5 Ways to Treat Colds for Kids with Extra Sensitivities

by ih-chi admin

A sniffle here. A chill there. Cold and flu season has arrived. The average kiddo will suffer about 6 to 8 colds a year, and if unlucky enough, a bout of the flu, too.

The rules for nursing a kid through a cold or flu are simple…plenty of rest, warm liquids and maybe some over-the-counter medicine for the aches and fever. (Fortunately, they come in yummy flavors these days.)

But if you have a child with special needs or severe sensitivities, your job as a parent is a bit tougher.

Dyes, preservatives and artificial sweeteners found in many cold medicines can wreak havoc on their already delicate immune system, causing potential issues such as asthma-like symptoms, allergic reactions and hyperactivity.

So, here are some simple ways to treat your sick one:

  1. Try non-meds first. Warm compresses to the face, head and neck, as well as warm baths and showers, are great for decongestion. Saline mist for the nose may help congestion, too.
  2. Next try natural supplements. Vitamin C and zinc lozenges combat cold symptoms and relieve sore throats. Look for liquid versions if pills or lozenges are not an option.
  3. Ease temperature taking. Traditional thermometers can be challenging for active or touch-sensitive kids. Try forehead scanning devices or adhesive strips, which are more comfortable and still accurate options.
  4. Opt for Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is generally preferred to treat fevers and body aches in autistic children, as acetaminophen can tamper with certain antioxidants and cause serious side effects. Easy-to-chew or liquid, dye-free formats are best.
  5. Screen all meds with your doctor. If your child takes a regular prescription, and you’re considering trying an over-the-counter medication, check with your doctor first to ensure there are no drug interactions. 

(Adapted from Chicago Parent)