Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dealing with Colds and Flu This Winter

When the winter rolls around, it is almost guaranteed that your family will fall victim to the array of nasty germs and bugs circulating. As soon as I see one of my children start to cough, I accept the inevitable and start preparing for a very sick household. Here are three ways you can get through the cold and flu season.

Get enough rest
It’s very easy to be skeptical when one of your children is claiming to be ill, conveniently on a Sunday night before school. However, allowing them to take time out to get some proper rest might be just what they need to get over this bug. If you force them into school, they might end up feeling worse and then have to take more time off as a result.

I usually end up playing house nurse by delivering copious amounts of soup and glasses of water to bed ridden family members. Winter is the perfect time to get some rest and work off any sleep debt you might have built up. The longer nights give extra opportunities to get the recommended six to nine hours sleep.

Keeping warm over winter is also a good way to prevent colds from developing – so be generous with that thermostat! Read this article by the NHS on why keeping your home warm over the winter is beneficial.

Have your medicine ready
Venturing out into a blizzard to buy painkillers is the last thing you want to when you’re ill. For that reason, I’d recommend you fill your medicine draw with as many painkillers, congestion tablets and cough syrups as you can.

The winter time is when my husband and I get back on the daily supplements train. These vitamin D supplements from Pharma Nord are a godsend when the sun abandons us. They support muscle functioning and promote a stronger immune system. Fish oil supplements are also a great addition to your winter diet. It’s nice to have different sources of nutrition instead of having to cook a varied meal every night.

When you’re giving medicine to your children, always check with your doctor that the treatment is suitable. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are both available in liquid form and can be taken by children from the age of three months. Again, it’s important that you check the directions of use before you do.

Stay hygienic
A hygienic household is a happy household. I try to pre-empt viruses and bacteria by insisting that the kids wash their hands regularly. It’s a difficult habit to develop at first, but it’s well worth the effort. We all wash our hands thoroughly before eating and every time we use the bathroom. The kids and I wash our hands at the same time; that way they don’t feel like their being nagged, and I can make sure they are washing away all those germs under their fingernails.

Once you've recovered from a cold, I’d recommend buying a new toothbrush to reduce the chances of reinfection. Whenever we are recovering from being ill, I will completely decontaminate the house by sanitizing all the surfaces, changing all the bedding and taking out all the bins.

Disclosure: Monetary compensation was received for this post, however, all opinions are my own.


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