Sniffles & Coughs & Pukes, Oh My!

It’s that time of year again, the kids are passing around all kinds of yuck at school and bringing it home to your non-school kiddos.  Today I’d like to dig into the archives and share 7 Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids.

Tomorrow,  I’ll share some of our favorite natural remedies.  We haven’t been to the doctor since Paxton was a baby, and that was for his well baby check up.  When we get sick, I have an arsenal of natural favorites!

Healthy Habit #7:  Staying Hydrated!  Have Water out and available for your kids at all times.  We have each child’s glass of water on the table and within reach all day long.  We also allow them to have a water bottle in their rooms.  We do not offer juice except on special occasions, as it turns into sugar in the body.


Now, after school, they can have an Emergen-C if they choose.  It has 78 minerals, 24 vitamins and a TON of Vitamin C.  It tastes like juice and is fizzy at first.  They love it!  You can get this at Wal-Mart in the pharmacy section in a variety of flavors.

* A reader was kind enough to inform me that they DO have a childrens version of this with only 250 mg of Vitamin C. {the adult version has 1000 mg} Too much of  a good thing is still TOO MUCH, so do only 1/2 or 1/4 of a regular packet for your children in less water. Or, check for the children’s version!!!!!!  Thank you,  Katy! 🙂


#6 Humidifier: we have this going non stop.  Dry air makes for tickly throats and irritated nasal cavities.  It also can dehydrate little ones and make it hard to go to the bathroom.  This in itself can cause them to be more apt to get sick because they are not releasing toxins as they should by using the restroom.

I would highly recommend getting a nice humidifier with no filter.  No filter means no extra place for bacteria to grow, and no more cost to run it other than the water to fill it!


See that red pan on top of the fire-box? IMG_8486 It is filled with water and a few drops of essential oils.


These oils should kill bacteria in the air and help promote good health in our home. Even with the humidifier going in the living room, this pan of water gets filled every day because of how fast the water evaporates.

This should give you an idea of how dry your home is when the heater runs!!  Remember, a dehydrated body is more susceptible to illness.


Thieves and Thyme from Young Living.

Thyme Oil is a medicinal herb with anti fungal and anti bacterial properties.

Natural antibiotic
Thyme oil could work as an antibiotic. It could be used for treating infections of the respiratory tract, intestines and urinary tract.

Cures coughs and colds
Coughs and colds could be healed with thyme oil. This natural antibiotic could kill bacteria associated with infections of the respiratory tract. Moreover, thyme oil could be used as an expectorant.

More here.

Thieves Oil is a blend of five essential oils that are scientifically documented to be highly anti-infectious, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic. Thieves’ essential oil is a safe and natural way to care for your family’s health. With the concern over swine flu-H1N1 and other infectious disease, this potent oil blend is a powerful way to support your family’s health and wellness.  Research shows that Young Livings Thieves Oil effectively interrupts the life cycle of bacteria and also interferes with the ability of viruses to replicate. Studies also confirmed that most viruses and bacteria cannot live in the presence of many essential oils.

More info here.


#5 Bifidophilus and Probiotic: these pills are great for boosting the immune and helping fight infection by putting healthy bacteria back into the intestines.

  I was just reading in Parenting magazine, that recent studies suggest that taking a probiotic supplement can dramatically reduce the odds of kids getting a fever, cough or runny nose during cold and flu season. And if they DO get sick, kids taking the probiotics tend to get better two or three days faster!!!!

We keep these on hand and in the fridge at all times.  It’s great because you can open these capsules and put them directly in your child’s mouth, or we have put it on a spoonful of food before too. It tastes sweet and they don’t mind a bit!  We do a whole capsule for the big kids, half of a capsule for the little kids.  These can be used weekly like a multi-vitamin, or anytime they spike a fever or seem to be coming down with something, we start giving one of these for the next few days till it passes!

Antibiotics are being OVER-prescribed, and DO NOT work on viruses like colds and the flu bug.  Just keep your kids home and help their bodies fight the virus.   Antibiotics are for bacterial infections like strep and pneumonia.   If you end up having to do an antibiotic, due to another illness, here is what you do:

 Keep in mind, that Antibiotics kill both good AND bad in the body, which means your child’s immune is now down, making them susceptible to the next bug going around.    As soon as they are done with their antibiotic, get them on Probiotics for the next 3 weeks.  Take 1-3 capsules, depending on your child’s age, and divide them out during the day.  This will put healthy bacteria and antibodies back into the body to combat the antibiotic.

