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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

October 18, 2018
In case the kids bring a cold home...

How to Take Care of Kids with Colds

Recipe: Chicken Soup for Colds

Get hooked on fishing

Fun Events!
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  In case the kids bring a cold home...

(0 A October 2018) Cold.jpgIt's a seasonal given that the kids share colds with each other and bring them home. Today we're sharing a resource for treating colds.

Dr. Terry Graedon is a medical anthropologist.  What a fascinating occupation! She's one of the principals on the radio show, The People's Pharmacy, which airs Sundays at 6am on various NPR stations and is also available from itunes. Terry and Pharmacologist Joe Graedon explore everything from home remedies to the latest breakthroughs in medicine.

Their topics are fascinating: Kids with Colds, Belly fat, How Can You Avoid the Flu This Season? Can You Get Rid of Warts with Super Glue? Will Artificial Sweeteners Harm Your Microbiota? Why Cold Water Is Great First Aid for a Burn, Be Careful with Flea and Tick Medicines, How Much Exercise Do You Need to Boost Your Brain... How Can You Keep Plantar Warts from Recurring? etc.

(0 A October 2018) SCHighMarchingBand.jpg The 48th Annual Santa Cruz Band Review is this Saturday! Come on down to the Beach Boardwalk and cheer on your very own SCHS Cardinal Regiment! We'll see you there!

Have a great weekend with the family. Parmalee


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  How to Take Care of Kids with Colds

Parents should be wary of using OTC medicines to treat kids with colds. Some home remedies, such as honey for coughs, may be more helpful.

Terry Graedon October 11, 2018  extra vitamin D, kids with colds

Ask a pediatrician how to treat kids with colds, and you'll probably learn that there are few, if any, medicines that speed recovery or even ease symptoms. During cold season, parents often search for over-the-counter medicines that will help young children overcome nasal congestion. But that could be a mistake.

Don't Bother with Decongestants for Kids with Colds:

Clinicians writing in The BMJ reviewed clinical trials of common OTC products. They warn parents to avoid decongestants for youngsters 6 years old and younger (The BMJ, Oct. 10, 2018). There is no evidence they help stuffy noses and they carry potential side effects. If a child can't breathe through her nose, using a nasal suction bulb to remove sticky mucus might help. An Italian study using an automated suction device found that colds and lung infections lasted a shorter time in high-risk kids (Italian Journal of Pediatrics, June 14, 2018).

Cough Medicines Aren't Helpful for Kids with Colds:

Dextromethorphan (abbreviated DM) is the main ingredient in most OTC cough remedies. Despite brisk sales, there is no good evidence that these products are effective for youngsters (Lung, Feb. 2012). Although nasty reactions such as rapid heart rate or incoordination are not common, they do occasionally crop up (Clinical Toxicology, Jan. 2017).

Parents may be disappointed to hear this. When a child is coughing and can't sleep, there is an overwhelming urge to do something. Home remedies may not be well studied, but they do offer an alternative to OTC medicines that might cause side effects.

Alternative Approaches for Treating Kids with Colds:

How About Honey?

Grandmothers have used a teaspoon of honey for decades to ease a cough. Babies under a year should never be given honey, though, because of a risk of botulism. Older children may find it much more pleasant than the bitter taste of dextromethorphan. There is even research to suggest that buckwheat honey might be helpful (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Dec., 2007; Canadian Family Physician, April, 2011; Allergologia et Immunopathologia, Sep-Oct. 2015).

Vicks VapoRub for Cough:

Another old-fashioned remedy for children and adults has been around for at least a century. Vicks VapoRub was designed as a cough and cold salve and contains menthol and eucalyptol.

Many people are familiar with the pungent aroma of this ointment applied to the chest for a cough. But some families have been using Vicks on the soles of the feet.

One reader told us: "Just last week, my grandson was staying here and had developed a cough starting that morning. When it didn't go away, I searched my cabinet for cough medicine, but I was out. I remembered reading about putting Vicks on the soles of the feet and decided to test it out. It was unbelievable. He stopped coughing immediately and didn't cough again until later the next day. I was really impressed."

