Delta parenting group shares cold management tips

A session with a Delta parenting group on our pediatric cough and cold management topic went very well. In this group, none of the parents were aware of the Health Canada advisory. In attendance, were 14 parents with eight children under 6 years of age.

A wonderful provision was child minding in a nearby room. The organizers are able to arrange child-minding on-site so that the parents can focus on their learning undistracted.  As a result, we were able to go over the entire Powerpoint presentation and the lively group had the opportunity to non-medicinal cold management techniques:

  • Use of a humidifier
  • Saline drops
  • vapor
  • Placing hot towel on child’s chest

The parents’ asked a lot of good question including:

  • How do you distinguish a viral from a bacterial infection? Answer: a viral infection results in clear secretions while a bacterial infection will produce green/yellow mucous/sputum
  • What were the serious side-effects reported in the use of over the counter cough and cold medications in children under six? Answer: loss of consciousness, seizures, death in some cases
  • As some of these adverse effects were associated with over-doses, is it okay to use over the counter cough and cold medications, so long as you are careful with dosing? Answer: No. The risks outweigh the benefits – and this is why the manufacturers have been asked to relabel them (to indicate that they are not to be used in children below 6)
  • What do you do when child is unable to sleep because throat hurts from coughing? Answer: Try a pain reliever
  • Are health food store/natural products okay for children? Answer: there is a perception that all these natural products are harmless but always consult a doctor
  • What’s the different between a humidifier and a vaporiser? A vaporizer produces steam – caution required. A humidifier produces cold moisture.

Directing parents to reliable sources of information for answers to their questions is highly valuable. From this group, it was clear that in addition to the information we presented, the parents were able to learn from one another as well. One parent said that the doctor had advised using steam to help clear her child’s congestion but she wondered how to safely do this. Another parent explained that running hot water in the bath would quickly fill the room with steam which the child could safely inhale.

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