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Post subject: What Granny Knows:  PostPosted: Oct 05, 2005 - 01:50 PM

Home Remedies That Work

What Granny Knows: Uncommon Ways To Handle Common Ailments

Think outside your medicine cabinet box to find solutions for annoying medical problems, says an assistant professor of pediatrics. Sometimes, Grandma's home remedies work wonders to relieve a child's aches and pains.

Your child is crying because her mosquito bites itch, her stuffy nose makes it difficult to breath or she is teething. While you know it's hardly a medical emergency, you want to do something to help her feel better.

The solution may be simple: Think outside your medicine cabinet box, advises Kenneth Haller, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

"Turn back the clock and listen to what grandma recommended," says Dr. Haller, who also is a pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. "Oftentimes, the old fashioned home remedies work as well, if not better, than commercially prepared treatments to relieve a child's aches and pains."

Here are some of Dr. Haller's favorite treatments for common ailments:

Bug bites: Break out the roll-on antiperspirant, and dab a bit on itchy, irritated red welts from mosquito bites. "The aluminum salts in the antiperspirant help the body to reabsorb the fluid in the bug bite. The swelling goes down and the itching goes away," Haller says. Caveat: Deodorant won't work because it doesn't contain aluminum salts. You must use a deodorant/antiperspirant.

Teething: Freeze a bagel or a washcloth, and give it to your child to gum. "They are cold and have texture to them, which makes them more comforting than a teething ring."

Stuffy nose: Mix a quarter teaspoon of salt in a half cup of water, and spray or drop the solution into the nose. The concoction helps clean out nasal mucus, which washes out pollens and virus bugs. Ocean Spray or generic saline drops work the same way.

Sore throat: Push the fluids. "When the throat gets dried out, it's more prone to infections," Haller says. Keep the throat moist by having your child suck on lollypops and hard candies, which probably do as much good as cough medicines. Caveats: Make sure he brushes his teeth and is old enough not to choke on the candy.

Swimmer's ear: Mix a solution of half vinegar and half water, put it in the ear and let it drain out. Swimmer's ear is an earache that can occur after water contaminated with a microscopic germ comes in contact with the ear. You can tell it's not a middle ear infection if wiggling the outer ear causes your child no pain or discomfort.

Gastrointestinal problems: If she has diarrhea, feed her a lot of starches and the BRAT - bananas, rice, applesauce and toast - diet. If she's constipated, stay away from starches, and serve plenty of fruits and vegetables, high fiber foods and water.

Pink eye: Massage the bridge of his nose a couple times a day and alternate warm compresses on the each eye. Frequently pink eye is caused by a blockage in the ducts that drain tears away, and a little TLC can free the passive congestion. Caveat: If pink eye doesn't go away in two days, call a doctor.

Earwax: Prevent earwax from accumulating by putting a solution of half water, half peroxide in the ears once a month. Caveat: Never use cotton swabs to remove earwax. This will only push wax and other bad stuff deeper into the ear.

Fever: If your child's temperature is at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, he's running a fever. "If we exercise, our temperature goes up to about 100 degrees. A crying, active baby can have a temperature of 100 degrees and not be running a fever," Haller says. "Fever is not the problem; it just tells us something is going on and your child is trying to respond to it." To bring down a temperature, remove extra blankets and layers of clothing. Sponge a baby with lukewarm water, not cold water and alcohol, which can dry out the skin. Caveat: Before giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to bring the fever down, call your doctor to find out the right dosage. Don't hesitate to call the doctor if you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, your child is a newborn or your child is acting listless or "off."

"Old time home remedies generally come from ingredients that are in just about any home and aren't as expensive as those you have to buy," Dr. Haller says.

"Sometimes Granny really does know best."


Medical Information
It is not the intention of Raptor-Pack to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Raptor-Pack urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions and specific medical advice




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