Small children, especially in the toddler years, are building up their immune systems. They are bound to get a few common conditions that can be alleviated with some easy-to-use over-the-counter treatments. If your child’s symptoms persist, change for the worse, or if he doesn’t want to take in fluids, he needs to see a doctor.
Most children will develop symptoms associated with a common cold at some stage. This is often a blocked or runny nose and general body aches. It’s a good idea to use a saline nasal wash or sprayto help flush out nasal congestion and clear the airways so your little one can breathe easier. A good dose of vitamin C and zinc helps to build up the immune system, too. Paracetamol helps with generalised aches and pains.
If your little one develops a cough as a result of a common cold, a good natural bronchodilator, anti-Inflammatory and mucolytic (something that breaks down the thick mucus and makes it easier to cough out) to use is Prospan. Another mucolytic is ACC 200, because kids love the flavour. Both of these products can also be used by the whole family.
An earache should ideally be seen to by a doctor as your child may need an antibiotic if there is a bacterial infection. In the meantime, you can treat the pain and fever with Panado and Neurofen. Do not stick anything in your child’s ear and don’t try to get wax out with an ear bud or stick cotton wool or Prestik into the ear.
A fever in a toddler is anything above 37.5°C. It’s useful to have a digital thermometer in the house to check your child’s temperature.
According to Dr Ingrid Kennon, GP and toddler mom, it’s important to remember that a fever is a symptom. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are good at bringing down the child’s temperature. If a temperature doesn’t settle within 48 to 72 hours, or your child’s condition worsens, see a doctor.
A good probiotic, preferably one that is kept in the fridge, is always a good start when it comes to tummy complaints. Tascetan is also helpful as it lines the gut, which helps to prevent the absorption of pathogens, allowing them to leave the gastro intestinal tract says Dr Megan Jones. Make sure your toddler is taking in fluid after every loose stool. A simple rehydration solution can be made at home by mixing 1 litre of cooled boiled water, 8 teaspoons of sugar and ½ tsp salt together, and allowing to cool.
Buscopan Syrup works well for cramps. If your toddler is not retaining fluids with frequent loose stools and/or vomiting, see your doctor.
A throat lozenge always helps, as does a throat spray, which will usually have an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial in it. Andolex spray or A Vogel Sore Throat Spray are good over-the-counter options.
Overall, it’s a good idea to give your toddler a multi-vitamin together with a well-balanced diet. This will help him develop a strong, healthy immune system. Also ensure your child is up to date with his immunisations.
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood.