20 February 2009

Healthy sore throat soother: frozen blueberries + honey

Lisa's sore throat remedy could double as a lovely snack:

Sore throats are difficult to treat in young children because you don't want to give them cough drops or spray them with Chloraseptic throat spray, even when they have strep. I have found that when my 4-year-old daughter wakes up inconsolable with a sore throat, she will calm down and feel better if I give her some frozen blueberries and a spoonful of honey, which is a natural throat soother. I imagine that other frozen fruits would also work, if they aren't too acidic.

During the day, frozen fruit smoothies (banana, blueberry, yogurt and a spot of juice, milk, or water) can replace meals that are too difficult to get past a sore throat. My children don't like Pedialite popsicles, so we make our own from smoothie ingredients, and they go down well. Finally, hot water with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a spoonful of honey is also a great throat soother.

All great ideas, Lisa. But one thing: I know cold/cough medicines are off-limits for young kids, but Chloraseptic? Isn't it essentially just a temporary numbing agent?

Related: Best of Parent Hacks: Colds, viruses, and general sickie malaise

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I would worry about young kids choking on the blueberries? But maybe 4 is old enough. That said, my 6 year old loves to suck on frozen peas even when she isn't sick, just as a snack.

You're not supposed to use Chloraseptic in children younger than 3 years, per the manufacturer's instructions.

I found out the hard way why you're not supposed to use it more than 2 days... Last year, I had a bad cold or virus or something that made my throat feel absolutely terrible. I used Chloraseptic for several days and around the third day, I started to lose my voice. By the third day, I couldn't talk at all. The spray had actually numbed my vocal cords and they couldn't make any sound!

I still use it when I need to, but sparingly.

When my daughter was teething, the doctor said numbing products (including teething and sore throat products) can be dangerous if the tongue is accidentally numbed, which can prevent proper swallowing and could cause accidental choking to occur. This could happen at any age including adults, but babies and small children would be unable to let anyone know they can't breath. Of course the same products also can be safe and useful in most cases.

We use frozen grapes with our 5 yr. old for a snack - that's such a great idea with the blueberries for sore throats, we may just have to try it with the grapes too. Thanks for the tip!

Yes, you *should* stay with your child while they're eating them (for all those who may freak out about choking hazards).

My 2-year-old has been eating frozen fruit (cut up peaches, honeydew melon, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) for several months now, as well as frozen peas and corn. She eats them when she's teething. I never leave her unattended while eating them, and I make sure the pieces are small enough that they're not much of a choking hazard. Sometimes she asks for peas and corn, even when her gums aren't hurting her! I'll have to remember this tip for a sore throat, thanks!

Along with the warm water/lemon/honey - put a few whole cloves in the hot water and remove before you add an ice cube to cool it down. Cloves are a natural anesthetic. Doesn't completely numb, but lessens the pain. This also works well for upset stomachs. On grown ups too!

Frozen blueberries are great too. I used them with my toddlers for a teething snack. Kids love them, and they're very healthy. Just have to watch smaller kids for choking...as with anything small and round. Organic is best.

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