Our granddaughter Leah had croup this week, and her mommy called to ask about the best home remedy to use.
I had to tell her I wasn't sure! Although both John and I are veterans of our kids' croup attacks, I read recently that some doctors no longer recommend steam as a home treatment.
We used to take the kids into the bathroom, turn on the shower to the hottest setting, and let steam fill up the room while we sat there holding our stuffy, coughing little one. Sometimes we'd rub their chest and nose with a thin film of Vicks VapoRub. They hated it, but it helped. Usually within a few minutes they were breathing easier and feeling better, ready to go back to sleep.
Now, evidently steam is out and cold air is in.
I'm not too sure about that, but it points up the importance of staying current with what's going on in the field of children's health and safety.
As a grandma, I'm not charged with the day-to-day care of my grandchildren. I'm not responsible for figuring out what to treat, how to treat, or when to treat those childhood illnesses.
I need to stay current, though, for at least two reasons: my own children call to see what I think or recommend, and if I happen to be caring for a child when she gets sick, I don't want to do something her doctor doesn't recommend or her parent approves.
So I read parenting magazines now and then, or check out parenting websites. I pay attention to new children's health recommendations reported in the news. I ask my own children what their doctors are recommending, and I try to stay current with each grandchild's health situation.
And I keep a jar of Vicks VapoRub on hand for emergencies.