Healthy Habit #4: Getting plenty of Sleep!

Sleeping beauties

We tell our kiddos that your fighters fight hardest when you are asleep.  We want those fighters to beat up those bad germs, so its important to get plenty of sleep.  We work hard to stick with afternoon rest/nap time, as well as shooting for their 7:30 bedtime each evening.

#3 Silver Shield Spray: This stuff is AMAAAZING!  I first understood the benefits of this on our annual trip to Florida.  I heard Silver Shield from Nature Sunshine could be sprayed in the mouth, on hands and up the nose and it would help prevent bacteria and germs from entering the body for 4-5 hours.  Every time we flew on the airplane and breathed in that nasty recycled air, SOMEONE got sick.  Every single time.  It is no fun to have a sick kid on vacation.  So I tried it, spraying all of us: nose, mouth, hands every 4 hours and guess what? For the first time we got to Florida 100% healthy. Praise the Lord!

Silver needs to live in a dark, cool place.  It’d be best if I could’ve bought a dark glass spray bottle for it. (on the To Buy list)


Silver Aqua sol technology, the basis of Nature Sunshine’s NEW Silver Shield TM, kills bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens on contact! It usually takes 2-6 minutes for silver to destroy 99.9% of these pathogens. Tasteless, it is safe to take Nature’s Sunshine colloidal silver, Silver Shield TM, every day, either for prevention or to treat an infection of some sort.

  • Preventative dose drink 1 teaspoon per day and allow its broad spectrum activity to kill bacteria, viruses, and yeast in your body.
  • If you are getting sick or going to be exposed to illness, are traveling, or under stress take 1 teaspoon 2 times/day
  • For serious illness take 3-4 teaspoons daily
  • A first of daily defense, providing prevention before you need a cure!
  • Helps wounds heal in half the time, with half the scar, half the cost, and ten times the benefit!
  • Kills bacteria in the body but protects probiotics!
  • Kills candida without harming the good flora!
  • Changes the way we treat pneumonia, tuberculosis, staph and strep infections!
  • Completely non-toxic and safe at recommended levels!

1) Fine mist spray bottle: use for mouth, skin or most any other body surface. The silver is most effective when it is in direct contact with the pathogen for 2-6 minutes. Most adults have had success using the following amounts:

  • Mouth 4 pumps
  • Throat (for gargling) 6 pumps, or swish 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver in mouth for 2-6 minutes before swallowing
  • Voice Spray 1-4 pumps, 1-10 times per day
  • Skin as needed to moisten (for acne, ulcers, wounds, burns, etc.)
  • Replacement for antibacterial hand gel. Kills both bad and good bacteria. Spritz both hands and have protection for the next 4 hours.
  • Diaper Rash —improvement seen in 3 hours when the silver is sprayed directly on the rash.
  • Disinfect – spritz on door knobs, faucet handles, sink knobs, hotel rooms, airplane seats/trays, etc.
  • Purse Bottoms are the second most germ-laden location! Spritz and wipe off the bottom regularly.

Healthy Habit #2: Limiting sugar intake.  This means, NO CANDY! My kids rarely get dessert, and if they do it’s an inch by inch teeny-tiny square, but for sure not in the form of Candy if I have any say in it! 


Too Much Sugar

Every 7 Tablespoons of sugar consumed has the potential to knock your bodies germ killing capabilities by up to 40%!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sugar sweetened foods can knock the immune system down for hours.

That means after ingestion, the noticeable immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts to decrease the immunity function in as short as 30 minutes and its effects can last up to 5 hours.” Source.

So, every time our kids eat sugar within 30 minutes it knocks their immune for up to 5 hours????  Ummmmm, no thanks!!!!!!

And my #1 favorite Healthy Habit for Healthy Kids is……



  I am super OCD about Hand Washing, but I think it’s the number one tool in a Mommy Tool belt for prevention!  For adults too!!!!!

As SOON as we walk in the door from church, the grocery store, a friend’s house or even just playing outside…..we ALL stop in the laundry room, hang up our coats, then line up at the sink to wash.


The kiddos must use warm water and make lots of bubbles on their hands, and they MUST sing Happy Birthday TWICE while washing so they know how long to scrub.   I like to avoid Anti-bacterial Soap whenever possible.  You don’t want to strip the skin of some of its natural healthy bacteria, necessary to live!

