Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents

excerpt from Child Health Guide
Randall Neustaedter OMD


Usually a cold begins with a runny nose and tiredness. Sometimes babies are just fussy. These symptoms may be accompanied by fever or sore throat (see those chapters). Allergies do not cause fevers. Neither does teething. Viruses cause colds, and they are spread easily from one child to another. If it’s going around, it’s probably a cold. If it’s not accompanied by a change in energy or fussiness, it may be allergies. If congestion persists, it may be allergies or a sinus infection.

Time to recovery

Often a child’s body will fight off a cold in a few days without any treatment, but using natural remedies will promote healing and help prevent complications. Typical colds last for seven days, though congestion may persist longer. Complications include earaches and chest colds. Colds are usually contagious for the first three to four days. Keep your child at home at the beginning of colds and for 24 hours after fevers have abated.

Danger signs – See a medical provider

  • Persistent high fever of 102-103°
  • Severe sore throat
  • Loose, rattling cough or wheezing (high pitched breathing)
  • Ear pain, or tugging on the ears in babies
  • Any fever in a baby less than four months old
  • Prolonged illness, significant lethargy with unresponsiveness, or severe pain


The goal of treatment is to give a boost to the immune system so that it fights off the infection efficiently. This can be done with herbs and homeopathic medicines. Both can be given at the same time.

Echinacea: Non-alcoholic, glycerin preparations of the herb echinacea are prepared specifically for children. Some of them also contain vitamin C. Mix the echinacea with juice or water. Most health food stores stock echinacea preparations. Avoid products that contain other herbs or fillers. Golden seal is not needed for colds. Echinacea stimulates the body to produce more white blood cells that fight invasion by viruses or bacteria. Echinacea is not appropriate for allergic symptoms, and should not be used over an extended period of time. Stop when the cold symptoms improve, or after five days.

Directions: Mix with juice or give it straight.

Dosage: Babies under one year: 10 drops three times per day

Children over one year: 20 drops three times per day

Windbreaker: This is a Chinese herbal formula designed for children. Yin chiao jin junior is a comparable formula. It stimulates a healing reaction in the body, dispels invasion of cold, and relieves mucus production and congestion. Use it at the onset of colds and continue as long as congestion persists. Shake the bottle before each use. This formula contains alcohol.

Directions: Mix the drops in a small amount of steaming hot water to evaporate the alcohol, then mix this solution with juice.

Dosage: Babies under one year: 10 drops three times per day

Children over one year: 20 drops three times per day

Homeopathic medicines

Dosage: 2 pellets three times per day regardless of age. Babies may need the pellets crushed or dissolved in water, but they will usually suck on them if placed inside the cheek. Use only one homeopathic medicine at a time. Stop when symptoms begin to improve.

Stage 1 of the cold: Allium cepa: The first remedy to give for clear, runny nose.


Belladonna: If there is also a fever with clear runny nose. Once the discharge has changed from clear to yellow or green these remedies are no longer indicated.

Stage 2 of the cold: Pulsatilla: thick nasal discharge and clingy behavior.

Stage 3 of the cold: Kali bichromicum: thick green nasal discharge.

First-aid tips

If a baby has difficulty nursing because of nasal obstruction, or an older child has trouble sleeping, take them into the bathroom and steam it up with the hot shower. Let them breathe the steam for five minutes. This will loosen things up. Humidifiers and vaporizers are inefficient, messy, and hazardous.

  • Other books from CureGuide:
  • The Holistic Baby Guide: Alternative Care for Common Health Problems
  • The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults
  • Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents
  • Flu: Alternative Treatments and Prevention