Parenting Tips

7 Natural Pain Relievers for Children

No one likes to see his or her kid suffering in any way, whether it’s a sore throat or a bug bite. Sure, there are many over the counter remedies available, but some parents may choose to go a more natural route—and if the child is under 3-months, some of the drugstore choices aren’t recommended.

There are a number of homemade remedies that can provide relief to your little one, although if your child is in severe pain, you should never hesitate to consult a doctor or visit a hospital. Here are seven natural solutions to consider when your child is ill or has a boo-boo…

1. Honey and Lemon Juice

Parents.com suggests using a combination of the two to help relieve a sore throat. Lemon helps clear up congestion while the honey provides a “soothing coating,” explains the source.

The source cites a study that shows a spoonful of honey actually was more effective than cough medicine to ease a cough (and presumably a raw throat). Mix a tablespoon of each ingredient, microwave until it’s warm (not hot), and feed it to your child a teaspoon at a time, suggests the source. It also reminds you that honey is unsafe for infants under 1-year old.


2. Baking Soda

With the warmer weather on the way, your kids will (hopefully) be spending more time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. The only downfall (aside from perhaps getting a sunburn, which we’ll get to) is that insects love the warmer weather as well.

If junior gets bitten by one of these pesky bugs, they will likely be scratching away at it, making it worse. PopSugar.com suggests making a baking soda paste (soda and water) and slathering it over the site of the bite until it’s dry. In the meantime, you could research natural bug repellant.

3. Egg Whites

This one is brought to you by NaturalSociety.com, and is apparently a popular way to treat burns (although there is still some debate about its effectiveness in the modern era). Of course, you should always assess a burn—use your judgment to determine if a burn should be treated by a doctor (the source says 3rd-degree burns that can cause severe blistering and nerve damage deserve medical attention).

The source explains you simply separate the yolks from eggs, and then “soak” the burn with the egg whites. “This ever-so-simple natural treatment could work instantly, and could leave you feeling pain-free forever after a few hours of application,” it explains. Baking soda paste is also recommended as a substitute. Again, if you notice blistering, call a doctor. Some severe burns can damage nerves, so the pain may not register.


4. Aloe Vera

Most kids love sun, but dislike putting on sunscreen (or have it washed off by swimming and sweating). The inevitable result is that your child will get a nasty sunburn sooner or later, and will be coming to you for some comfort.

AloeLife.com (alert: the site sells aloe products) explains that aloe, an “ancient herb,” is “fun to use with kids because it’s gentle and it works fast” for sunburns and bug bites. You can either squeeze the juice right out of an aloe plant onto the burn, or buy an organic aloe gel from the store (or online, apparently).


5. A Sock and Rice

Parents.com says you should sock it to the pain your child is feeling. The idea is that a sock full of rice can replace a heat pad that can soothe tummy and neck pain in your child, notes the source.

Once the sock is filled with rice and tied closed with string, pop it in the microwave until the sock feels warm to the touch (not hot) and apply it the affected area. A researcher at Boston University Medical Center backs up this solution, so it probably works pretty well.


6. A Hairdryer

Earaches are common among children, explains Livestrong.com, and while many turn to over the counter or prescription remedies, there are ways you can treat it without leaving the house. The key is applying “warm compresses” to the ear for up to 20-minutes to reduce inner ear inflammation, explains the source.

If you don’t have these warm compresses (a sock full of rice perhaps?), then a hairdryer set to warm on its lowest blower setting will also do, according to the source. Hold the appliance about 18-inches from the ear for 15-minutes. The source notes if you don’t see improvements a few days into home treatment, then see a doctor.


7. Arnica

This is actually a toxic herb, so it’s still being debated as a safe homeopathic remedy for pain, but many sources tout its efficiency to heal bruises and swelling for kids that are 2-years and older. The key is not to ingest it directly (except in homeopathic pill form), according to Livestrong.com.

Used correctly in the proper dosage, arnica “helps heal bruising of the skin and muscles and its active constituents are effective anti-inflammatory agents,” notes the source. It can also help numb pain from arthritis, but chances are your kid doesn’t need it for that purpose. Topical versions are available, often combined with aloe. Make sure there are no cuts on the child’s skin that the arnica can seep directly into.

 

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