Dealing with colds and snotty noses with Vicks…

*This is a review post. We were asked to share some tips on helping ease cold symptoms with Vicks. Please always seek medical advice if you are concerned*

Kids get coughs, colds and all manner of snotty lurgies and so do adults. It’s kind of one of those facts of parenting. Both my kids have had their fair share of colds in their lifetimes, in fact Matthew had his first cold at ten days old, which was not fun, dealing with a small baby bunged up with snot and coughing, thanks to his sister getting a nasty cold at nursery and sharing it with us all. Not much you can do, to stop colds invading, other than to try and get kids to sneeze and cough into tissues and not all over everyone (they are so delightful, aren’t they??) and to wash their hands to stop the spread of the germs. Thankfully over the years, I have learned some tricks and tips on how to deal with colds, which I will share with you today.

Helping your kids get over a cough and cold is partly treating the symptoms but also keeping them happy and comfortable until they are feeling more back to normal. I find I play part nurse and part entertainer when a cold lurgy hits the house. I am not alone. Vicks, the makers of the well know little tub of Vicks Vapo rub, have done some research and found out that…

• Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
• This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
• More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC
And when it comes to keeping children entertained:
• Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
• Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
• 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)

There isn’t much you can use in the way of medication when your kids have a cold, it’s usually best to let it take it’s course and they normally recover without much medical intervention, but Vicks vapo rub, for me, is an essential part of my medicine cabinet, and it’s safe to use on children aged over 2. My Mum and Nana always had a tub in the cupboard and used to use it for us when we had colds so it’s comforting for me to pull it out for my own kids.

When my kids have a cold, I find the following things work well, and do the trick.

Propping them up in bed, with pillows or elevating their mattress. This helps them to breathe more easily, rather than lying down flat with snot and mucus building up.

Running a cool mist vaporizer in their rooms. This helps to keep the air moist, and eases coughs and colds.

Honey and lemon. I warm some apple juice, and then add a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of honey, and encourage them to drink it. It helps to soothe sore throats and ease coughs.

An old fashioned trick my Mum taught me. A small dollop of Vicks vapo rub in a sink full of boiling water, in the bathroom, whilst your little one sits on your lap and breathes in the steam. Its a bit messy and you do need to be careful with hot water and small children, but it helps them to breathe in the vapors and ease snot and congestion. It’s a trick I use for me and also the husband as well, when we have colds.

Pain relief medication if they are feeling really uncomfortable or have fever that I feel needs medication to help (always seek medical advice for this, if you are unsure)

And of course, we use Vicks Vapo rub on little chests and backs. Rubbed in gently, onto skin, helping them to breathe in the vapors to ease congestion. It is gentle and soothing.


We also have to find ways to keep them from getting bored and too grumpy when they have a cough and cold. I try and encourage them to drink as much fluid as they can, and we often will snuggle on the sofa or pile into our bed, to watch a DVD or read stories. I pull out coloring books, and crafts we can do easily, that keep them busy and their minds off the snot and coughs they are dealing with.

Sometimes it can be a hard and a little frustrating to keep little ones happy when they aren’t feeling well with a cold, so you need to think out of the box. Keeping them entertained with a few magic tricks to raise a smile could help… I am no magician, but even I can do these, and laughter is definitely good when you aren’t feeling your normal self.

Snotty colds and coughs aren’t fun, sadly we can’t avoid our little ones catching them, but it is possible to survive them, and help them and you (because I always get my kids colds, they are so kind that way with sharing!) survive…

What tricks and tips do you have to help get through coughs and colds with little ones?

Thank you to Vicks for sending us some goodies which we put to good uses during our more recent cold. This blog post is an entry to the #VicksTricks campaign.

Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged coughs and colds, Family health, Vicks Vapo Rub.


  1. HI, I have a couple of questions
    1) Why do you recommend cool mist vaporizer. I always thought warm mist is more beneficial in cold?
    2) There have been some news that Vicks is harmful for children. I am in 2 minds about using it because it seems to help my kids.

    • Steam when you use fresh boiling water or from a very hot tap, helps with congestion, cool mist in a vaporiser is less likely to breed and spread bacteria. I hadn’t heard the news about Vicks. I know you shouldn’t use mentholated products on babies and infants because it can irritate their lungs and some people don’t like that Vicks is petroleum based.

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