The Fit Mom’s Guide to Fighting & Treating the Cold & Flu
This post is sponsored by Vicks Humidifiers. All opinions are my very own.
It is almost that time of the year again- nasty colds, endless coughs, abundant runny noses, and, even worse, the flu. Sometimes, it may seem inevitable to dodge winter-time illness between you and your kids, but I can assure you that you can try your best to avoid getting sick at all costs.
As a former nurse, I worked in a pediatric clinic treating colds and flu on a daily basis. This also meant that, due to being around it all, I had to work even more diligently to prevent myself from getting any illnesses. I also gained the knowledge with what worked to treat the common cold and flu and what didn’t work so well. Finally, I became a mother of two kids and learned on a personal level what to do when winter time rolls around.
Here are my tips to preventing and treating cold & flu:
Handwashing. Yes, this simple act is the number one way to prevent getting the cold and flu. Think about it-throughout your day, how many things do you touch? The pump at the gas station, the door handles to businesses, and grocery carts are just a few things that we mindlessly come into contact with. By washing your hands and using sanitizer, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting sick.
Clean your house & belongings. Germs are everywhere and they can practically live on anything! This is why it is so important to clean your home by washing your sheets and wiping off counters, doorknobs, and tables. Personal belongings are not safe either-did you know that your cell phone is one of the ickiest things you can touch? It is a great idea to clean your phone as well as the bottom of your purse regularly as germs love to live there as well.
Turn on your humidifier. Controlling indoor humidity levels can help control the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air. In the winter time, low humidity levels help the influenza virus to survive longer. The best thing that you can do is to invest in a good humidifier from Vicks. Vicks actually just released their newest humidifier called the Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Humidifier which is easy to use and is perfect for kids as it projects soothing images onto the wall/ceiling. I have the Mini Filter Free humidifier and love it, but the Sweet Dreams is on the wish list for my kids! Vicks VapoPads can also be used with most Vicks humidifiers for up to 8 hours of comfort.
Get the flu shot. Though there has been plenty of debate on whether or not the flu shot is effective, as a former nurse, I can tell you that it most certainly is! I was once flu testing a little girl who came into my clinic and she sneezed into my face! I went to do a rapid test on her and it came back POSITIVE. I thought surely, I would get the flu, but my flu shot kept me well and I didn’t! I also get my children vaccinated every year and they have never gotten sick.
Determine whether or not it is the cold or the flu. This can be a hard one to distinguish between for some people, but for others it is very obvious that the symptoms are worse with flu. The first thing you should do is check your symptoms. The main difference between cold & flu is that, with the flu, you will have chills, high fevers, and body aches. The symptoms come on rather all of a sudden rather than progressing later on.
To monitor your temp, it is best to use the Vicks SmartTemp thermometer which provides accurate readings and also features a free downloadable app to help you track your readings for everyone in the household.
Get some rest. Your immune system is compromised while you are ill so it is best to lay down and rest for a while to help your body fight its infection. Take a nice warm bath or relax in bed to your favorite Netflix movie. Also, be sure to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep daily.
Hydrate. As a nurse, I know that hydration is everything. In the case of recovering from the cold & flu, this is super important. Try aiming for at least half of your body weight in ounces daily to feel your very best.
Control your cough. To help control your cough, you can try the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier which releases a warm mist to help offer temporary relief from cough and congestion. You can also use it with Vicks VapoSteam which releases a medicated steam with cough suppressant to relieve coughs for children ages 2 and older.
As a former pediatric nurse and mother to two young kiddos, I have learned the tricks and tips to keeping everyone safe from the spread of germs. Sometimes, it may seem inevitable to escape from, but with good hygiene practices, you can do your best to avoid getting the cold & flu this season. If you do happen to get the cold or flu, then you have some amazing products to help make things a little easier on you.