How can you treat a sick child at home?

Even with all the highly specialized medications that are on the market for every possible malady, there’s still a place for those classic home treatments we all grew up with. In fact, some of the most effective ways to treat a child don’t even require a trip to the doctor.

One way to cut back on hospital visits is by keeping first aid kits in your car and home. Standard supplies you should keep around include ice packs, bandages, sterile gauze, rubbing alcohol and hydrocortisone cream. Such basic first aid tools can be used to treat all types of minor injuries -- everything from splinters to sprains. A thermometer is a must if you want to find out whether your child is running a fever.

While medications serve a purpose in alleviating symptoms, you don’t necessarily have to run to the pharmacy every time your child comes down with a case of the sniffles. Certain common household products can treat many symptoms effectively. Saline solution, either homemade or store-bought, can be used to take care of a child’s stuffy nose. Other handy products to have around the home include vaporizers and humidifiers, which can bring relief from chest and nasal congestion. Honey is a classic home remedy that can be used to treat a cough. However, it’s recommended that you not give it to a baby who is less than a year old. Of course, there’s homemade chicken soup. According to a study conducted at the University of Nebraska there are actual medicinal benefits to consuming chicken soup. This university’s medical center found that this classic comfort food contains anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in combating upper respiratory infections. Although treating your sick child can frequently be done at home, you should still do so while following accepted medical guidelines.