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Understanding the Cold and Flu Season
It’s that time of year again. Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded cold & flu season! This period can be particularly tough for kids, especially those with pre-existing conditions like asthma. As a parent, it’s crucial to prepare for and know how to help your kids navigate this challenging season. Here are some essential tips for managing your kids’ cold and flu symptoms.
Medications to Have On Hand
When your child starts showing signs of a cold, it’s essential to have the right medications ready. For instance, I quickly reach for the Robitussin from the medicine cabinet. Here are some medicines I always keep on hand:
- Children’s Robitussin ® DM Day/Night Pack – This non-drowsy daytime formula helps break up chest congestion, while the nighttime formula relieves coughs and runny noses to help kids get the rest they need.
- Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough – Excellent for relieving common cold and cough symptoms.
- Children’s Advil® Suspension – Great for reducing fever and relieving minor aches and pains.
Comforting Your Child
Every child has a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. You could consider buying them a new one to lift their spirits or have one that appears only when they are sick. This “sick buddy” can help them feel better and provide them with comfort and companionship during this tough time.
The Importance of Rest and Fluids
Getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated are crucial when fighting off cold and flu viruses. Make sure your child is comfortable, whether on the couch or in bed, with plenty of fluids within arms reach. If they have a fever, try to keep them covered up. If that becomes a battle, warm clothes and socks are a good compromise.
Using a Humidifier and Essential Oils
A cool-mist humidifier can relieve dry, stuffed up nasal passages by adding moisture to a room. We have a cool R2-D2 one that my little guy loves. You might also consider using an oil diffuser with essential oils that help with various symptoms. Here are some of my go-to oils for colds:
- Tea Tree
These oils can work alongside your child’s medications to help them feel better faster. The added bonus is that everyone who can smell them will also benefit from their properties.
One lucky My Sparkling Life reader will win a $25 virtual Visa gift card and (1) Children’s Advil® Suspension (various flavors), (1) Children’s Robitussin ® DM Day/Night Pack, and (1) Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough. This giveaway is open to US residents who are 18+ until 11:59 PM EST December 4, 2017.
THE FINE PRINT: By entering this giveaway, you accept both my rules & disclosure. I will notify the winner via e-mail, and they will have 48 hours to reply before I redraw winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Each household is only eligible to win this prize once via blog reviews and giveaways. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. The winner is subject to eligibility verification. Many will enter, few will win! Please allow 8-12 weeks for delivery of prizes. My Sparkling Life is not responsible for any lost or misdirected packages. Prizing & samples provided & shipped by Pfizer. If a prize does not arrive (which rarely happens), please notify me.
| Cold & Flu Season Essential Items | Description |
| — | — |
|Children’s Robitussin ® DM Day/Night Pack|Non-drowsy daytime formula helps break up chest congestion, while the long-acting nighttime formula relieves coughs and runny noses|
|Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough|Relieves cold and cough symptoms in children|
|Children’s Advil® Suspension|Relieves fever and pain in children|
|Cool-mist humidifier|Relieves dry, stuffed up nasal passages by adding moisture to a room|
|Essential oils (Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Lavender, Peppermint)|Helps with various symptoms depending on what the child needs|
Recognizing the Symptoms of a Cold or Flu
Before you can effectively help your child navigate through the cold and flu season, it’s important to recognize the symptoms. Common cold symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, mild headache, and fatigue. On the other hand, flu symptoms are typically more severe and may include high fever, severe headache, muscle and body aches, cough, sore throat, and extreme fatigue. If your child has the flu, they may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Remember, if your child’s symptoms are severe or persistent, it’s important to seek medical attention.
Preventing the Spread of Germs
One of the best ways to prevent your child from catching a cold or the flu is by teaching them proper hygiene. This includes frequent hand washing, especially before meals and after using the restroom. Encourage them to avoid touching their face as much as possible, as this is a common way for germs to enter the body. Additionally, teaching your child to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze can help prevent the spread of germs to others.
Nutrition and Immune Support
Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial during cold and flu season. Foods rich in vitamins C and E, as well as zinc and probiotics, can help boost your child’s immune system. Consider incorporating fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into their meals. Additionally, supplements like elderberry syrup or vitamin C gummies can provide extra immune support. However, always consult with your child’s pediatrician before starting any new dietary supplements.
Keeping the Environment Clean
Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home can help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses. These surfaces include doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, and toys. Using disinfectant wipes or sprays can effectively kill germs. Also, remember to wash your child’s bedding and stuffed animals regularly, especially if they’ve been sick.
Importance of Vaccination
Getting a flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to prevent the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. It’s especially important for children with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes, as they are at higher risk for serious flu complications.
When to Seek Medical Attention
While most colds and flu can be managed at home, there are times when it’s necessary to seek medical attention. If your child has difficulty breathing, persistent high fever, severe or persistent vomiting, or shows signs of dehydration (such as not urinating for 8 hours, dry mouth, or crying without tears), they should be seen by a healthcare provider immediately.
Helping your child navigate through cold and flu season can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and resources, it can be manageable. Remember to encourage good hygiene, maintain a balanced diet, clean and disinfect your home regularly, and consult with a healthcare provider when necessary. With these tips, you can help your child stay healthy and comfortable during this tough season.
What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?
A cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. In general, the flu is worse than a common cold. Flu symptoms are more intense and may result in severe health problems such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.
Is it necessary to see a doctor when my child has a cold?
Most colds do not require a visit to the doctor and can be treated at home. However, if your child has a high fever, severe sore throat, ear pain, difficulty breathing, or symptoms that last more than a week, it’s best to seek medical attention.
Can the flu vaccine give my child the flu?
No, the flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. The vaccine is made with either inactivated (killed) viruses, or a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) to trigger an immune response.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of the affiliate links in this article?
The affiliate links in this article help fund the My Sparkling Life blog. When you make a purchase through these links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
2. Were you paid to promote these products?
While I received these products for free, I was not paid to promote them. I only recommend products I use personally and think will be beneficial for my readers.
3. How can I enter the giveaway?
The giveaway is open to US residents who are 18+ until 11:59 PM EST December 4, 2017. To enter, simply follow the instructions provided in the article.
4. When will the winner of the giveaway be notified?
The winner will be notified via email, and they will have 48 hours to reply before I redraw winners.
5. How long does it take to receive the prizes?
Please allow 8-12 weeks for delivery of prizes.
6. What should I do if my prize does not arrive?
If your prize does not arrive, please notify me. My Sparkling Life is not responsible for any lost or misdirected packages, but we will do our best to assist you.
7. Can I win the same prize on another blog?
If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Each household is only eligible to win this prize once via blog reviews and giveaways.
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