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Sick Kids? Useful Over-the-counter Medicines, At-home Remedies and Natural Cures

remedies kids natural over the counter
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What do you keep in your pantry or medicine cabinet for sick little ones?

There’s nothing as upsetting as seeing your kids sick. While you may already know what the best response is for a medical emergency, and have your home first aid kit stocked for cuts and falls, there are times when you just have to wait out the sniffles or soothe indigestion and constipation with over-the-counter (OTCs) meds or natural home remedies.

So what should you stock up on in your home medicine cabinet? Here’s our go-to guide on what home remedies and OTCs to use, and when.

home cures and otc remedies kids

Helps constipation and indigestion: Akesi Wellness Probiotic Powders

If your kids suffer from indigestion and problems with their bowel movements you may want to look at improving their gut health. The stabilisation of microbiota occurs between the ages of 1 and 3, so it is vital to ensure a good healthy gut in the first 3 years of life (ideally within the first 6 months with the Probiotic+ Baby Powder)Akesi Probiotic + powders (in different fun flavours like Elderberry) contain prebiotic support and multi-strain probiotics. The 10 billion colony-forming units of 10 diverse probiotic strains per serve will help restore and maintain a diverse gut microbiota which in turn supports the immune system, ensuring a healthy digestive function and bowel habits of your child from birth up. Akesi probiotic powders are especially useful to have on hand if your child has had antibiotics so as to restore the good bacteria in the gut. Akesi products are made in Australia and are vegan-, gluten-, and dairy-free with no nasties.

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natural remedies kids sick cold flu

Helps sniffles & soothe chesty coughs: Sniffles Organic Chest Balm

Sniffles Organic Chest Balm is what we reach for when bubs has the sniffles and a chesty cough. This organic alternative to your standard chest rub smells amazing and is the natural way to ease baby through coughs and colds. It is expertly formulated with immune boosting essentials oils of eucalyptus, tea tree, and myrrh, which also have antiviral and antibacterial properties to keep nasties away. USDA organic ingredients of calendula, lavender and chamomile comfort baby, while cypress and helichrysum essential oils effectively deliver healing and antiviral elements. Our kids love this soothing balm rubbed on their chest, back, and neck – a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual when they are sick.

Available from

colief breath easy patch for kidsHelps blocked noses: Colief®Breathe Easy Patch

If your kid has a cough or cold and is having trouble breathing, stocking up on the Colief®Breathe Easy Patch ($8) –  especially useful when travelling on holiday – will give blocked noses some relief. The patch can be easily applied to your child’s bedding or clothing – there’s no direct contact with the child’s skin, therefore, preventing irritation. The Colief®Breathe Easy Patch, which lasts 8 hours, contains Eucalyptus (known for its decongestant properties), and Peppermint and Lemon Oils that are proven to have a soothing effect on the airways. Other Colief® products to keep an eye out for include the Colief® Vitamin D3 Drops for healthy bones ($18.90), Colief® Baby Scalp Oil ($12.90) and Colief® Mum To Be Moisturising Cream ($21.90).

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Read about what to stock in your at-home First Aid Kit here

natural home remedies kidsHelps Eczema: Nila Kids Eczema Relief Oil

Nila Kids Eczema Relief Oil is a 100% natural oil (a blend of Lavender Fine with Frankincense Olibanum, Patchouli, and natural tocopherol in the base of organic virgin olive oil) and gentle yet fast-acting oil to immediately soothe and relieve dryness and itchiness caused by eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. We love this formula as it is non-steroidal, has no side effects, reduces scars, and restores moisture naturally while strengthening the skin barrier leaving skin smooth and calm. Nila Kids Eczema Relief Oil is suitable for all kids including babies below 6 months (just dilute the oil with an equal amount of olive oil) and comes as an oil or roll on. Having this on hand for kids prone to eczema is a big tears-saver!

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Helps with bloating: Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is one of those staples that we always have in our pantry; kids seem to love the novelty of having some warm fragrant minty tea to sip on, it is caffeine free for a pre-bed cuppa while mama is reading her book, and it is said to be beneficial for the digestive system and to help alleviate bloating, stomach gas and flatulence to boot! 

Helps with bumps: Cold Pack

If your little one has a fall (but does not vomit immediately after and is not drowsy – both signs to seek immediate medical attention), then its best to apply ice or cold packs to reduce the swelling. A “goose egg” lump may appear anyway, but applying ice will help ease the pain and hopefully minimise bruising and the size of the lump. Wrap the ice pack in cloth to avoid applying cold directly to your child’s skin (or dab on and off for 10 minutes). Avoid applying ice for longer than 15 minutes at a time (not that anyone’s kid will sit still for that long!). If you don’t have a fancy animal shaped ice pack (though these help divert attention from the ouchie), you can use a bag of frozen peas.

