, a woolen scarf on the neck, a compress of heated salt on the nose, feet in the basin with hot water. Often, such “hot” procedures were the only way to fight the disease – a shortage of drugs simply left no other choice. Many of us have kept good memories of these products for life and, as adults, continue to use them in our children, believing that they are harmless than tablets.
Nevertheless, pediatricians are strongly advised to treat such procedures with caution, especially when it comes to the youngest patients. They do give a good healing effect, but they can also cause serious harm to the baby if they are used, firstly, without a doctor’s prescription, and secondly, not knowing about important safety rules.
The main condition: the warming procedures can be used only when the child has no temperature and his general condition does not suffer: the baby is cheerful, active, eats and plays, as usual. But lethargy and loss of appetite, even at 36.6 ° C, may indicate that the disease has already taken up the task and the increase in degrees is just a matter of time.
In this case, any additional heat will only “catch up” the heat, so even wool socks and scarves should be avoided. “Hot” procedures are not carried out in the acute stage of the disease also because they create an additional load on the body and will benefit either at the very beginning of the common cold (with hypothermia, slight tickling in the nose or throat), or already when the crisis has passed and it remains to remove local problems – for example, to eliminate a runny nose or cough.
When SARS is necessary to be especially careful with essential oils and fragrant herbal preparations – they often cause allergies, especially in babies prone to this problem. Since viruses themselves are allergens, the body weakened by their onslaught can react to a new “provocation” much more actively than in a healthy state (by the way, for the same reason you should not give a sick baby any new products for it).
If the disease has not only an infectious, but also an allergic component (and this happens often), then essential oils can only increase its manifestations.
BENEFITS Provide a good point warming of the lower respiratory tract, alleviate the condition with bronchitis and pneumonia.
CONS Mustard powder can cause severe irritation and even skin burns in young children. In addition, it can trigger an allergy attack, especially if the child is predisposed to the disease.
IMPORTANT! Mustard plasters are not recommended for children under 3 years.
If you still decide to use this tool, place them on the back side of the chest, without affecting the spine. Putting mustard plasters on your chest is not worth it – the skin here is thinner, more sensitive, and the risk of burn is higher, besides heat can create an undue strain on the heart.
BENEFITS This method is used for local stimulation of blood circulation and removal of infection from the bronchi and lungs. Due to the pressure formed under the can, the blood and lymph flow in the skin, muscles and internal organs increases, the nutrition of the tissues improves, the inflammatory process decreases.
MINUSES A not too pleasant procedure that requires a child to be completely immobile for 10–15 minutes, and from an adult – experience and skill, since in the “classic” version with wick ignition this manipulation is far from safe.
IMPORTANT! Modern vacuum cans do not require heating with fire, but do not relieve discomfort and the need to lie still.
Today, this method has given way to more benign treatment methods and is not used in pediatrics.
Mustard, rubbing with alcohol and jars for kids is better to replace with oil wraps. They provide a soft, safe warming of the respiratory tract to children over 6 months old and help calm a moist cough.
Heat the vegetable oil so that it becomes warm, but not hot, soak a cotton towel and wrap it around the baby’s chest. Top fix with cling film and put on a child’s T-shirt.
Light heat will not cause the baby any discomfort; With such a compress, you can lie down and walk until the oil cools down.
BENEFITS Rubbing of the feet and calf muscles activate the biologically active zones responsible for the nasopharynx, and the thorax improves blood circulation in the tissues, reduces the inflammatory process, relieves cough, helps to eliminate the infection and alleviate respiration.
MINUSES Children are inappropriate drugs that can cause skin burns or an allergic reaction. These include ointments with the addition of essential oils, turpentine, bee and snake venom, any alcohol tinctures, vodka.
IMPORTANT! The most safe for kids are considered to be rubbing on the basis of animal fat, for example, badger and bear. They can be used from 6 months.
The ointment is applied to the chest in front and behind, as well as on the soles and calf muscles at bedtime; then the baby should be immediately put to bed and wrap.
BENEFITS Putting a bag of heated salt or grits on the nose (filling options – potatoes in uniform, boiled egg), you can warm up the nasal cavity and sinuses, improve the outflow of mucus and eliminate infection.
CONS Risk of skin burns, unpleasant feelings in a child. Keep the compress on the nose should be at least 5 minutes to cool completely, and the baby is difficult to keep in place for so long.
IMPORTANT! Before embarking on this procedure, you must consult with the otolaryngologist. Hot compresses are contraindicated in sinusitis – inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, otherwise the bacteria in them from the heat will begin to multiply more actively.
This method of treatment is not recommended for children under 3 years.
BENEFITS Contribute to the dilution and secretion of sputum from the upper and lower respiratory tract, relieve spasm of the vocal cords. Can be used in children from birth – modern ultrasonic nebulizers work silently and allow you to carry out the procedure even in sleep.
CONS Inhalations over the steam, which our mothers once arranged, were uncomfortable and unsafe for children. Today the problem has been completely solved: liquid at room temperature is poured into the inhalers; they allow comfortable use of a wide range of drugs, herbal infusions, mineral water.
IMPORTANT! The correct drug for inhalation can only be prescribed by a doctor after examining and listening to the chest.
An improperly chosen remedy can lead to the exact opposite effect: increased cough, spasm of the vocal cords, and the spread of infection to the lungs.
BENEFITS By hopping your feet in hot water, you can achieve deep warming of biologically active zones located on the feet and calf muscles. The method is especially effective in the initial stages of a cold and during hypothermia.
If the child does not have fever and his general state of health is normal, the mother can use this method without consulting a doctor.
MINUSES The procedure takes 10–15 minutes on average, which is rather long for a baby. To keep fidget in place, mom will have to come up with exciting games.
IMPORTANT! The procedure will have a healing effect, if you hover your legs to the knee, and not just the feet.
Put a stool and a basin in the bath, seat the baby and immerse his feet in warm (but not hot!) Water. Then add a little more hot water, and as soon as the child gets used to it – add more, increasing the temperature more and more. You need to continue the procedure until the legs turn pink.
Then vigorously rub the skin with a hard towel and put on the baby’s socks, preferably two pairs: cotton down and wool top. This method is suitable for children over 3 years old.