RTD: The Myths and Remedies of Cold and Flu Season

Image Courtesy of The Herald Sun

Image Courtesy of The Herald Sun

The sound was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

My first thought was that there was some kind of animal in my son’s room, my second that we were headed for the hospital. For those of you who have heard the croup cough before you know exactly what sound I’m talking about — that of a dying sea lion. It’s just a horrible, deep and disgusting coughing noise that upon hearing for the first time my wife and I sprang out of bed with concern and raced for our son’s room.

We found him sitting up in his bed, half-awake and completely confused by what was happening to him. I’m sure this coughing noise coming out of his body was as alarming for him as it was for us.

As luck would have it my mom was up visiting with my great-aunt and uncle and I immediately ran downstairs to wake my elders. My great-aunt was a retired nurse and has essentially seen it all while my mom has zero experience as a professional in the medical field, but upon hearing this noise they both immediately said, “Croup!”

“Bundle him up and bring him outside,” they said.

“Are you crazy? It’s freezing out there!” was my ignorant reply.

Today, as I sit here and gaze at my Croup Master’s Degree hanging on my wall I chuckle about how scared we were that night. What if we didn’t have family staying with us? Would my wife and I have been halfway to the hospital before figuring out that a little fresh air and/or a steam shower was all he needed?

The funniest part about croup, and maybe underlying point of this discussion, is that our boys respond differently to each of those home remedies. When croup hits our oldest, the steam shower is the way to go, but when the cough naturally travels down the hallway and finds a home with our youngest, the cold, fresh air is what works best.

Learn more about croup here: Children’s Health – Croup

What cold and flu remedies work best for you and your children? Which one is your favorite? Which ones have you found to be myth or old wives tales? What is the most unusual remedy you’ve heard? Where do you turn for advice or suggestions?

I would like to thank @brickwade for not only helping with this post but also for being someone I turn to when I have questions about children’s health.

Join us this Wednesday night as we hang out and chat with you about the myths and remedies of cold and flu season. Use the #DadsRT hashtag to follow along and participate.  

We are online at 6pm PST / 9pm EST.  


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  1. Stephi says:

    And if it a muggy humid summer night of croup you open the freezer & sit in front of it.

    Apple Cider Vinegar will cure any yeast related infection (just dilute it so the burn isn’t AGONIZING).

    Simmering apples with cloves are great libido boosters..just smelling it.

    Heating pad to the face or chest is great for congestion; placement depends on sinus or chest congestion.

  2. Marie says:

    Great post, and I’m glad that your son was okay! I have also found that warm salt water is AMAZING for most throat ailments. It clears up the phlegm right away, and it also gets rid of the pain quickly too.

    • Thanks, Marie! Great Appreciate the info and will give that a try next time (tomorrow?).

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