In the first part of this article, I had written about the home remedies for cough/cold, fever and throat pain. Here I will tell you about the home remedies for other ailments like urinary infection, stomach pain, loose stools, constipation, insect bites and pain on the site of injection and simple burns.
Urinary tract infection or UTI
Urinary tract infection (colloquially called urine infection) is very common among kids. It is usually characterized by pain or burning sensation in the genital organ while passing urine. Insufficient water intake, poor genital hygiene are the main causes of UTI. If you take a little care right from the beginning, you can save the pain of running to a doctor.
Keeping your child’s genital area clean and dry is the first step to keep the infection away.
Encourage your child to consume more water (liquid)
If he/she doesn’t like to drink water you can give them fresh fruit juice, or you can boil water by adding herbs like mint (pudina), holy basil (tulsi/Tulasi), carom seeds (ajwain, omam, ayamodakam), cumin (jeera, jeerakam, seeragam) seeds etc. and give it to them.
Take a big steel basin, pour some hot water and mix a hand full of crystal salt/rock salt to it. Stir till the salt dissolves completely. Dip your hand and check whether it is of tolerable heat. It should be warm enough for the child to sit on it. Wash your kid’s genitals well with water. If it’s a male child, then you need to retract his foreskin and wash (dirt and microorganisms causing the infection get accumulated under the foreskin since it is a skin fold). Now make the child sit inside the basin. His/her genital area should be completely immersed in the warm salt water. Let the kid stay in the water for 5 or 10 minutes (or till the water cools). Get him/her out of the water and pat the kid dry, especially his/her genital area. The heat of the water relieves the pain while salt fights and kills the microorganisms. You can repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.
Pain on the site of injection
It’s really heartbreaking to see kids suffering from injection pain. Sometimes the injection site may turn red or develop hard mass which increases the pain. We are usually advised to keep ice (cold compress) or hot water on the area to relieve pain. But I would say that it’s best to keep a hot compress or hot water fomentation around the site. You can do this in 2 ways
- Fill a small glass bottle with hot water (not too hot) cover it with a cloth and apply it around the site of injection. You should not place the heat for too long, just place it around the area (and not on the prick wound) for a second and then remove it. Repeat the process for some more time. You can do this 3 or 4 times a day.
- Fill a bowl with hot water, dip a towel into it and squeeze out excess water. Keep it around the injection site. Dip it again in water when the heat of the towel reduce and repeat the process.
If you do it on the same day, the child gets a vaccination shot (of course after a couple of hours), the pain would reduce within a few hours and he/she would be free from pain by the next day.
Stomach pain occurs mostly due to improper digestion of food. Eating too much of a particular food can produce colic in kids. To avoid this you have to observe about what food causes colic in your child and avoid giving him/her too much of it.
You can boil some water with carom seeds in it and give it to your kid. Carom seeds facilitate proper digestion of food and remove the colicky pain.
Giving gripe water also relieves the colic. I know so many people don’t agree with it. The scientific research may find no rationale behind the practice of giving it. But mothers from so many generations would swear on its soothing effect. One thing you have to note is that you should not make it a practice of giving gripe water daily to the kids/ babies. Give it only when the child suffers from stomach pain.
Loose stools and vomiting
Loose stools and vomiting are other annoying problems in children. It’s ideal to give liquid and semi-solid diet during such times. Though ORS is recommended in times of loose stools and vomiting, a majority of kids would refuse to drink it. In such cases, you can make them fresh fruit juice (lemonade/ lemon juice is the best) and add sugar and salt to it.
- kanjee/congee water or rice water
The body loses a large amount of zinc via loose stools. Rice water or kanjee/congee water is loaded with the micronutrient zinc and hence giving it can replace the lost nutrient in your child’s body. You can give rice water to your child after adding salt to taste. This maintains the fluid and electrolyte balance of your son’s/daughter’s body.
Giving your kid warm lemon tea 2 or 3 times a day can decrease the frequency of loose stools to a great extent or stop it completely. Take care not to add too much sugar to it.
Arrowroot powder porridge can arrest loose stools instantly. You can get the powder from the medical stores. The instructions for making the porridge are printed on the pack itself.
This is another major problem in kids. Kids usually withhold their stools out of the fear of pain. And it leads to constipation. If you take a little care about their toilet habits you can easily prevent this problem.
- Avoid giving too much of biscuits and other snacks. It can contribute to hardening of stools.
- Encourage them to eat at least a fruit daily. It’s better to eat fruits as it is than drinking fruit juice. The fiber content of the fruits (which is very important for the smooth passing of stools) is lost while making juice.
- Encourage fluid intake. You can give them flavored water, Fresh fruit juice (for the sake of drinking water)
- Make a note when your kid passes stools and when he/does not. It’s common for toddlers and infants to pass stools once in two days. But bigger kids should have the practice of emptying their bowels daily.
- If your child is withholding stools due to the pain you can apply a little lignocaine gel in his/ her anus.
Squeeze a little gel on your finger tip and apply it on your child’s anus. Since it’s a local anesthetic your kid won’t know the pain when he/she defecates. Do not make it a habit; apply only if the kid has pain in the anus. This is not a stool softener; it suppresses pain temporarily so that the kid can pass stools without pain. You should apply it only when your kid complains of pain (because of passing hard stools).
Crush a shallot with your hands and apply it to the site of insect bite. Repeat it often and the redness and irritation would subside.
Apply a bit of honey on the burnt area. The glucose in honey prevents the formation of blisters.
Applying salt also can soothe down the burns
All the above remedies are only to be tried only for 2 days if the symptoms persist or do not decrease even after two days you should consult a doctor.