Lifestyle

7 Ways to Stay Well This Cold & Flu Season

January 9, 2018

Thank you Know Your Dose for sponsoring this post!

Winter just started and Elle and Joel have been sick at least 2 times each and have passed it on to me, their dad and god sister. It’s never fun to have sick kids – or be sick yourself – but cold and flu season is among us and with two kids in school it’s inevitable.

Having sick kids is challenging for us moms. It’s both stressful and frustrating when your kids get sick! And please don’t let daddy get sick, that’s the worst of them all because now you lose your support system and the drama begins.

Did you know many multi-symptom cold and flu medicines contain a common drug ingredient called acetaminophen?

7 in 10 Americans use over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat cold and flu symptoms each year and I’m surely one of them. When your child is suffering with a cold or flu and you choose to treat their symptoms with an OTC, make sure you always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine

Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the U.S., found in more than 600 different over-the-counter and prescription medicines, including many cold and flu remedies. It’s safe and effective when used as directed, but there’s a limit to how much you can take in one day. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set a maximum daily dose of 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.

Taking more than directed can lead to liver damage, so if you or members of your family get sick this season, follow these four steps to make sure you’re using medicines with acetaminophen safely:

  • Always read and follow the label.
  • Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen.
  • Take only one medicine at a time that contains acetaminophen. Double check, don’t double up!
  • Ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist if you have

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PREVENT CATCHING A COLD

Wash Your Hands

The easiest way to prevent germs from spreading is to wash your hands often with an anti-bacterial soap. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common mistake people make is not washing their hands when dealing with sick children. Parents and caregivers should wash their hands after changing a diaper, cleaning a sick child’s toilet and helping a child blow his or her nose.

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

Avoid crowds, pens and pencils in public places, and shopping carts. I know this may sound extreme but carry your own disinfectant wipes in your purse to properly wipe things down. Oh and don’t touch your face – under any circumstances . Viruses enter the body thru mucous membranes, so keep your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes. A Berkeley study showed the typical hand to face connection is made an average of 16 times per hour (Nicas & Best, 2008)!

Humidify

Keeping the humidifier on a few hours during the day can help attain proper humidity levels in the house, which can reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air.When my little ones are coughing and congested at night I put the humidifier in their room. It quietly produces visible cool mist helping them breathe better and sleep comfortably through the night.

Boost Your Immune System

The old wives’ tale of getting your “beauty sleep” isn’t so far-fetched during cold and flu season. Marin Kokin, L.Ac., a California-licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and National Diplomate in acupuncture and Chinese herbology, says preparing for flu season can be done naturally. “Get plenty of sleep,” suggests Kokin. “Sleep recharges your body and will allow it to heal, especially when you are trying to avoid your son or daughter’s illness.” Adults need at least seven hours of sleep, whereas young children and teens need between nine and twelve hours per night.

Eat an Apple a Day

“Eat foods that will keep your system clear,” says Kokin. “Minimize your dairy and fruit juice intake, which can cause phlegm to thicken and thus [make it] harder to eliminate congestion.” You should also eat your veggies! “Dark green, red and yellow vegetables are jam-packed with antioxidants, plus vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene,” says Kokin. Chop up a bunch of vegetables and add them to a pot of chicken soup. Garlic, citrus fruits and foods with zinc, such as meat, chicken, peanuts and peanut butter, are also great immune boosters.

Live Love Laugh

Stay in a good mood and laugh often. Many believe that hobbies help reduce stress and thereby, helping one maintain health. It has been suggested that people with strong support systems, hobbies, and things to look forward to don’t get sick as often as those who are depressed and stay indoors.

Relax

Stress can compromise your immune system. If you find yourself in a stressful situation, breathing exercises and meditation can be helpful tools. If you have trouble with meditation, try a CD with guided meditations.

Follow these recommendations and you’re well on your way to staying healthy during this cold and flu season.

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29 Comments

  • Reply Melanie January 10, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I have washed my hands so many times this season. They are incredibly dry, but it is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. I want to use a humidifier, but I struggle with keeping the surrounding surfaces dry, even when keeping it on a towel.

  • Reply 1stopmom January 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I am sick right now. I am just starting to get over a cold. I am very big on hand washing and preventing germs. It gets kind of tough with my granddaughter though. She is only two.

  • Reply Censie January 10, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    That humidifier is a must for us too! We have two in our house and they seem to help. We also make sure we wash our hands A LOT! This time of the year is no fun when it comes to germs and feeling yucky.

