Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Home Remedies for Kids' Winter Ills

Antibiotics don't work on colds and the flu, and many doctors have stopped prescribing them if your child has the sniffles. Try these doctor-recommended home remedies instead.

Home Remedies for Sore Throat continued...

Strep builds slowly, Walls says. "The child usually does not wake up with it."

Walls lets his older patients gargle with benadryl. "If they swallow, they may get sleepy," he warns.

Kemper recommends gargling with salt and baking soda (half a teaspoon of each in a cup of warm water). Herbal teas, such as slippery elm, cherry bark, or licorice (not anise) are also soothing. If the child prefers cold on the throat, try Popsicles or ice cream. Kids over the age of 4 can suck on a cough drop or horehound drop.

Zinc lozenges are sort of out now, Walls says. Zinc tends to make females nauseated, Kemper observes. Kids can get diarrhea from it, too.

Both doctors recommend flu shots for anyone over 6 months. Walls is a little more cautious, however. "What if kids take those all along, go off to college and don't get one -- they could be clobbered." Like all of this advice, discuss it with your doctor if you are doubtful.

The surgeon general, along with the National Council on Patient Information and Education, also has set up a web site to help you choose over-the-counter medications more responsibly. Follow labels carefully, keep bottles up high and away from kids, and inform your doctor of anything you do decide to give your child -- Popsicles excepted, of course.

About 30% to 70% of his little patients receive complementary therapies, Walls estimates. Sometimes a story or glass of juice with a "bendy" straw does the trick.

Star Lawrence is a medical writer based in the Phoenix area.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Reviewed on November 10, 2003

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd