Flu and cold season will soon be upon us. Doesn’t that statement make you shudder?
Two years ago, all 5 of my children got the stomach flu at the same time. I have never been so exhausted or done so much wash in my entire life! Because of that traumatic experience, I made some changes in our household which I believe have helped in my fight against germs and illness.
Organization is a great skill to have. Some of us are natural born organizers, and the rest of us learn the hard way that we need to be organized. When you organize your life, you are prepared and mostly ready for whatever life may throw at you.
Use this time now to stock up your pantry for flu season. I make sure to keep extra cans of chicken soup, and chicken broth on hand. Stock up on popsicles and Jello. If you have young children in the house, make sure you have Pedialyte on hand. I like to stock up on ginger ale and tea for the adults and older children.
It is always a good idea to buy extra diapers too and just stash them away!
Check out your medicine cabinet and check to see if you need to buy more medication to help deal with fevers and also with cold and flu symptoms. Depending upon the ages of your children, you may need to buy several products geared towards different age groups. For example, Tylenol has adult strength products, junior strength, and products for infants.
I never used to worry about stocking the pantry until I had a bad experience one year. We lived in a rural area up North at that time, and the kids were much younger. In addition, I was a single mom at the time. I remember this flu story well because we got a lot of snow that day and my car was plowed in where I had parked it! I was stuck with a house full of sick kids until my friend could shovel out and get to the store for me!
How life changes! I now live in an area where we have no snow and I am remarried. In a worst case scenario where my husband was away traveling with work, my children are older and could probably last the few minutes it would take me to run to the corner store to get supplies and get home. If my car would break down while he’s away and the kids are sick, I could call the neighbor across the street for help.
I have learned my lesson though! I begin stocking up just in case every year around this time.
Prevention is Important
It is difficult to prevent illnesses when your children are out and about in school. They are exposed to a lot of different types of things! I noticed this when my child first went to kindergarten. Until her immunity built up, she was constantly sick. I have heard that when a child first enters daycare, it is common for that child to have more illnesses than usual until he builds up immunity to different types of illnesses.
The first step to preventing an illness is to make sure that your children have a healthy lifestyle. They need to get adequate amounts of sleep and exercise. They also need to eat nutritious foods and limit their intake of junk food. Vitamins really do help to improve overall quality of health!
I have also found that if I am more diligent with my cleaning routine during the winter months, that it does impact the amount of colds and viruses that my children catch. I have met some parents who are absolutely germ phobic. You don’t have to be super stressed about cleanliness, but be aware of the issue.
During the winter months, I keep hand sanitizer in the kitchen and in the baby’s room. I encourage the children to use sanitizer as well as encouraging them to practice good hygiene. Hand washing is important! After they sneeze, I encourage them to wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer.
Young children sometimes forget that it is important to throw tissues away and not let them lying around the house! I have found tissues that actually are made to help prevent the spread of flu and cold viruses and we use them in our house.
I buy the sanitizer wipes and wipe down my kitchen counters, door handles, and phone receivers daily during flu season. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s simple to just grab a wipe from the container and quickly do some spot cleaning during the morning while the kids are getting ready from school.
I have disinfectant spray which we use in the bathroom when one of the children is ill. I also sanitize the toilet handle and the sink faucet with the sanitizing wipes several times a day if one of the children is very ill.
Despite all of these things, my children still get sick occasionally. However, we have a lot less illnesses now than we did. This winter I am going to employ a new strategy: I have made appointments at the doctor for all of the children to get their flu shots. I am hoping that the shots, cleanliness, and the power of positive thinking will get us through this season of sickness relatively unscathed!
Stay tuned for updates!