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Coping with Winter Colds

Whether youíre dealing with your first winter cold of the season or your fifth, the signs are unmistakable: it starts with an unbearable sore throat and is soon followed by a fever. Within 24 hours you are completely congested. Give it a few days and you find yourself coughing until you are gasping for breath. Even after your other symptoms clear up, you may find yourself living with that cough for weeks.

Dealing with winter colds when you get them yourself can be difficult enough. Dealing with them when your son gets one can be very trying. Dealing with them when you both (or when you all) are sick can be downright horrendous. It is heartbreaking to watch your son suffer through a cold, especially when your options for helping him are limited. While there arenít many things you can do to ensure that you wonít get a cold, there are some things you can do to make suffering through it easier for both of you.

First, have your son take as hot a shower as he can stand whenever his congestion gets really bad. The steam will help loosen the congestion and the shower will help him feel better overall. He may have to spend the day in pajamas, but even the act of changing into clean pajamas can be a little psychological lift when youíre sick.

Second, hot water with plenty of honey and lemon juice is one of the most soothing things you can give your son for his cough and sore throat. The honey will coat his throat and reduce the urge to cough. If your son likes tea, you can achieve the same effect with lemon tea and lots of honey.

Third, make sure your son rests. Depending on your sonís age, that may be a tall order, but the more your son rests, the easier it will likely be for him to recover. Sick bodies need time to heal, and they canít get that healing time if they are being asked to keep up a normal pace of activity.

Finally, know when to go to the doctor. Some mothers, and I am one of them, donít take their kids to the doctor very often Ė certainly not for a simple cold. When a cold isnít getting better, though, it may be time to head to the doctor, as bronchitis, sinusitis, and ear infections may require antibiotics to get rid of them for good.

Winter colds are a fact of life, but there are a few things you can do to make your little guy more comfortable while getting through one. And the good news is that spring is always just around the corner.

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