Study Summary: Honey Reduces Cough Frequency And Severity
Cohen et al sought to determine whether honey, administered before bedtime, would decrease coughing in children between the ages of one and 5 yearsand improve sleep for both the children and their caregivers. They enrolled 300 children with a nocturnal cough of < 7 days duration and a diagnosis of URI in a one-night study.
Children were excluded if they had any signs or symptoms of asthma, pneumonia, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, or laryngotracheobronchitis, or if they had been given any cough remedy, including honey, the night before. Parents completed a 5-question survey, using a 7-point Likert scale to assess the childs cough and both the childs and parents sleep the previous night. Only children whose parents rated their childs cough severity 3 in 2 of the 3 questions related to cough were included in the trial.
The study had a double-blind randomized design, with 4 treatment arms. Three groups received 10 g of one of 3 types of honey: eucalyptus, citrus, or labiatae the fourth group received a placebo of silan date extract, which is similar to honey in color, texture, and taste.
No : A Cough Is A Defense Mechanism
A cough is the bodys way of defending itself, Dr. Cameron explains. If you have a runny nose and some congestion, you might get post-nasal drip, which can irritate the bronchioles and cause coughing, she says. Coughing is a way to clear the lungs and expel mucus.
Carl R. Baum, MD, a pediatric emergency physician, agrees. Coughing is good, he says. Parents get freaked out when their kid has a really bad cough, but it’s the bodys normal way of protecting itself. It keeps our lungs clear.
Dr. Cameron reads a book to her patient to put her at ease.
No : Consider Allergies
If the cough is persistent and does not go away after two weeks, its time to start thinking about other factors, which could include allergies, especially if symptoms include not only post-nasal drip, but itchy eyes, ears and throat.
At this point, we might try an antihistamine to see if it would dry up some secretions, Dr. Cameron says. Claritin and Zyrtec are dosed down for children as young as 6 months, but I dont like to give either to really young kids unless I am treating an allergic reaction. Or if its older kids, I want to know that I am treating allergic rhinitis, which can be seasonal allergies or environmental allergens.
A cough caused by allergies may be seasonal and usually there is no fever or body aches and its not contagious. And, it may only occur around the allergic trigger, like cats or tree pollen, says Jason Catanzaro, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist. But, very young children are less likely to have outdoor allergiesthey havent been around long enough to be exposed to pollens from grasses, trees and weeds, he explains.
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Honey Is More Than Just Sugar
There is a misconception that honey is just sugar syrup, but theres more to it than meets the eye. Honey has different types of sugars that include sucrose, the regular sugar that we use glucose, one of the simplest forms of sugars fructose, which is fruit sugar that is generally found in sweet fruits. Each of these sugars are different from the regular table sugar that we are used to. The difference in chemical structure means that each of these sugars digest differently.
These sugars make honey a great food in terms of supplying energy for quite a long time. Generally, when we eat sugar, the blood sugar levels suddenly shoot because, sucrose and glucose are easily digested and enter into the blood stream easily. When fructose is present, it takes longer time to digest. Thus, while sucrose and glucose in honey are digested within no time, fructose remains longer in the digestive system and enters the blood stream later on and provides energy for longer durations.
Don’t Skimp On Exercise
Even if your child is feeling a little under the weather because of allergy symptoms, its still good to promote physical activity. “Exercise is a great way to improve overall health and also reduce allergy symptoms,” Stukus explains. “Physical activity improves blood flow, increases breathing rate, and can serve as a wonderful distraction from annoying allergy symptoms.” The boost in circulation may improve the ability of immune system cells to travel throughout the body, according to the Harvard Medical School. However, if your child has outdoor allergies, avoid outdoor exercise on very high pollen days. Opt for fun indoor activities instead.
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Best Peanut Butter For Babies
Look for a peanut butter without added sugar and opt for creamy to ensure that the texture is smooth for baby. I like Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter, Whole Foods 365 Store Brand, and Teddies. There are lot of other options available, so just check the ingredients and look for one without added cane sugar or honey.
How Honey May Help Treat Allergies
Proponents of giving allergic dogs raw local honey believe that the combination of pollen and honey is what helps the dog achieve a level ofallergy relief. It works like this: Bees visit flowers to collect nectar that they use to make honey. In addition to collecting the nectar, they also collect small amounts of pollens that become part of the honey. If you offer your dog a small amount of local raw honey each week, you will be giving him minute amounts of local pollens to which his system can develop an immunity over time. Once he’s developed the immunity, he should no longer show clinical signs of his allergy.
