How to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season

Fall is here and so is cold and flu season.  Last fall and winter, we were hit hard. Our household had five cases of strep and we had both influenzas TWICE. Yes twice. It was miserable.  This year I am doing whatever I can to avoid the germs and sickness.  I am being as pro-active as possible and wanted to share with you some products I’m using and tips for preparing for cold and flu season.

Tips For Preparing

  1. Wash Hands Constantly. I tell my kids every single day to wash their hands at school before they eat. I send them to school with Clean Well Hand Sanitizer in their backpacks and lunchboxes.
  2. Wipe! Wipe! Wipe! Clean doorknobs, electronics, phones, remotes and light switches with anti-bacterial wipes a few times a week. I prefer Clean Well or Seventh Generation.
  3. Educate Yourself. Learn about the flu. Find out about the symptoms, how to be diagnosed and treated. Know the difference between the flu and cold.
  4. Stay Home if You Are Sick. For real, stay home. If you are sneezing, coughing and you have a fever, do not spread the illness. I am positive that my children got the flu so many times last year because kids were at school sick. Stop the outbreak and keep yourself and your children at home if you’re ill.
  5. Be Prepared. Stock up on preventative care products and items that you might need should someone get sick. There is nothing worse than having to run to the store in the middle of the night. Below are some examples of what I’m always armed with throughout cold and flu season.

Stock Up and Be Prepared for Cold & Flu SeasonPreparing for Cold and Flu Season

Immunity Essential Oil

It is uplifting with a subtle sweet scent. If you’re a Four Thieves Vinegar fan, you’ll love this blend of oils. Made with Clove Bud, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus and Rosemary oils. This scent diffuses all season long; it’s a favorite of ours.

Tea and Organic Local Honey

For sore throats, I always make the kiddos Chamomile Organic Tea and give them a teaspoon of organic local honey. It helps soothe and coat the throat naturally.  I choose dark honey, the darker the better. Honey has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why the minute someone says their throat hurts, we take some honey!

Chewable Vitamin C

A staple in my home during cold and flu season because it helps support the immune system.  My kids love these for their naturally sweetened orange flavor. One chewable tablet is 500 mg of vitamin C. Learn more about the health benefits of vitamin C from Now Foods.

Homemade Chicken Stock

My grandma always had a drink chicken stock when we were sick. It’s good for your health and the soul she would say. Which is why, I like to make some each fall and freeze it in small batches so I have some when I need it. Get my easy recipe for homemade chicken stock.

flu season preparation

Pressureze Nasal Mist

I use this daily to help keep my nasal passages clear and moist. When nasal passages are dry, they are easily irritated by dust and allergens.  If you have allergies, like I do, the nasal mist is great for soothing and cleaning your nasal passages.  I like how Pressureze Nasal Mist uses natural ingredients, other over the counter sprays actual irritate my sinus.

Peppermint Lip Balm

When it’s cold outside the chapped lips just happen. To prevent the cracking and peeling, I keep my lips moisturized all day long with certified organic lip balm. It is the bomb. My kids have them in their backpacks, school lockers and on their nightstand next to their beds.

A Humidifier

When the air gets cold and the heat is cranked up; the air immediately begins to dry out. This leads to dry skin, dry nasal passages and the dryer the air; the easier it is for airborne virus to spread. Read more about the study that was done on humidifiers helping to stop the spread of virus like the flu.  We run a humidifier throughout the fall and winter to help prevent dry skin, for a better night’s sleep and much better breathing conditions for the allergy and asthma sufferers in the house. Everyone feels better when we use a humidifier. Just be sure to clean your humidifier regularly and monitor the humidity level for safety.

Natural Borion Products

I know that I’ve stocked up on some cold and flu medicines that I’m comfortable giving my children with the hopes I won’t need to use anything this season but doubtful that will be the case. When the good people from Borion® sent me their homeopathic samples to add to my collection I was signing halleluiah! I’ve tried a few of their products in the past and have been pleased with the results and the ease in which my children take the small little pellets.

Like most homeopathic medicines I suggest checking with your doctor but the company claims that they are safe, with no side effects and that they’re relieve symptoms. For the cold and flu season Borion® sent me:

child-oscillo

Oscillococcinum® which is for those body aches, fear and chills that’s most commonly associated with the flu. The pellets dissolve quickly and the company claims they are save for children 2 years and older.

Coldcalm® for children 3 years and up to help with the runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. These come in the dissolving pellets which my children love to take because they seem magical when they dissolve.

Chestal® Honey to loosen chest congestion and relieve cough; ages 2 years and older recommended by the company. This is the one problem I always have in our home is finding a cough medicine that I’m comfortable with and the children don’t throw up or spit out. I haven’t tried this yet but my children love honey so I’m hopeful.

Getting The Flu Injection

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children six months of age and older should receive their flu vaccinations before November arrives. According to the CDC, around 59% of children received their vaccinations last year, with 76% of children under the age of two getting their shots. Teenagers had the lowest rates of vaccination at 49%. And immunization rates varied wildly from state to state: while 74.2% of children in Rhode Island received influenza vaccinations last year, only 43% did in Wyoming.

Recent studies found that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu-related deaths by 65% for healthy children and by 51% for children with chronic health conditions. In addition, research shows that approximately 80% of children who die from the flu were not vaccinated. Dr. Elissa Rubin of Healthy and Happy Pediatrics pointed out to a local CBS affiliate that it takes two weeks for the flu shot to actually protect against the virus. This is why it’s so important that children are vaccinated before flu season actually sets in; otherwise, they could still contract influenza after receiving the shot if the virus has already entered their system. In addition, the quadrivalent live attenuated flu vaccine (which comes in a nasal spray form known as FluMist) is not recommended for immunization in place of the shot.

But even for children who regularly put on a brave face, getting those annual shots can be tough. If you’re wondering how to best prepare your child for a shot and reassure them during the process, experts say that reminding your child to breathe can help. Have them picture blowing out birthday candles or have them blow bubbles in a drink you bring along. A study out of the University of Georgia found that children were less distressed during immunizations when they were able to watch cartoons during the appointment. Being careful not to over-assure is important too, as this can make children more stressed than necessary. Help them remember the pinch will last only a second and give them something fun to look forward to after it’s all over.

Whichever method or incentive you choose to use, just make sure to call your doctor’s office or go to your local urgent care center before October ends. That way, you’ll have more peace of mind and will be in a better position to protect the ones you love.

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