  We are actually doing way more harm than good by coating our lives with antibacterial sprays, lotions, soaps and gels. In doing this so much, we are creating superbugs that will adapt and become immune to our products…which in turn could make us all very, very sick. Also, all these antibacterial products end up in septic tanks and sewage treatment plants, where they kill off the good microbes needed to digest our waste. We need germs in order to survive as a species! So next time you reach for the antibacterial stuff at the store, think twice – and realize that regular old soap cleans just as well without doing anything harmful to our germs or our environment.

More here.

Hope this helps! Come back tomorrow for some favorite natural remedies!



27 thoughts on “Sniffles & Coughs & Pukes, Oh My!

    • Hi Amy, Good question! I had heard the same thing, but this one is supposed to be very safe because of the way they have processed it.
      Here is what the Nature Sunshine Site says about it:
      Benefits:A colloidal silver product that supports the immune system.
      Uses fine particle-size colloids for maximum bioavailability.
      Is non-toxic; poses NO risk of heavy metal contamination.
      Provides 90 mcg silver per serving.
      How It Works: NSP Silver Shield is a safe and effective product. It is manufactured using a patented process with strict quality control to verify potency and purity. The result is fine, particle-sized colloids with 99% bioavailability.
      Ingredients:Silver (a specially processed colloidal silver).
      Recommended Use: Take 1 teaspoonful with a meal three times daily.

      This site is a good read too:
      Helps wounds heal in half the time, with half the scar, half the cost, and ten times the benefit!
      Kills bacteria in the body but protects probiotics!
      Kills candida without harming the good flora!
      Changes the way we treat pneumonia, tuberculosis, staph and strep infections!
      Completely non-toxic and safe at recommended levels!

      As with everything, you have to do what you feel is best for your child! 🙂 Thanks for the comment! Hugs, T

  1. Hey Tonya! I love this healthy habits. I wish the doctors would share this
    with their patients. I was wondering if you and your husband do these too or some different? If so could you share what you do for you to stay healthy from sickness.



  2. and yet you guys are sick A LOT. We eat candy, drink bottled water, don’t buy all that Natural BS and we are healthy healthy healthy…..

    • Wow. Its comments like this, that make me want to just quit blogging. Its just so MEAN to talk like this to people!
      So, first of all I don’t usually allow comments to go through if you aren’t brave enough to sign your name to them. The next time you have something to say, sign your name. Second, I never said “7 Healthy Habits to GUARANTEE Healthy Kids”, I simply was sharing what we like to use at our house. We are not sick “A LOT” but thank you so much for your concern for my family.
      Recycle those water bottles!

      • When people put their thoughts out there, they are asking for feedback, and the virtual world does not carry a burden of courtesy, politeness and tolerance. One should know better! Take it easy, Tonya!

      • I know I’m late to the party here, but just found your blog and saw the anon comment above. It looks to me like someone there doesn’t have four children and realize how well they share any germs that they DO pick up and how LONG it takes a bug to make its way around a family of 6. We’ve definitely BTDT! We use as many natural remedies/cleaners/etc. as we can, too, but no matter how diligent you are, kids are kids and they are still going to pick up germs eventually that they can’t fight off… and when you have four of them all living in the same house, and knowing the fact that they are generally contagious before you even know they are sick, it can seem like a never-ending ordeal when a bug slips in to your home. I’ve had the comments before, as well, that we seem to get sick “a lot”, and actually, we don’t… it just sometimes takes a month or so before all 6 of us catch and get over it. I didn’t see you claim anywhere here that your methods completely eradicate illness in your family, and you seem reasonable enough to know that’s simply not possible, but there’s NOTHING wrong with keeping your family as healthy as you can and giving them as many tools as possible to try to avoid getting sick. Please don’t quit blogging over one cowardly troll acting like a jerk! You’ve got too much useful stuff here for other parents to read and learn to shut it all down over someone acting like that. I’m really enjoying your blog… wish I’d found it sooner!

      • Thank you, Elizabeth! What a sweet, encouraging thing to say. I can tell you know this life well! 🙂 I am learning to use essential oils right now, and hope to by next flu and cold season, have a whole new posts of tips and tricks!!!! SO excited!
        For the first winter EVER, we were one and done with pukers. I guess because the oils can cross the cell barrier and attack the virus itself? It was WONDERFUL! And, only 3 of us got it this time instead of all 6. What a blessing.
        Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always adore hearing from people that have found us. Welcome to 4 little Fergusons, I hope you will pull up a chair and stay awhile! Hugs, T

    • HA!!!!! Tonya, don’t let this offend you. 1) They’re cowards for not putting their name so they’re most likely lying. 2) Healthy now but not for long. 3) I grew up on candy & pop and let me tell you. I was sick a lot. My poor mom! So I love these remedies & wrote them all down!!! Because of your blog, it has inspired my husband & I to have the ‘no pop, no juice’ either, only as a treat! 🙂 I love your blog. Keep it up!!!!!!

