Every year I have to mentally prepare myself for the absolute pain and exhaustion that is cold and flu season with kids.
It’s a long few months, filled with what feels like one runny nose after the other and a never-ending cough that goes from one kid to the next. In short, it’s not fun.
And while I love the idea of prevention (we wash our hands like crazy at our house in the winter!) sometimes the cold and flu just can’t be avoided. So, when the inevitable happens in your house, here are the things you’ll want to have in your arsenal.
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which might help ease your child’s congestion so they can breathe and sleep better at night. Plus, they’re great for soothing chapped lips and dry skin. Once the dry air starts, you’ll want a humidifier in your home. Just be sure to follow the care instructions to keep it clean.
Lots and lots of water (In a fun cup, perhaps?)
Drinking lots of water helps to loosen snot and move that nasty phlegm around so your child can breathe through their nose better. Water also keeps your wee ones hydrated, which can be really important if they’ve been sick and vomiting. Sometimes water is the last thing a kid feels like drinking when they’re not feeling so hot, so try to make it fun with a special cup or straw.
The right foods
If your kids have an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea, sticking with the BRAT diet is a good idea. This consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast until their tummies settle and recover. For sore throats, a frozen bar or popsicle made out of fruit juice or smoothies can soothe scratchiness.
Something that REALLY works for coughs
Listening to a child cough all night long is heartbreaking, not to mention exhausting for everyone. When you’ve tried water, humidifiers or adjusting your kid’s pillow and they’re still coughing, you can actually give them something, like Helixia Prospan*. Here’s the cool thing about it… it’s the #1 pharmacist recommended** naturally-sourced cough syrup (that even my picky 3-year old has no problem taking). I feel comfortable giving it to my little ones and they actually like the taste. Then we both end up getting a little much-needed sleep. Win-win!
*This product may not be suitable for everyone so always read and follow the label.
A pain reliever/something to reduce fever
Always follow the advice of your pediatrician, but whether they recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen, you’ll likely need something to bring down a high fever. It’s great to have this on hand when the flu season strikes.
Both a full and an empty tissue box
I love this hack that I heard from a mom friend. Keep the full tissue box right next to the empty one (or hold them together with rubber bands), so that once your kids use one, they can get rid of it right away into the empty box. Much better than finding them all over the house—and a great way to control the spread of germs.
Dedicated barf bucket
Once barf happens, you’ll want to keep it localized. Get a dedicated bucket that you’ll use for puke and puke only and keep your trash bins and other buckets and bowls germ free.
Coconut oil to soothe dry/chapped skin
Another great way to soothe dry skin and lips is with coconut oil. It can be pretty greasy, so I like to put it on my kids well before bedtime, but slathering up their cheeks and lips helps soothe the chapped skin over night.
If you’re at all concerned about your child and their condition, definitely speak to your doctor. But if you need a little mom-to-mom advice, these are some of the things we stock up on to survive the long winter!
We partnered up with Helixia on this post, but the opinions are our own. Grab a coupon for $3 off any Helixia product here!
**Source: Pharmacy Practice+ and Profession Sante 2017 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations