Preparing for Cold Season

Updated on September 13, 2010
L.N. asks from North Palm Beach, FL
13 answers

knock on wood nothing yet in my house but i need to get prepared. i am just trying to prevent more ear infections for my daughter.
last June she had a cold, sinus pressure which resulted in double ear infection. I was too late even though i posted here about sudafed and went and bough a pack of the original sudafed (the box said for age 6 and up).
well, i don't know what happened from june to now but now that same package says 12 and up. so my daughter is not allowed to have it. plus, feeling like a criminal when inquiring about this medicine is something i would like to avoid.
so my question is which medicine is a real nasal decongestant? is there anything out there that works as well as sudafed worked? my daughter is 6.
sudafed PE was a joke. that was the first one i gave her when she got a very stuffy nose, and sudafed pe relieved nothing. not even for a minute. after giving her that real sudafed nasal decongestant she had no problems for 6 hrs. now i don't feel comfortable giving it to her being that the age has changed.
please take your time and list the medicine that works.
for information, my children have never had cold medicine until this June. i am not desperate to save little hearing she has left and constant ear infections do not help.
we have tried chiropractors and that has not helped.
thank you moms
EDIT: my daughter is on 2nd set of tubes. has had a reconstruction surgery for middle ear bones and eardrum repairment. she still gets ear infections.

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So What Happened?

my daughter has been on nasonext for a year now. it works great until she gets a cold.
went to a pharmacy today and spoke to a pharmacist. asked the same questions i asked here. he showed me a bottle of sudafed for children age 4 and up that contains that ingredient that is now sold behind counter. he said it's safe if used per directions and it does do the trick.
she has been to an allergist and has not shown any allergies. her eustachian tube is blocked, does not properly drain hence her ear infection problems.
thank you moms for taking the time to answer my question.

Featured Answers



answers from Albany on

The only thing that works for my kids is Mullein Garlic Oil (heath food store). But we really haven't had bad problems with ear infections. According to the stats, vaccinated children get ear infections a lot more often than non-vaxed, so it is definitely an immune response issue. I guess at the first signs, kick up her intake of elderberry, try giving her probiotics to improve her overall health, and you can try homeopathic too. Depending on what other symptoms she experiences, you can try this site and see if anything pops up that helps (the remedies are not too expensive, usually around $12).

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

PB8 from Nutrition Now
A&D (25,000iu A with 1,0000iu D)
Herbs for Kids Echinacea/Astragulus
Herbs for Kids Echinacea/Goldenroot
Oscillococcium once per week during flu season AND more with flu sympotoms

Our chiro adjusts ears and give us the above for ear infections, sore throats, etc. The combo changes with whatever is going on, but all in all, we never run out of any of this. Our kids haven't even had so much as a stuffy nose ALL year. Last year, they all started with something, but the A&D knocked it out within 2 days.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

All labelling on cold remedies changed in the last year or so. Even those specifically formulated for children. There was recently some research concluding that many not effective in young children AND many parents were re-dosing children when they didn't see any improvement or combining products without paying attention to those which had the same ingredients. There were children in the ER with overdoses.

For a child of six, you shouldn't use anything not labelled for her age unless your doctor directs you to do so.

If she has multiple ear infections in a year, it is time to see an ENT for treatment whether it be by medication or surgery.

My daughter is on her second set of tubes, but hers have a tendency to clog so we still have the occasional ear infection. I find the best way to head off a full blown infection is to start a several day treatment of Mucinex at the first signs of any congestion and make sure she is getting plenty of clear fluids. I also use saline up her nose a couple times a day to help everything blow up easier. A dose of Benadryl at night helps reduce post-nasal drip and acts to reduce any swelling of the sinuses. Both of those products are labelled for a child of six...I had to agree on doses with my doctor since my daughter is only three.

Nasal decongestants are good at reducing the swelling and drying up secretions, but a lot of mucus is produced in inner ear infections. Drying the mucus membranes may make things worse. Better to stimulate production and move them out of the area.

I tried a lot of natural remedies before my daughter got her first set of tubes. I found that an immunity boosting children's supplement seemed to help, as did reducing her intake of milk (especially when she starts to get congested).

