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Okay, I can't help it. I've been thinking about natural remedies and helpful tips again. I know, you are probably thinking that the blog I wrote last spring about various (and maybe crazed) home remedies for ear aches and what not was more than enough. But, I'm just not that kind of girl--enough is never enough!

Here's my official disclaimer: Anything I am about to write is not intended to be medical advice; it is simply me sharing interesting things.

The idea for a part two started when my dog was sick, and I had to get her to take multiple pills a day. She has a strong jaw making it very difficult to pry open her mouth to stick in a pill and an uncanny ability to sniff out any kind of medicine that is buried in a piece of ham, peanut butter or tuna fish. It was crazy, frustrating, and brought me back to the days years ago when I had to somehow get my kids to take whatever medicine (and all of it) that had been prescribed.

Taking Medicine

A quick search on the Web for administering medication to dogs did not turn up nearly as much information as getting your kids to take medicine. I greedily read about 20 pages of ideas on getting kids to take medicine and found a few I wish I knew back in the day, a few that actually helped with the dog, and a few that made me laugh at myself for trying the same things.

Here are my top five:

1. Something Sweet. 

Give them something sweet and thick like chocolate syrup or honey (honey is not recommended for kids under the age of one) and then having them swallow the medicine. The thick sweetness coats the tongue making the medicine not as "icky."

2. Use a syringe.

You can usually get one of these from the pharmacist and dosing is pretty accurate after a few tries. Stick the syringe in the cheek toward the back of the mouth and squirt. If the dose is relatively large, you may have to do a couple of squirts. For older kids, some moms recommended letting them squirt the medicine in their own mouths (lets them feel like a big kid--I guess!)

3. Bribery.

It goes like this, "Junior, if you take your medicine you can have some of these M & M’s."

4. Threats.

This one goes like this (of course your kid needs to be old enough to understand the enormity of what you are about to threaten), "If you don't take this medicine you are never going to get better and you will probably have to spend a lot of time in the doctor's office where he will have to give you shots."

5. Mix it with something else.

(Before trying this, check with your pharmacist to make sure it’s okay.) Mix the medicine in with some milk, juice or a soft food like applesauce or yogurt. However, beware, they need to finish all of it to get the proper dosing. When my kids were on bottles, I did this quite a bit, but I’d only put a couple of ounces of milk in the bottle to make sure they finished it.

Stuffed-up Noses and Sinus Problems


At the first sign of one of my kids getting a cold, I always reach for the saline. I have them lay down, warn them it is going to taste nasty and then give a quick squirt or two in each nostril. They hate it. But, it clears out the nose. It's kind of like using a neti pot. I have to say that with my second son, I did this every time he got stuffy and in the first two years of his life, he only had one real full-blown snot-infested cold--maybe it was the cleansing of the nose and maybe it wasn't, but I'm sold on saline. If you do this with a baby, follow the saline with the bulb extractor.

Coconut Oil for, Well, About Anything

(Helps to treat rosacea, blemishes, sunburns, diaper rash and acts as a moisturizer, hair conditioner, etc...)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, coconut oil seems to be the miracle cure du jour. And, yes, I've been known to try out some pretty crazy fads. But coconut oil has become a way of life for me.

I first stumbled onto it last spring when I visited my dermatologist for my red cheeks and nose. Yep, I had rosacea. Not a huge surprise given my Nordic/Irish heritage, and the fact that both my parents have it. It's not a bad case, just annoying. We discussed oral prescriptions, but I didn't want to risk the side effects for something that may or may not work, so we settled on a topical treatment. I got samples and used them for about a month, noticing a little change, but not much. I figured I'd give it a better shot and filled the prescription. When I went to pick up the gel, I was shocked to find it was going to cost over $100 per tube. Sorry, but that does not fit into my budget--especially for something that I was not sold on being a cure.

I came home and did a search for natural treatments for rosacea, and I found coconut oil. Yes, it seemed like a crazy solution, but for about $7 for a jar of organic cold pressed coconut oil, I was willing to give it a try. I washed my face that night and applied a thin layer of oil. It seemed very greasy at first and then it sunk into my skin. My skin felt incredibly soft. After about a week, I noticed my blemishes were practically non-existent, my skin looked and felt terrific, and my rosacea was not as noticeable. I was hooked. I now use it to not only moisturize my face and body but also wash my face and use it as a deep conditioning treatment on my hair. It is truly amazing (for me.)

Coconut oil is said to help sunburns (yes, treated a few of these this summer with success); ease the discomfort of eczema; help clear up acne; make a great toothpaste when mixed with baking soda; help diaper rash; make shaving cream; help heal scratches; and more things than I could write. I don’t know if it is all true, but, I would say, search it out on the web, and if you are willing, give it a try. I’m glad I have.

I have pages and pages of notes on other natural solutions for everything from treating scratches and urinary tract infections to making your own toothpaste and easing the pain of sunburns. Of course, that also includes other remedies for coughs and colds as well as teething and diaper rash. Hmm, maybe I should consult with the powers that be and see if we could come up with a printable for our ParentSavvy readers. Stay tuned!

Mollie Protzman

Mollie Protzman


Mollie is an Omaha native and a mom of two boys ages 13 and 8. She's been married for 20 years and spent most of those first 10 years living in various cities around the country. Before kids, she was in marketing communications and public relations and then stayed home with her boys for 11 years while doing freelance writing on the side. The day after her youngest one went to kindergarten, she just about went berserk with the quiet in the house and nothing constructiv ...

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