Although most dogs do not achieve a complete cure by consuming raw honey alone, a weekly dose of honey should help reduce the clinical signs and help your pet feel a little better during allergy season.
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Health Benefits Of Honey For Toddlers And Children
Health benefits of honey for toddlers and children include sustained energy for longer period of time, supplies vitamins and minerals, helps in healing wounds faster, offers liver protection and controls cough in children.
Honey is one of natures magnificent gifts to mankind. Honey, as we know is one of the sweetest foods that nature can offer us. It is actually produced from nectar obtained from various flowers. Honey bees that collect honey play a vital role in honey production. As honey bees collect nectar from various flowers, they swallow it and regurgitate in the hives and transform nectar into honey. The enzymes in honey bees system help in transforming nectar into honey.
For many millennia, honey has been consumed by humans and many old cultures and civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Middle East, Africa, India, China, Aztec and Mayan from Central America knew about honey and consumed it on various occasions.
Many of these ancient cultures believed honey to possess medicinal properties, especially Egypt, India, Greece and Rome. There are several instances where famous philosophers wrote in their treaties that honey possessed several medicinal properties and has ever since be used in their respective traditional medicines.
Treatment For Mild To Moderate Allergic Reactions
The way you treat an allergic reaction depends on how severe the reaction is.
Antihistamines Giving your child a dose of antihistamine is appropriate if your child is having a mild to moderate allergic reaction, including a skin rash, tingling mouth or swelling.
In fact, having some antihistamine syrup in your home first aid kit or in your bag is a good idea this way its handy when you need it. You dont need a prescription to buy antihistamines in Australia.
Its best to use antihistamine that wont make your child sleepy. Your pharmacist or GP can advise you on the most appropriate brand for your child.
Other treatments for allergies Depending on the kind of allergic reaction your child has, she might need other treatments. For example:
- If your child has eczema, he might need corticosteroid ointments.
- If your child has hay fever, she might need corticosteroid nose sprays.
- If your child has asthma, he might need an inhaler like Ventolin® or Asmol®.
Your doctor can also give your child an ASCIA action plan. The action plan usually includes important information on how to manage allergic reactions and which medications your child should use.
Children who have persistent and troublesome allergies to insect stings, house dust mites and grass pollen might have immunotherapy to reduce their symptoms. Immunotherapy isnt currently used for food allergies in Australia.
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What Kind Of Honey Works
Raw local honey is the type of honey that can help treat your dog’s allergies. Because it is from local hives, it will have small amounts oflocal pollens, which is what can help relieve some of your pet’s allergies. Don’t be alarmed if the raw honey has a cloudy appearance the cloudiness is caused by the pollens that are still present in the honey.
Processed honey from another part of the country will not be effective as an allergy treatment. Processed honey has been heat treatedto clear its appearance, and the heat treatment destroys the effectiveness of the pollen in the honey.
You can find raw local honey at farmers’ markets, health food stores and in the health food sections of some larger grocery stores. You may also be able to find local honey sources by conducting an online search using “raw honey ” as your keywords.
How Should You Serve Honey To Toddlers
Honey is safe for your sweetie to consume after she turns 1. But while very small amounts might be fine on certain occasions, its still not a good idea to serve honey on a regular basis.
In general, added sugars including honey are best avoided altogether for babies and toddlers under 2. Though its sometimes billed as a more wholesome alternative to table sugar, honey is still a form of sugar. And all forms of sugar are essentially empty calories that can raise the risk for problems like tooth decay and obesity.
That means its not the best idea to use honey as a sweetener for everyday foods like yogurt, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes or smoothies. In those cases, youre better off relying on sweetness from fresh fruit think mashed banana, a swirl of unsweetened applesauce or crushed berries. Not only will these options help fill your tot up with nutrition, they’ll also nurture her taste for foods that arent overly sweet.
That said, there are exceptions to every rule. Honey is a proven throat soother, so offering a spoonful to your toddler when she has a cough might help make her more comfortable. And if you want to offer your toddler a taste of a treat containing honey during a holiday or special celebration, thats okay, too.
