While I'm always glad when allergy season ends, it means that winter cold and flu season is beginning. With a kid in elementary school for the first time, I am anticipating dealing with lots of viruses this season. He already had a bug that knocked him out for a day recently, but thankfully he recovered quickly. I received a new Braun Forehead Thermometer and a Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier to try out this cold season to see if they could help my family deal with the inevitable colds (and hopefully not the flu!)
Here are some of my tips for being prepared for the up coming cold and flu season:
- Stock up in facial tissue now, include a few boxes of tissues with lotion for sore noses, a favorite with my son. Considering how many tissues we go through during allergy season, I try to stay stocked up on this year round!
- Chicken soup really isn't a myth, it does help you feel better when you are sick. I prefer homemade and try to keep a cup or two frozen from when I make soup. I also keep a can or two on hand for emergencies when I don't have the energy to make a fresh pot of soup from scratch.
- Have a good thermometer available to use as needed. The pediatrician and her nurses always want to know my son's temperature if I call in the sick line for advice. While I tend to know if he feels warm and is acting lethargic, it's nice to have a number to tell them. I received the Braun Forehead Thermometer to test out and love it. Even my son isn't bothered by it they way he was with the old ear thermometer we were using. It works fast, is easy to read, and is seems to be more accurate than other thermometers I've had. Plus my son likes to use it to take the temperature of different body parts, just for kicks! (And that's how I know he is feeling better, when the sillies come out!) It takes the temperature of the temporal artery with just a slow swipe across the forehead. Fast and painless...and much better than waiting the three minutes with the glass thermometer we had growing up!
- It's true, drink plenty of fluids when sick. I keep a small supply of juice boxes on hand, since we aren't big juice drinkers, along with a couple of cans of ginger ale. Depending on your family, it might help to have some Pedialyte, Gatorade, and bottled water available. For sore throats and congestion I prefer a hot drink, like teas with honey, tisanes(herbal teas,) cider, or broth. For little kids, a warm cup of apple juice or decaf/herbal tea with honey can really help. My son has his own little mug, a demitasse cup from Ikea, that we use for his hot drinks.
- Use a cool mist humidifier to help with colds and sinus issues. Adding moisture to the air can ease coughs and soothe dry nasal passages. A cool mist humidifier is safer around children than a warm mist one and does an equally good at adding moisture to the air. Be sure to clean out humidifier often, as dirty humidifiers can breed bacteria and mold. I love this new Vicks Filter Free model that I was sent to try out. It's easy to clean and does not require a replaceable filter like the older humidifier I had. It's the perfect size for our house too. Using a humidifier has been very helpful for me with my sinus problems in the winter and it seems to help with my dry skin too, another problem I tend to have in the cold months.
- I use honey for coughs...instead of cough medicine. Since cold medicine isn't recommended for young kids, I have found a spoonful of honey helps with his cough and is soothing to a sore throat. Just be sure to not give honey to a child under the age of one.
What are your tips for surviving a cold or the flu?
Disclosure: The above review is based upon my honest opinion, not medical research. I received the two products for purpose of review and the infographic to share. No monetary compensation was recieved.