Kids & Colds & Coughs…Oh My!

‘Tis the season. And this year, it seems like many of the cold bugs are heading right for the lungs and triggering some nasty coughs. Contrary to what many may think, a naturopathic doctor’s home is not completely immune to these bugs. In fact, our little guy’s immune system is working on one right now. So, while he takes a nap, I thought I would share a few of the things we’ve been doing to help his system work as efficiently as possible.

Magic T-Shirt magic tshirt

What makes it magical, you ask? As soon as the treatment began, the intensity of Emery’s cough diminished and the sound of his breathing went from loud and rattly to quite and comfortable. And, those are only the signs that we noticed on the outside. This home hydrotherapy treatment focuses the circulation on the core of the body, gently stimulating the large areas of immune cells in the abdomen and delivering immune cells to the lungs to help fight the infection.

Supplies: one 100% cotton t-shirt & one 100% wool sweater.

Instructions: Soak the t-shirt in cold water – as cold as you can possibly get from the tap – and wring it out well. Put the cold, wet, t-shirt on your little one (not pleasant, I know, but it feels better fast!) and then immediately put the wool sweater on over top. Leave both on until the t-shirt is warm and dry (more magic!). This can be done while the little one is awake or during nap or nighttime sleep (Emery is napping with his Magic T-shirt on, as I write this).

Nutrition & Fluids

When little ones are sick, hydration is a priority: breast milk for those nursing, water, homemade broths (bone broth is a favourite!) and gentle herbal teas (ginger with honey, chamomile) are great options. Small, regular sips is all it takes.

As for food, take your cues from your child. Hungry? Offer easily digestible, nutrient packed options like smoothies and homemade soups. No hunger? That’s OK – it takes a lot of energy to digest and that’s a sign that energy is being conserved to fight the cold bug.

On the menu in our house today: smoothies spiked with greens and loaded with dark berries and homemade vegetable lentil soup, packed with onions and garlic.

Herbs & Homeopathics

There are some fantastic herbal and homeopathic medicines that support the immune system and help clear away cold bugs. Mother Nature has provided us with such a great variety that it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your naturopathic doctor for an acute assessment and customized recommendations based on the symptoms being expressed.


Before wrapping up, a note on fever. It’s a common occurrence in little ones with colds. If you’re looking for detailed information about why the body mounts a fever and how to support your little one, check out ‘Fever: Friend or Foe?’. Spoiler alert: fever’s our friend, but one we’ve come to fear over the years. Do your best to focus on your child, not the number on the thermometer and seek support from your naturopathic doctor if you have questions or concerns.