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Things To Know About Honey For Toddlers
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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Red Bee and the CT Bloggers Collective. All opinions remain 100% my own. Read on to learn important facts about honey for toddlers benefits and cautions, as well as the tremendous health and wellness benefits of honey for the whole family.
Can Infant Botulism Be Prevented
Experts don’t know why some infants get botulism while others don’t.
One way to reduce the risk of botulism is to not give infants honey or any processed foods with honey before their first birthday. Honey is a proven source of the bacteria. If you have questions about other products to avoid, ask your doctor.
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Why Can’t Infants Have Honey
Honey contains Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause infant botulism a rare but highly dangerous poisoning that can cause muscle weakness and trouble breathing. Even a tiny amount of the sweet stuff has the potential to make your baby sick, so its important to steer clear altogether.
Its a different story after age 1. By her first birthday, your now-toddlers digestive system is strong enough to fight off the harmful spores before they have a chance to cause any problems.
How Much Honey Is Too Much
Honey is considered an extremely beneficial nutritional supplement and is also used for treatment of a number of ailments. It contains antioxidant properties and offers numerous health benefits. However, just like with any other food, too much of honey can cause certain complications. It is therefore important to learn how much honey is too much and avoid exceeding that limit. Here is more about how much honey is safe to consume, especially when you have certain health conditions.
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Can Honey Be Given To Babies
No. According to medical experts and pediatricians, honey should not be given to children below the age of at least 1 year. The major reason behind it is that honey may contain dormant endospores of a bacterial species known as Clostridium botulism. These endospores have a high risk of causing infant botulism by transforming these endospores into toxic bacteria in the infants lower digestive system.
This is a serious illness and can sometimes result in death. The best way is to avoid it until your baby is at least 1 year old. To be on safer side, make sure that you dont give your baby honey to your baby until he or she is 18 months of age. When it is given to toddlers whove reached 1 year or 1½ years of age can be honey without any issues. .
You May Have Heard That Eating Raw Honey Can Help Lessen Allergy Symptoms But Is It Safe For Kids Here’s The Scoop
Have seasonal allergy symptoms such as sneezing, an itchy nose and coughing got your child down? Have you ever thought of using honey for allergies? If your kids have seasonal allergies, youre probably willing to try anything to ease their symptoms especially something yummy like honey. And for natural-minded moms, honey may offer a natural alternative to conventional allergy medications that can cause a number of side effects, including headaches, drowsiness and digestion issues.
Many allergy sufferers report that eating raw, locally produced honey alleviates their seasonal allergy symptoms. The idea is that eating a small amount each day helps build immunity through gradual exposure. Bees transfer a small amount of pollen spores, those same spores that give allergy sufferers so many problems to their honey.
The theory is that eating the honey with those spores can desensitize the immune system. Its the same principal as allergy shots, where patients are given very small amounts of the substance theyre allergic to. Over time, the immune system will recognize the offender so it doesnt launch an attack, explains Dr. Julie Glass, a naturopathic doctor in Portland, Oregon. Honey wont help with food or other allergies, of course, but it could possibly help with seasonal allergies.
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Is Honey Healthy For Babies
No. Honey is not a safe food for babies because it can put your child at risk for infant botulism. If your child is older than 12 months of age, its generally accepted to be okay to offer a small amount of honey from a reliable source. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends small amounts of honey for the treatment of cough in children older than age one.8 Based on recent research, its our professional opinion that it is best to wait until after the 2nd birthday to regularly use honey and other sweeteners into your childs diet.9
Once you are ready to introduce honey, there are hundreds of options to try, each with a different flavor that reflect the bees dietfrom lavender, to orange blossom, to sage. The nutrient profile varies widely depending on the bees diet and the form of honey for example, raw honey can offer more antioxidants than processed honey.10 Theres even research that suggests that some honey can have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral powers, but the verdict is still out on most of its medicinal uses.11
What Type Of Honey Should I Give My Child For Cough
Many over-the-counter medicines pose dangers to children, and the Food and Drug Administration warns that children younger than 2 should never take decongestants. Honey, however, is an excellent natural remedy for coughing for children older than 1. Pediatrician and author William Sears points out that it may actually be more effective than other cough remedies 1. The amount and type of honey a child needs for cough relief depends on the child’s age and weight.
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