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Mothers reveal hacks to get rid of childhood ailments

A new Mumsnet book reveals its users best hacks fro getting rid of common childhood ailments 

As if navigating the parenting jungle weren’t hard enough, an invasion of nits or the appearance of a nasty verruca just makes the job all the more tricky by forcing you to spend hours delousing, combing and applying treatments.

In fact, according to a new book from Mumsnet released this week, bringing up children is often ‘a dogged slog through one horror after another from fungus to phobia, parasite to plague, excrement to emesis’.

How To Blitz Nits (and Other Nasties) reveals how ‘your child’s body can feel like a battleground of nasty little pests, particularly during the nursery and school years.’

To get you through this horror, Mumsnet has collected its users’ best hacks for getting rid of 10 of the most common childhood nasties, after scouring its message boards for the ‘simplest, most ingenious and amusing cures’.

Whether you’re grappling with ringworm or besieged by warts, the book details the NHS approved cures plus the homespun hacks that have worked for other mothers.

Combing through your child's hair with vodka is an unorthodox way to blast nits

A paste of salt and vinegar can help to treat ringworm

Combing through your child’s hair with vodka is an unorthodox way to blast nits, while a paste of salt and vinegar can help to treat ringworm 

NITS

The official cure: Over the counter treatment, followed by lots and lots of combing.

Mumsnet users’ hacks

Hair straighteners: After treatment and combing and once hair is dry, use a hair straightener to completely cook them.

Neem oil: It’s foul smelling and nits HATE it. I can guarantee it will work.

DIY aromatherapy: I make my own mix; base oil with drops of tea tree, eucalyptus and geranium. No nit has been known to survive.

Vinegar rinse: Wine or cider vinegar as a final rinse, left on the hair and then blow-dried. Do it on a Friday though, as your child will smell like a chip shop.

Vodka: Apparently a comb through with strong alcohol works too.

HOME REMEDIES FOR GETTING RID OF THREADWORM 

  • They allegedly hate raw carrot so try grating some up and giving it to your child first thing each morning. 
  • Garlic works too, so grate it into oil and drizzle it on to salad and pasta or mix with with natural yogurt and grated cucumber. 
  • Give them carrot sticks to dip and you’ll have a double anti-worm meal.
  • Coconut and pineapple are anathema too.
  • Some parents eliminate sugar on the basis worms need to absorb it to survive. 
  • Herbal remedies such as grapeseed oil are popular too.  

RINGWORM

The official cure: Your GP may prescribe a topical cream such as Clomitrazole or steroid cream.

Mumsnet users’ hacks

Tea tree oil: Try a couple of drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil, dabbed on with a cotton bud three times a day.

Apple cider vinegar: As a mild disinfectant this is a good solution if you have a baby with ringworm and want to try a more gentle approach. Soak a piece of folded kitchen towel in it and hold to the affected area for 15 minutes twice a day, or as often as you can.

Garlic: Crush and mix with a little olive oil, apply to the skin, put a plaster over the top and leave it for an hour or so.

Salt and vinegar: Mix one part salt to two parts apple cider vinegar and stir until it forms a paste. Apply to the skin, covering the ringworm patch, leave for five minutes, then wash off. Repeat every day for a week.

WARTS AND VERRUCAS

The official cure: Leave them be to disappear of their own accord or try an over-the-counter treatment such as Bazuka or Wartner.

Taping banana peel to warts and verrucas will apparently blitz them in no time 

Taping banana peel to warts and verrucas will apparently blitz them in no time 

Mumsnet users’ hacks

Banana peel: A piece of peek taped to the offending growth has a good record of success. If keeping the peel stuck in the right place proves tricky you can scraped a bit away from the inside of the skin and use it as a poultice on a plaster.

Dandelions: A friend told us to split the stalk of a dandelion and rub the juice all over the warts before bed and leave it to soak in. No word of a lie, within a week or so they were all gone.

Nail polish: I painted my daughters with black nail varnish to obscure the light. Gone after about ten days but needed topping up baths while still there.

MOLLUSCUM

The official cure: The NHS recommendation is to leave the raised spots with a characteristic dimple in the middle, caused by viral infection, to disappear of their own accord.

Painting molluscum with black nail varnish blocks out the light they need to survive 

Painting molluscum with black nail varnish blocks out the light they need to survive 

Mumsnet users’ hacks

Nail polish: I painted my daughters with black nail varnish to obscure the light. Gone after about ten days but needed topping up baths while still there.

Manuka honey: My two-year-old had spots for four months and they were spreading. We applied it twice a day and within three weeks they were gone.

Essential oils: I’ve recently started adding grapefruit seed extract and tea tree oil to my daughter’s bath and putting the same diluted olive oil directly onto the spots. They’re now considerably smaller. The difference was noticeable within 48 hours.

Tweezers: My son had one big angry one on his chest. The core was protruding so we gave him a hot bath, sterilised some tweezers and plucked. Gave it a gentle squeeze and the inside came easily.

Toothpicks: Pierce a couple of the larget spots with a toothpick dipped in iodine. This sets up a reaction and all the spots go red, then they all go. It’s the trauma to the skin. The body recognises and then fights them. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned from Mumsnet.

CONJUNCTIVITIS

Cold tea is a tried and trusted remedy for conjunctivitis 

Cold tea is a tried and trusted remedy for conjunctivitis 

The official cure: Your GP can prescribe antibiotic eye drops for bacterial versions, drops that reduce soreness for viral types and antihistamines for allergic reactions.

Mumsnet users’ hacks

Cold tea: It’s even better than salt water, as the tannins act as anti-inflammatories.

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo: A weak solution is widely recommended for the symptoms of blepharitis and some GPs recommed it for a mild case of viral conjunctivitis.

Breast milk: In terms of practicalities, you’re unlikely to make a direct hit straight from the nipple so you’d be well advised to express first and use cotton wool or a syringe to administer it.

SWALLOWING FOREIGN OBJECTS

The official cure: If you think the object may be dangerous, your child is very young or is having trouble breathing you must take them to A&E. But if the item is small, relatively smooth and non toxic, you’ll be told to wait it out until it re-emerges.

Mumsnet users’ hacks

Oats: When my sister swallowed a tiny key, the doctor told my mum to feed her porridge to coat any sharp edges and it passed through without a problem.

Nose blowing: My son did this with an inch-long piece of cooked macaroni. He snorted it out by holding one nostril shut and blowing through the other. It was like that magician trick where they pull a string of flags from their hand.

POO EXPLOSIONS AND VOMITING

Duct tape on nappies when a poo explosion threatens will stop child pulling at the tabs 

Duct tape on nappies when a poo explosion threatens will stop child pulling at the tabs 

The official cure: There’s probably not a lot you can do here other than expect the unexpected and stock up on wine.

Puppy pads: Very cheap from pound shops. Put on the floor below bed or sofa in case of over-edge spewing.

Double up the bedding: Make the bed with two sweets and two waterproof mattress protectors so that after a puke you can simply whip off the top layers and change the duvet cover.

Collect ice cream tubs: Once you get a decent stash they can be binned after a couple of vomits.

Shaving cream: It’s great for getting rid of the smell of sick from upholstery.

Gaffer tape: In the event of poo explosions wrap it around the top of the nappy so they can’t undo the tabs.

Soda crystals: In the event of poo stains, make a solution, scrub it in, then use a steam cleaner on it.

How to Blitz Nits (and other Nasties), £8.99, published by Bloomsbury is available to buy from Amazon 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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