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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)!
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.
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.