Another commented: "My grandma used Vicks on the bottom of the feet. I am 70, so you know how long ago that was. I swear by Vicks on the feet or the chest but not in the nose."

Indeed, Vicks should not be used in the nose. Inhaling the petroleum base could lead to lung problems (Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, July 8, 2017).

Will Probiotics Help?

Probiotics are usually recommended for gastrointestinal problems. They are supposed to restore a balance of beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract. But they may also be helpful against colds.

A recent study on probiotics found that college students recovered from colds more quickly and missed fewer days of class if they took a powdered probiotic containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB12 rather than a placebo powder (British Journal of Nutrition, online Oct. 1, 2012). Unfortunately, a study of infants in day care did not find that supplementation with the probiotics Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus reduced days missed due to illness (Pediatrics, Aug. 2017). A meta-analysis of several studies suggested that probiotic use may be beneficial against the common cold (Explore, Sep-Oct., 2015).

(0 A October 2018) chickensoupboy.jpgServe Up Some Chicken Soup:

Kids with colds may appreciate a steaming bowl of home-made chicken soup. This is a favorite cold remedy in many families, and there is even a small amount of research indicating that it can reduce inflammation and cold symptoms due to inflammation (Chest, Oct. 2000).

Learn More:

To learn more about cold remedies such as chicken soup (with a special recipe), elderberry, ginger, vitamins C and D and zinc, you may wish to consult our Guide to Colds, Coughs & the Flu. For information on children's health, we recommend checking out

Researchers are still a long way from finding a cure or even effective treatments for the common cold. In the meantime, though, traditional treatments have the stood the test of time for easing symptoms.

Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People's Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People's Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People's Pharmacy website. The goal of The People's Pharmacy is to provide people with the information they need to make wise decisions about taking care of their health.


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  Recipe: Chicken Soup for Colds

(0 A October 2018) ChickenLemonRiceSoup_hor.jpgI thought my chicken soup recipe was the best ever, but recently my friend Jennnifer served me a chicken soup that rivals my own!

She generously shared her recipe with us. I like spicy so I added some red pepper flakes at the end. I increased the quantity and froze the extra in serving size sealable bags.

You can also slip in your favorite greens or  veggies, chopped very fine!

Lemon, Rice, Chicken Soup


3 T olive oil ~ 3 large, peeled/diced carrots ~ 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
1 large, finely chopped onion ~ salt and pepper to taste
1 C rice ~ 12 C chicken bone broth & Better Than Bouillion to taste
1/2 C (or more!) fresh lemon juice
2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
4 T butter ~ 4 T flour
4 eggs


  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the carrots, celery and onion and cook until soft, about 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium high, then stir in the rice and cook for a minute or two, generously salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and carrots are cooked.
  • Stir in the chicken and remove from heat.
  • In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour, until smooth.
  • Gradually add about 4 cups of the broth mixture, and cook (stirring constantly) until slightly thickened, then remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy.
  • Slowly beat the lemon juice and the thickened broth into the soup, then very slowly add the egg mixture, vigorously stirring constantly so the eggs do not 'split'.
  • Heat the soup over medium heat until it thickens a bit, but do not return to a boil.

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  Get hooked on fishing

Get hooked on fishing at the 3nd Annual Dia de Pescar Fly Fishing Clinic. Bring the whole family and learn about fish and fishing in Santa Cruz County. Make fish prints too!

(0 A October 2018) FishPrints.jpgThis event is for all ages and all experience levels. Whether you are just beginning or are a seasoned veteran you can:

  • Learn fishing techniques from the pros.
  • Learn about the gear you need.
  • Play fishy games, compete in casting and win awesome gear prizes.
  • Learn about where to fish on the San Lorenzo River and Santa Cruz County.
  • Learn from local fish experts about the fish in our river and in the Monterey Bay.
  • Learn what you can do to protect fish.

Have you seen people fishing in the river and thought, how cool! Well, this is your chance to give it a try! No gear or prior experience necessary.

This event is organized by Santa Cruz Fly Fisherman Club, Steinbeck Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project and Patagonia.