    • Kristina, a local guy makes them and sells them! It made me laugh when I read it, so I figured it’d be $8 well spent! 🙂
      Thank you! That laundry room makes me smile whenever I am in it because its just so rich and cheerful. That was a gift from my dad and his wife when they came to visit. It used to be baby blue kitty wallpaper that made me gag. LOL! Hugs, T

  3. Hey Tonya, great ideas! I want to warn you to be careful with the Emergen-C though. They make a pediatric version, available in strawberry flavor, with a dosage more suited to kids ages 12 and younger. It’s also not meant for everyday use, especially with kiddos. You want to avoid potential vitamin toxicity, which can happen easily with these supplement-type things! Also, I second your recommendation for not using antibacterial hand soap. I work in laboratory medicine, and you wouldn’t believe the number of hospital patients that test positive for MRSA (a superbug) when they are admitted to the hospital – that means they had it before they came! It’s ridiculous how prevalent it is, and it’s because of overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial EVERYTHING. Finally, kudos to you guys for promoting water as the primary beverage of choice and emphasizing low sugar diets – I won’t get on my soapbox about childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes and all of that, but I appreciate moms who have their heads screwed on straight in this area! 🙂

      • The kids version has 250 mg Vitamin C. A full adult packet has 1000 mg … so half of that is still twice the kids’ dosage. The other components are probably scaled back too (B vitamins, minerals, etc.). And it apparently comes in 4 flavors – I’ve only seen the strawberry one around here though, we must be missing out! haha Anytime there is a children’s version of a supplement (vitamins or anything else) or homeopathic remedy, it’s usually a good choice – less risk of overdose. Just want everyone’s kiddos to be safe! 🙂

  4. Question…(and I’m not trying to be disrespectful). You say your kids don’t get candy and eat very little desserts, yet you do post a lot of desserts on our blog….who eats the desserts you make?

    • Good question, Laurie! We try alll sorts of recipes, so I am always anxious to move out one so I can try the next one! Dale and I often enjoy a piece after the kids are in bed. Or, sometimes, I let them have a small piece after dinner for a treat. Most of the time, we plate them up and send them to school for Destinys teacher, Tylans 2 teachers and Avery’s 2 teachers. I also take food to my Grandma and mom. 🙂 It doesn’t take long before its gone so I can try the next new dessert recipe!

      • I wish I was your kids’ teacher!!! 🙂 That’s so nice of you to pass it along–my mom used to make a dessert every day but I can’t do that or I’ll just eat it all myself. NO willpower, I tell ya!
        Thanks for your response!

  5. Thank you for posting this! I am a mom with 4 kids. As much as I try to keep sweets limited, it is so difficult fighting the “norm” of society. I didn’t grow up eating very well. I’m extremely picky and unfortunately, my taste buds drift towards crap! My 12 year old is the same. I try and try to incorporate fruits and veggies into meals and the battle is almost too much most days. I have Celiac Disease, diagnosed a few years ago, so between this and my unhealthy eating habits, the toll taken on my body is extreme! I so desperately want to change things for my children, who are all at risk for developing this disease. Not having much time to read or the ability to focus much on it due to fatigue issues, reading your blog is helping me. I’m spending what time I can to gather info and will begin incorporating into my family’s lives this week. I’m SO tired of relying on doctors to treat us correctly. It’s time to take matters into our own hands! And I’d much rather rely on moms for info, since we’re on the front lines. Thanks for taking the time to put this information out there and for all the positive responses with additional help!

  6. Where do you buy your ear tablets from, or that website the only place you can get them? my daughter has an ear infection now I don’t want to have to wait for shipping.

    • Sometimes Walgreens has them or a natural grocery or herb store. We have one called Back to nature we shop at, not sure where you are from, but good luck! Place an order with 4 or 5 boxes so you can always be ready. While you are there, check out some of their other products like sniffles and sneezes or cough syrup! 🙂 I like swansons vitamins for online shopping.

  7. Pingback: Home Remedy: Sweet & Spicy Magic Syrup | 4 little Fergusons

  8. I SO appreciate what you took time to share here. This is so great and I wish I knew these things when my kids were growing up. Thanks so much…keep your chin up. When some people decide to ‘air their thoughts’, just remember…it says more about them than it does you. :-*

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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