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4 Drug-Free Cold Cures

She's a coughing, sneezing, runny-nosed little mess. Without the option of picking up some medicine (children's cough and cold remedies are no longer recommended for kids under 4), it's easy to feel like you've got nothing to soothe your sweetie's misery. Fear not! There are plenty of remedies to try:

lube her nose: "Anything you can do to lubricate the nose will help relieve irritation and may stimulate nasal passages to open, making it easier for your child to breathe," says Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of Heading Home With Your Newborn. Try a cool-mist vaporizer or a saline nasal spray. It's fine to use a nasal aspirator to suck out the gunk in children who are too young to blow. But use restraint: Limit your aspirating to two or three times a day to avoid more irritation.

unwrap an ice pop (or two): They can cool a fiery sore throat and help your little one stay hydrated. Stock up on 100-percent fruit-juice pops (they're lower in sugar), says Dr. Shu.

sweeten her up: A little bit of honey can help calm a cough, suggests research from Pennsylvania State University in Hershey. (One big exception: Honey is not safe for children under 12 months old; they're vulnerable to botulism spores, which honey often contains.) Parents who gave their children half a teaspoon of buckwheat honey 30 minutes before bed noted a significant improvement in their kids' hacking.

crack open a can: Of chicken soup, that is. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe a scratchy throat and clear a stuffy nose. Grandma was clearly onto something!

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