Parental Guidance: Beat winter colds with a marshmallow, and other hacks

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY
By Megan Colarossi

'Tis the season! People coughing, sniffling and sneezing all around you. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Getting sick is somewhat inevitable.

Luckily, as an adult with many sick days under my belt, I know exactly how to take care of my body when a nasty bug strikes. But when it comes to our children getting sick, it can be down right miserable, especially for teenagers who are off on their own in college without mom and dad to take care of them.

Willie and I have some helpful health hacks for common ailments that might help your loved one living in a dorm room all by his/her lonesome. From a scratchy sore throat (NOTE: Marshmallows…yum!) to a nagging nighttime cough (NOTE: Apply Vicks Vapor Rub to the soles of your feet), sometimes help can be lurking inside the fridge or kitchen cabinets.

Here are a few other good homemade remedies that Willie and I didn’t get to. However, with any health-related issue, your loved one should definitely see a doctor to make sure all is ok. Mom and dad would also love the medical peace of mind too!

1. Milk out a canker sore

Try dabbing some milk on your canker sore. It also doesn't hurt to add a little extra dairy to your diet, as it can help with ulcer-like issues.

2. Rub away a headache

Take a note from Eastern medicine to get rid of your headache. Simply massage the spot between her thumb and pointer finger until the pain disappears.

3. “Hot lemonade” for a sore throat or cold

Squeeze some lemon juice and a spoonful of honey in hot water. Stir and drink.

4. “Liquid” Jell-O makes a great cough suppressant and soothes sore throats.

Make Jell-O as directed but DO NOT refrigerate it. Drink the warm liquid to help soothe the cough and/or sore throat temporarily.

Do you have any great health hacks or stories that might help other parents who are sending their teen off to college? Do you have an idea for an upcoming Parental Guidance? Please tell us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ParentalGuidance: @megancolarossi, @williegeist, @today_parents. As we all know, being a parent is the toughest job in the world, but it’s totally worth the wild ride, especially when we get a little help from a friend!

This article was originally published Feb. 5, 2015 at 12:57 p.m.