Helps with a sore throat: lemon, ginger, garlic, turmeric and honey

When the whines get louder than normal and little ones are fractious, it could be because a sore throat is bothering them. Older kids will be able to tell you when it is a sore throat versus just a toddler saying – “it hurts”. Whipping up a soothing warm concoction of lemon juice (high in Vitamin C) and antibacterial honey (Manuka honey gets extra points) helps – and if your kids are older and more adventurous add in minced garlic (antimicrobial and antibacterial), minced ginger (an analgesic, antibacterial and antifungal) and fresh or dried turmeric (numerous health benefits including being antioxidant).

Helps with blocked nose, headaches and more: Axe Oil

Axe oil is a mainstay in many Singaporean homes and said to relieve giddiness, headaches, a blocked nose, stomach-aches, insect bites, rheumatic pains, and muscular pains. It can be a little strong so best to use it sparingly and not anywhere near the face for kids.

Helps break down phlegm: Fluimucil

Fluimucil Sachets can be bought at pharmacies over the counter and are handy for when your child has a chesty cough with mucus rattling around that needs to be broken down so it is easier to expel. Check with your doctor on the correct dosage first. Fluimucil sachets consist of powder that can be dissolved in water and is easy for kids to drink.

Helps with cramps: Hot Water Bottle

Hands up who grew up using a hot water bottle for tummy pains and cramps? It is thought that putting a warm water bottle on the stomach can help tummy pains (and menstrual cramps for older teens) by blocking pain messages to the brain. Just make sure you screw that cap on nice and tight to avoid water burns.

sudicrem cuts burns rashes

Helps with burns, rashes, cuts: Calendula cream or Sudocreme

Sudocreme (available at Mothercare) is an antiseptic healing cream that is used as a protective barrier against nappy rash, to sooth existing nappy rash as well prevent rash occuring, soothe cuts and grazes and heal eczema and other skin conditions. Calendula cream (available in the California baby range) contains an active level of Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) known for its skin healing properties and is used to hydrate and soothe skin. Both creams are multipurpose and can be used by the entire family.

Helps with bruising: Arnica cream and tablets

Homoeopathic arnica is said to help the body heal while relieving bruising, swelling, soreness, stiffness, and other pain-related symptoms. It is safe for kids and does not contain aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Oral arnica tablets dissolve quickly under the tongue (and can taste sweet) while topical arnica can be applied directly to a bump or bruise.

epsom salt kids bath remedy

Helps with cold and flu onset: Detox Epsom Salt Bath

Taking a warm soothing bath filled with Epsom Salts, some Baking Soda and a few drops of immune boosting essential oils – Lavender, Thieves (Young Living) or On Guard (Doterra) – helps when kids are feeling like they may be coming down with a cough and cold.

Helps clear blocked nose in babies: 100% Seawater Nasal Spray

There are some very effective medicative nasal sprays/drops available over the counter that help clear kids noses when they are blocked from a cold – but for very young kids and babies it is best to use a 100% seawater nasal spray. Find them at your local pharmacy or try iherb.

Helps with minor allergic reactions: Antihistamines

Antihistamines like Zyrtec (non-drowsy) can be used to treat your child’s runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing due to allergies. Over the counter antihistamines available at any pharmacy can also help reduce itching from chickenpox, insect bites, and other rashes.

chamomile tea sick

Helps with tummy pains, sleep, colic and teething: Chamomile Tea

A hot cup of chamomile tea helped calm Peter Rabbit’s nerves, so while we would only give our kids a tepid cuppa, sipping on chamomile may just help relax kids given it is a mild sedative. Chamomile is said to be helpful in improving sleep quality, treating a colicky baby, with teething (if you can get your hands on Nelsons Teething Granules these powders are gold) and to ease stomach pain.

Helps with coughs and more: Eucalyptus Essential Oil + Diffuser

We have a fair few essential oils up our sleeves at home, from Lavender which is an anti-inflammatory to treat rashes, insect bites, and burns as well for calming, to Tea Tree Oil (antibacterial) to treat cuts, grazes (and get rid of mould on furnishings and walls).  Eucalyptus Oil is a great one for coughs and to clear lungs – especially if you put a few drops in a diffuser and have it running in your child’s bedroom at night.

Read more: First Aid Classes in Singapore

It’s always best to check with your doctor before trying any new medicines even over the counter medicines. If you have any concerns always consult a doctor first.

Lead image via Getty Lemon and ginger tea image by Dominik Martin via Unsplash Epsom salts image from Shutterstock via Reader's Digest Chamomile tea image by Ornella Binni via Unsplash This post contains paid partnership content.

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