5 Tips Surviving Cold + Flu Season with Little Ones

surviving cold + flu season2

Isn’t this time of the year just the WORST for sickness? I feel like my older son is a walking petri dish and everyone I know has some kind of cough or crud. So, I’m sharing 5 tips for surviving cold + flu season with little ones. 

Teach proper hand-washing early

Surviving Cold and Flu Season

Prevention is the easiest way to keep your house from getting sick. Hand washing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia (fun facts courtesy of the CDC). Make sure all kids keep their hands clean, especially when coming home from school or daycare! Teaching young children (and husbands) the importance of hand-washing can reduce respiratory illnesses by about 20%. So, keep a stool in the bathroom for toddlers old enough to wash their hands on their own, and make sure to wash frequently throughout the day and always before eating. 

Stop sharing cups

Surviving Cold + Flu Season With Kids

We always have a gang of kids in my house, and when one wants a drink, they ALL want a drink. This leads to multiple sippy cups circulating my tiny house. Not only do they tend to waste what they’re drinking, they inevitably end up sharing their drinks. Because of this, it always seems like when one kid gets something, they ALL get it. 

To keep drink sharing to a minimum, try giving each kid a designated cup and keeping it on the kitchen counter instead of letting them carry it around. This also helps prevent the dreaded what’s-in-this-lost-cup-i-found-from-six-weeks-ago syndrome. 

Keep your medicine cabinet stocked

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Bulk up your medicine cabinet now so that when you need things, you don’t need to run out late-night. Here’s my 9 must-haves:

Surviving Cold + Flu Season with KidsI love my Kinsa thermometer. The probe is about $15 (sometimes runs cheaper), and connects to any smartphone. You download their free app and it’ll take record your child’s temperature. You can also track symptoms and it’ll keep a log for each member of your family. Instead of a big, bulky humidifier, I’ve opted for this portable one by Crane. I love that it’s compact and easy to store. Plus, it’s easy to completely clean (which helps reduce the chance of mold!). Finally, I know NoseFrida is all the rage… but I just can’t bring myself to use it. I stick to the good old hospital-grade suction bulb. They’re only $2 on amazon, which is cheap enough to replace frequently (so don’t let it get black mold inside!). 

Surviving Cold + Flu Season with KidsFor stuffy babies, Vicks BabyRub is perfect. I didn’t put it on my son’s chest until he was over 1 year old (because his skin is really sensitive). Instead, I usually slather it on the bottoms of baby feet post-bath and then cover with socks. This Johnson & Johnson’s soothing vapor bath has similar ingredients that help combat congestion as well.  I’ve also replaced using normal tissues or baby wipes for a runny nose with Boogie Wipes. Since they contain saline, they prevent little noses from getting dried out and cracked! I use them myself too!

Surviving Cold + Flu Season with Kids

As far as actual medicine is concerned, here’s what I’d never run out of. Zarbee’s all natural cough syrup (there’s a baby version without honey for those under a year old). Little Remedies Saline – great for all ages, since you can use it as drops (infants) or spray (toddlers). And of course, Tylenol, my first defense in controlling a fever. Secret Tip: Children’s and infant Tylenol is exactly the same dosage of acetaminophen (160mg per 5mL) – infant is just double the cost!

Boost your immunity

If vaccines aren’t your thing, feel free to skip (not looking to start any debates). Personally, I err on the side of caution and have chosen to get the flu shot every year since working in the health care industry. We’ve never had any adverse reactions to it, and I’ve also never gotten the flu, so I’m OK with committing to getting the shot every flu season. I also have an up-to-date Tdap (whooping cough) vaccine. With a little guy who’s just seven months old, I’m trying my best to keep these serious winter illnesses at bay. 

Disinfect those toys!

Surviving Cold + Flu Season with Kids

Finally, my last tip is to clean off your toys every once in awhile. I like to run any non-electronic plastics through the dishwasher on sani-rinse (this includes bath toys) just to keep the funk away. Lysol is a great helper – you can just spritz on toys if your kids are old enough that they aren’t really putting things in their mouths. Otherwise, Babyganics makes a great non-toxic toy cleaner spray that runs about $3 a bottle! 

Have a tip you’d love to share? Or a must-have for the medicine cabinet? Share your thoughts below!

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  • Reply Lauren January 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Ugh my kids are the worst at sharing cups! I need to be better at stopping them. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  • Reply Jesse Coulter January 10, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Great tips! I never disinfect my kids toys….definitely should start doing that. Yikes!

  • Reply Brittany January 10, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Good tips! I HATE flu season with a passion

  • Reply Jen Smith January 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

    We teach kids to cough into their elbow. These are great tips and really need to be followed, even when you’re tired! It makes all the difference.

  • Reply Savannah (@HowHesRaised) January 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Cleaning those toys and little hands truly is so so beneficial when trying to keep the germs away!! We’ve also found huge success in elderberry syrup, so it’s a must-have during the flu season! Thanks for sharing <3

  • Reply fivelittlebearsblog January 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    These are great tips. I have never seen the Kinsa thermometer, I’m going to have to get one of those for sure. My kids seem to just keep passing the crud back and forth. Come on summertime.

  • Reply Belle January 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    These are definitely great tips! But honestly, sometimes no matter how careful you are, if you are sending your kids to school/daycare, they still get it. 🙁

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

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