October 20, 10am - 2pm, San Lorenzo Park, 137 Dakota Ave, Santa Cruz


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  Fun Events!
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Kirby Preparatory School 6-12, Open House for Prospective Parents 10/20


Mount Madonna School PreK-12, Open House 10/28

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Legos at Garfield Park
Rubber band cars, catapults, bridges and more!
Every Th (Oct 4-May 30)  3:30pm to 5:30pm

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  705 Woodrow Ave, Santa Cruz

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Reach Every Amazing Detail

Our Libraries free reading comprehension program for students grades 2-12

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Pathways Through Our Parks
click to view website
  Pathways Through Our Parks
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Date: Every day (Oct 5-Jan 6) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Meet the Artist: December 7th, 6-8pm. Free to the public.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party
click to view website
  Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party
Roaring Camp
Date: Every Su and Sa (Oct 13-Oct 28)
Details: Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas and Percy, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities
City: Felton view all details >>
Open Studios 2018
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  Open Studios 2018
Santa Cruz Art League
Date: Every Su and Sa (Oct 3-Oct 21) from 11:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Wonderful opportunity to see the amazing art of local artists and chat with them in their studios
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
Dia de Pescar: Fly Fishing Clinic along the San Lorenzo River
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  Dia de Pescar: Fly Fishing Clinic along the San Lorenzo River
Santa Cruz Fly Fisherman Club
Date: 10/20/2018 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Get hooked on fishing at the 3rd Annual Dia de Pescar Fly Fishing Clinic. Bring the whole family and learn about fish and fishin
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 464-9200 view all details >>
Defeat Colds!
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  Defeat Colds!
view all details >>
Water Harvest Festival
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  Water Harvest Festival
Soquel Creek Water District
Date: 10/20/2018 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: All Ages
Details: Free water education event in the park!
Special Instructions: (behind Soquel Post Office)
City: Soquel Phone: (831) 475-8500 view all details >>
Parent Conference and Resource Fair
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  Parent Conference and Resource Fair
Date: 10/20/2018
Details: Learn more about special education and resources to help your child.
City: Hollister Phone: 831.423-7713 view all details >>
Old-Time Family Barn Dance
click to view website
  Old-Time Family Barn Dance
Live Oak Grange
Date: The 3rd Fri of every month at 6:30pm
Details: Fun dances accessible to all comers. Live acoustic string music. All dances taught and prompted.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Youth Employment Workshops
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  Youth Employment Workshops
Library Central
Date: The 4th Tues of every month (Oct 23-Mar 26) from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Ages: Youth Ages 14 to 25
Details: A free monthly series for youth (ages 14-25) focusing on employment strategies
City: Felton view all details >>
Defeat Colds!
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  Defeat Colds!
view all details >>
click to view website
Date: 10/20/2018 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Details: GLOW is a festival featuring the very best fire and digital artists in Santa Cruz County. It's like a little bit of Burning Man
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
The Missing Arm
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  The Missing Arm
State Park Big Basin
Date: 10/20/2018 at 6:30pm
Details: Experience the haunted tale of Big Basin's last lumber mill owner and his fateful encounter with a grizzly bear!
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8883 view all details >>
Heritage Harvest Festival &  Rare Apple Tasting
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  Heritage Harvest Festival & Rare Apple Tasting
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: 10/20/2018 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Celebrate! The harvest is in. See tractor, draft horse and living history demonstrations, listen to music, make crafts, and ...R
Special Instructions: $10 parking
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.426-0505 view all details >>
7th Annual Day of the Dead Watsonville Library
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  7th Annual Day of the Dead Watsonville Library
Library Watsonville
Date: 10/25/2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Ages: all ages
Details: Come together to create art, follow traditions, or create new traditions.
City: Watsonville Phone: (831)768-3400 view all details >>
Big Love - Photo Exhibit
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  Big Love - Photo Exhibit
Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter
Date: Every day (Oct 1-Oct 31)
Details: Club offers opportunities for young animal lovers
Special Instructions: Starts up in October
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-454-7235 view all details >>
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