If you go to Google (I did the Bing Challenge, and Google won for me.. suck it Bing!) and search about how safe Vicks Vapor Rub is, you'll get different answers. Some say that it's fine, my pediatrician says it's fine, but other sites say there's an ingredient in it that can cause lung issues down the road. I've also been told by friends that their pediatricians have said the lung thing is true, too. All I can say, is you need to research, and make your own informed decision. My decision? To try as natural as I can, and turn to Vicks as a last resort (also, the plugsin dont have the "possibly harmful" ingredient). I've found a couple different recipes on Pinterest for a DIY chest rub similar to Vicks and concocted my own. This is what I did...
I warmed 1/2 cup of coconut oil in a hot water bath until it was liquified. Then I added 30 drops of eucalyptus oil, 10 drops of peppermint oil, and 5 drops of lavender oil. Mix it all together, poured it in a small mason jar, and let it cool.
It's on the mild side, but does seem to help. I also appreciate that it's mild since we bed share for the last half of the night, so the scent doesn't keep me awake/give me a headache. I apply it to the soles of her feet and put on socks, and on bad nights I will rub it on her chest too. Unfortunately, or adorably, it tickles Bean when I apply it so the whole procedure turns into a big giggle fest between the both of us. Ahh, sweet sweet sick memories that I will cherish.
I've also been adding a few drops of the peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus oils to Bean's bath every night. To help ease her congestion even more, I shut the bathroom door and let the tub fill up with hot water from the shower head. It gets the bathroom nice and steamy, think a warm humidifier, and mix that steam with the oils it's a nose congestion clearing haven! Although the humidity makes both of our hair curl like nobody's business.
And last but not least, I have been orally giving her things to help ease the symptoms of the cold. Honey, is an awesome creation! You go Bees!! It helps calm coughing, and sore throats, so she gets a spoonfull of that when her coughing starts up (Note: do not give honey to children under 12 years of age). I also found this awesome decaf, all natural, herbal tea for kids with colds at my local "hippie store". It's called Just for Kids Organic Cold Care Herbal Tea, I let it steep for 5 minutes, mix in a little honey (for her throat and for sweetness), and give Bean half a cup of the warm tea. This stuff is great! It soothes her coughing better than just honey alone, and it definitely helps relax her before bed time too.
Nothing is worse than seeing your little one sick. I hate the thought of pumping them full of medicines when there are all natural alternatives that can work just as well, and some times even better! *sigh* I guess I really have become a hippie. Sorry Mom ;) I hope some of these ideas work for you and your child to get some relief, whenever you may need it.