Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Treating Childhood Illness in a SHTF Scenario Part 2

The second in the series.

Upper Respiratory Illness

Characterized by snotty noses, cough and general cold symptoms, this is usually a virus. 
Cold medicines are not recommended in children under four; therefore one can use a bulb syringe, better known in my house as a “snot sucker”, to clear secretions.  This is a completely mechanical solution. 

To use a bulb syringe:
Squeeze the bulb of the syringe
Inserts the tip
Suck the snot out of small nose.
MAKE SURE BULB IS SQUEEZED BEFORE INSERTING INTO NOSE!  Otherwise you will blow snot further into nose.

Vicks Vapo-rub is no longer recommended for children. However rubbing a child’s chest and back is helpful to break up the congestion.  If it’s available, using olive oil or baby oil will have a similar effect to the one once attributed to Vicks

Older children can take cold medicines (assuming they were included in your preps) as directed, but should be in single medicine formulation.  Multi symptom cold medicines can lead to unwanted side effects or overdosing.  It’s also a bad idea to suppress coughing too much unless the child is completely unable to sleep due to coughing—coughing is the body’s way of ridding itself of the gunk.

Another purely mechanical solution is to use a nasal rinse (neti pot) if your child will tolerate it and you have it available.

Steam is very helpful for respiratory yuck, assuming you have water and a way to heat it.  Boil a kettle of water and have the child lean over the hot (not boiling) steam.  If a tent can be made with a towel or a sheet, all the better.  Encourage them to blow snot out of their nose rather than sniff it up.

It is helpful to give the child oral rehydration solution, but unless they’re also vomiting, use it to replace only half of the fluids they drink.  Otherwise let them drink whatever you have. 

Hot drinks, even just hot water, can clear the nose and sooth the throat. Lemon juice, honey and hot water create a good cough medicine that is soothing, reduces phlegm and is completely without side effects.  Soup, is good alternative, as well.  Stay away from hot chocolate, though—milk will thicken the secretions.

A normal cold or flu will run its course in 7-10 days. 

No comments: