With cold and flu season upon us, now is the time to stock up on some of the best cold remedies out there. And the good news is you don't need a prescription for these tried-and-true cold symptom soothers.

It's not unusual for a child to have up to 10 colds per year! I know that sounds like a lot, but the reality is there are so many different types of rhinoviruses that cause those sniffles and sneezes. Your child is bound to battle with a few this school year.

That being said, over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are not recommended for children under the age of 6. They have neither been proven to be effective nor safe.

There is plenty you can do, however, and these are my top 5 must-haves for cold and flu season:

Cool mist humidifier

This is great for stuffy noses, coughs and noses prone to the seasonal nosebleed. Adding moisture back to dry indoor winter air soothes the airways, thins out mucus, and decreases nighttime coughing. Our penguin humidifier is a known go-to cold remedy in our household.


Drink plenty of water. Lots and lots. Extra hydration during the cold and/or flu will replace excess fluid losses from fevers and coughing. It also works great at thinning out thick mucus. Serve warm (as in warm tea or chicken soup) and it also soothes irritated and sore throats.


This natural, sweet elixir is great for calming that pesky nighttime cough. It's safe for children 2 and older and given a half hour before bedtime, has been shown to decrease the severity of nighttime coughing.

Normal saline nose spray or drops

I recommend these all the time. For infants on up, these drops or sprays help clear out and soothe congested and inflamed noses.

Bulb suction or Nosefrida

Used in conjunction with normal saline drops for infants and toddlers unable to blow their noses, this is a great way to clear out that stuffy nose. Use prior to eating and sleeping for the most profound relief.

Dr. Mom's bottom line^There's no getting around it — it's cold and flu season. Stock up on these essentials to nurse your little one back to health in no time.

More about your little kid

Eczema 101: The mainstays of skincare
Teaching independence through play
Flu season newsflash: Prevention and treatment