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Sorting the snot!
Karvol Family Decongestant Drops
Member Name: chrisandmark
Karvol Family Decongestant Drops
Date: 06/05/13, updated on 06/05/13 (81 review reads)
Advantages: Smell gorgeous, will work to unblock a small nose pretty well, the bottle design is great
Disadvantages: They don't work amazingly quickly, and sometimes don't work at all
As some of you know, David has been a pretty poorly boy for the past month - he started off with a sudden, and very smelly, burst of gastroenteritis which lasted for three weeks and just as he was recovering from that was hit with the double whammy of a throat infection AND an incompetent doctor who failed to diagnose and treat it. He wasn't a happy bunny at all, he's probably slept more in the past four weeks than he has in his whole life - his sleep only being broken by snores of the level which would make an old man proud, and the kind of blocked up nose which can only lead to strings of green snot the following morning. Revolting obviously, but also rather irritating for my little man who needed to sleep to rid himself of these nasty bugs which had invaded his system.
I purchased these Karvol Drops to see if they'd provide him with any relief; Vicks is a no-no in this house thanks to a couple of us with allergies and the Karvol capsules were proving to be as useful as a chocolate teapot, I thought the drops would be a better idea as I could apply a more concentrated dose when he needed it.
To use the drops you simply apply six drops to a clean handkerchief and put it somewhere close to your child's face, but out of reach so a little one can't grab hold of it in the night and start sucking it. It can be used for babies from three months of age - personally I wouldn't fancy using anything with such a (relatively) strong smell for very young babies, but it's safe to do so and I suppose if any of my kids had been struck down with such a horrendously blocked up nose as David has had then I'd have tried anything to make them better. Older children can have the drops on their actual bedding or pyjama top, or alternatively you can make up a solution of Karvol and hot water for them to inhale for faster-acting relief. I used the handkerchief method, and also applied a couple of extra drops to the waist of David's nappy (he was naked other than the nappy thanks to a raging temperature) in the hope that the vapours would wend their way up towards his poorly nose.
The active ingredients in Karvol Decongestant Drops are pine, cinnamon and menthol - these are used in a far lower concentration than you'd find in products intended for adults so the smell of the drops isn't harsh at all, in fact I think it smells absolutely gorgeous and if they could blend this into a perfume I'd definitely buy it! Obviously if your little one has any intolerance to any of these ingredients then you should seek advice before using the drops, although in all honestly I can't imagine there are many kiddies who can't safely use this product as it's so gentle in both aroma and the slightly oily consistency of the drops themselves.
The bottle is a good design, very similar to that of Olbas Oil but with a smaller hole for dispensing the drops. To use it you hold the bottle vertically and give it a small shake, the drops will come out slowly if you use this method so you can count how many you've dispensed, six seems to be adequate and they release the vapours over time so don't be tempted to saturate your baby/toddler with Karvol as the only extra effect will be that you'll make them cough - stick to the recommended dose for gentle relief, maybe doing as I did and chucking a few extra drops around the room as a kind of medicinal air freshener.
The effects aren't immediate, or even very fast truth be told, but they work a treat after a little time has elapsed. I can only speak for David (and to a lesser extent, five year old Hollie) but I found applying the drops half an hour or so before bedtime was best, this gave him time to begin inhaling the vapours which cleared his nose enough for me to successfully feed him his nighttime bottle of milk without him spitting the teat out as he choked for air. I'd guesstimate that using Karvol drops helped David catch an extra forty minutes or so sleep with each cycle, and when he awoke it wasn't always the fact that he couldn't breathe as sometimes it was the symptoms of his various illnesses that caused his restlessness. I could tell from the sound of his breathing that the drops were working as it was far less rattly in his nose, we were at the point where I was picturing myself using a needle-less syringe up his nostrils in an attempt to draw out this horrible mucus-snot - obviously I wouldn't have done this, but it really did make me feel like it as my poor little boy was suffering terribly.
One thing worth mentioning is the fact that David was also suffering from sticky eyes at this time, and while the Karvol didn't actually irritate them I found his eyes looked redder and even stickier on the mornings after I'd used the drops. This could be the natural progression of this particular symptom of course, but I've a funny feeling the vapours from the drops didn't really help matters.
I'd recommend Karvol Decongestant Drops to anyone with a babe who is suffering from a blocked up nose. David's was pretty severe, but when Hollie started complaining of the same issue I used them on her bedding and the effects were much quicker and much more impressive - turning a snot-nosed little girl into one who could breathe again without sounding like a car racing through the Mersey Tunnel. One thing I noticed when using them for Hollie was the fact that they can leave an oily stain on some fabrics, so that's something to watch out for - it doesn't matter if you get a stain on a handkerchief obviously, but I spilled a couple of drops on one of her beloved Princess dresses and now I can't get the mark out. Uber annoying.
You'll pay around £3 for these drops and it really is money well spent, not least with hayfever season around the corner and more and more children suffering the effects of this horrible time of year. They won't work for all blocked noses and certainly aren't a miracle cure, but they do provide relief for the smallest members of the family - and that has got to be a good thing.
Summary: A good addition to the medicine cabinet if you have children prone to coughs and colds
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