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My son is on Claritin and Singulair and sometimes a nose spray. He has been for about three or four years now, he's 9. Go to your pediatrician and talk to her. We are going back this week to get our round of fall meds. Singulair and the nose spray are prescription.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Does she eat yogurt? And plenty of fruit and veggies? I talk to the nurse at our office all the time. Does she have allergies? maybe that is why she is getting sick. For the longest time I kept getting sinus infections and discovered that it was allergy induced. My son is 2 so we give him zyrtek when he gets a runny nose and that seems to help.
also warm cloths near her congestion my warm the wax and help move it instead of keeping it there and causing an infection.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I know this isn't the question you asked, but I have an idea for prevention. Have you ever tried elderberry extract? I heard about it last year, and then heard about it again somewhere else, so decided to give it a try. It has seriously been a lifesaver. I'm talking, we have had ZERO major sickness when we've used it. I take it anytime I feel a cold coming on, and 9 times out of 10 it kicks it. The other time, it lessens the severity and length of the cold a lot. You can give it to kids, and babies. It's completely natural, no side effects, tastes sweet to them. I give it to my kids when they seem to be getting sick, and also as a supplement from time to time when nasty stuff is going around and I think they've been exposed. The extract, which is like a syrup, can be a little expensive, but it is sooooo worth it, and a bottle can last awhile. You can get it at your local health food store. Seriously, it is my new secret weapon! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I have found for myself ( I am prone to sinus problems) that nothing works as well as the active ingredient in regular sudafed (now behind the counter due to concerns about it being used to make some kinds of illegal drugs). I definitely take this when I get a cold. My husband prefers Mucinex but takes both if he needs to. My kids (4 and almost 2) won't take children's Mucinex at all because it tastes bitter. My older one takes Triaminic thin strips for colds. It is labeled for ages 4-6 and a larger dose for ages 6-12. I believe about 2 years ago it used to have the same ingredient as regular sudafed but now it no longer does (changed to the ingredient as sudafed PE which is not as effective). The Umka cold care is helpful and my older one likes the taste. It is homeopathic and has cherry and elderberry (lots of vitamin C).

My daughter, now 20 months, has an usually small opening between her nose and throat so when she gets sick the congestion has a hard time draining except as a runny nose. After last winter having to go for antibiotics when each cold turned to an ear infection I talked to the doctor. She had given my daughter a prescription medication with the active ingredient sudafed and also told me the appropriate dosage of a children's OTC decongestant (box said for her age "ask a doctor"). I would talk to your pediatrician or ENT about figuring out a plan to try and prevent ear infections. I took Nasonex at one point but it wasn't the most helpful for me but it may be worth a try. Saline nose drops or spray is helpful for clearing thicker congestion. I'd ask about an effective decongestant when needed. You might ask about antibiotics and how to use them most effectively for your daughter. I went through a period of getting bladder infections very often and the thing that finally broke the cycle was a lower dose antibiotic for a longer time (low dose for 6 weeks as a preventative rather than higher dose for 10 days as a cure). I would also try some of the immune support ideas other have suggested.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You need to strengthen her immune system. This endless cycle of colds, infections, medications and surgeries is not working! Many many friends of mine have put their children on a patented (safe, unique) liquid supplement for children - better than vitamin pills, no more illnesses, many have avoided getting tubes in their ears (one of whom is now 19 YEARS old and was supposed to have surgery at 18 months). They've also gotten rid of nebulizers and inhalers for asthma. If you do all those meds, you are just treating the symptom and not the cause. There IS a much better way, it's got to be a lot easier for the child than this current cycle she's in, and it's got to be a lot less expensive! Happy to help you more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

We use Simply Saline nasal spray once a day and a humidifier all the time in the winter. Keep the humidity at the right level and don't let the sinuses dry out so the mucus can filter out germs properly. The CDC says handwashing is the best way to avoid colds and flu, if done properly. Check out the website for instructions. Is she old enough to drink warm liquids? Have her drink some warm/hot water with lemon and honey in it, also to help keep everything moist. There's vitamin C in the lemon and the honey is soothing to the throat if she does get sick. Have her exercise regularly and eat lots of healthy foods, and here's the hard part: keep her away from sick people! tell family and friends to stay home if they think they are "coming down with something." Check for allergies too! The allergist can do a simple skin test to see if there's something in your environment that's causing a reaction that mimics a sinus infection. I hope some of these ideas help!



answers from New York on

How about the line of Triaminic childrens medicines? Claritan and Zyrtec might help too b/c if she is starting out with allergy related symptoms and not getting relief it will develop into infections, b/c any germs will get caught. The Fall is a serious allergy season too - not just Spring. Have you seen an allergist? My son is only 3.5 but in his few years of life EVERY fall has brought on issues and it wasn't until last year after seeing the pediatrician countless times and then an opthalmologist we learned that the allergies/infection are a major problem. So he was treated simultaneously for allergies and infection - I'm gearing up for it again this year. I'm READY! The allergist might be able to prescribe something for you that will really help the underlying problem.



answers from New York on

what really worked for us was infusing garlic in olive oil and then straining the olive oil. then putting a few drops of warm (test it like you do milk for a baby in the inside of your wrist for temp) garlic oil in the ear which hurts. i didn't try it until we were in an out of the way place on a fri night - and it worked great.



answers from New York on

my kids don't suffer from ear infections, but do have allergies (they are 2.5 and 4 months) - we regularly use Little Remedies nasal spray to get them clear (they have plain saline and medicated versions). The toddler takes it a little easier; the baby hates it, but it works for both of them. I also plan to get them to use a neti pot as soon as they are old enough to comprehend how to use it. Your daughter might be old enough to use it now, it's not medicated and worth a shot to get her nasal passages clear. Good luck!



answers from New York on

you can try nasonex, you need a prescription though.

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