  • Reply lisalisa January 11, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Great informative post!! I tell you this year the cold and flu season have been really bad and I’m doing all I can to make sure we stay healthy. I must wash my hands at least 10 times a day and I make the kids do the same. I also keep my humidifier going also, I hope and pray we don’t get it.

  • Reply nicole January 12, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Such a great resource on acetaminophen and dosage! I appreciate you sharing this!

  • Reply Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat. January 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I think I need to work on the relaxing part lol. I’m going to tell my husband that if I don’t get a massage it might make me sick 😂

  • Reply Kathleen January 12, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for sharing the dose graphics. I can’t quite figure how much to give. And for the tips, I gotta practice my girls in washing their hands more. I also have to turn on the humidifier a few hours a day versus just turning it on when they are already sick.

  • Reply Shann Eva January 12, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I absolutely hate cold and flu season. Thank you for all the great tips on prevention, and also on treatment. That dosing chart is so important.

  • Reply Sasha January 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Good information on dosage of acetaminophen for kids! We always keep some on hand as a fever reducer.

  • Reply Kimberley January 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    It has been a bad year for the flu. Where I live has been hit the hardest in Canada and 16 people have died!! Thank you for the information and tips.

  • Reply Azia Ellis-Singleton January 13, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Everyone at my day job is sick and I feel like I’m Bruce Lee fighting to keep them away from me and my body healthy. ALSO I love that Elle’s name is from yours, super precious!

  • Reply Heather January 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    These are great tips! I’ve been sick for almost 3 weeks now. Probiotics and vitamin C seem to help but when I forget to take them, I get sick.

  • Reply Roch January 14, 2018 at 1:12 am

    We recently bought a new air filter to clean the air and absorb microorganisms which pollute our room. Eating healthy food and keeping yourself hydrated are very important to boost the immune system.

  • Reply Kim January 14, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    It’s been a terrible year for all of us in the home. We had to get out the humidifier for my son and also take him the the doctor. My husband as well…we just can’t seem to kick it this year.

  • Reply Kimba Marie Angelina Wiggins January 14, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve had weight loss surgery so acetaminophen is what my surgeon suggested I take because ibuprofen is considered a huge no-no post-surgery. It’s been a bad year for us New Yorkers because everyone in my house has had the flu (me included). I kicked my stomach flu naturally but my landlord and her brother weren’t so lucky.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey January 14, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    These are some great tips I have to admit we have already had a nasty bug this year and I am hoping it is the last one we get.

  • Reply Pam January 14, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Acetaminophen is what we use for my granddaughter’s fevers when she has them. It is important to use it safely, so thank you for sharing this handy dosing chart.

  • Reply Shell January 15, 2018 at 12:38 am

    I really appreciate you sharing these tips and advice to stay healthy during this season. The dosing chart is so helpful.

  • Reply Stephanie January 15, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Knowing the tylenol dose is so important. It’s amazing how easy it is to overdose on it. We’ve had the flu going through our family and we’ve been doing so much of these things.

  • Reply love January 15, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Nice

  • Reply Diana January 15, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Good information on dosage of acetaminophen for kids! It is important to use it safely, so thank you for sharing this handy dosing chart.

  • Reply Peachy January 15, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    It’s my first time to read about acetaminophen and I’ll make sure to always read the label of medicines from now on

  • Reply Coralie January 15, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Knowing the right doses is important – I love all of these ways to stay well. This year has been especially bad.

  • Reply Lavanda January 16, 2018 at 4:36 am

    These are great tips and I use them all. I am huge fan hand washing and preventing germs.

  • Reply Stephanie Jeannot January 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

    The apple is great. I’ve heard bananas are as well. Yup! Washing your hands often is important. I humidified the other day and it was awesome.

  • Reply Echo January 16, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Thank you so much for this information! We try to avoid medications with the kids, whenever we can, so I really appreciate your natural alternatives!

  • Reply Tiffany January 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Great tips! I am always washing my hands and boosting my immune system.

  • Reply fashionmommy January 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    We’ve all had the dreaded lurgy in our house, but it is so true that little things can help to prevent it spreading.

  • Reply Cat Khanh January 17, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Thanks for sharing all this tips! I love the apple tips, and I thinks it might also works for other fruits too, like oranges and bananas. Really need ways to ward off the disease in cold & flu season.

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