It’s that time of year where we all tend to get the sniffles and sore throat, its flu season. I don’t want to get into a debate if you should or shouldn’t get the flu shot, this is a personal preference for you and your family. But through winter I do like to make sure I stock up with a few essentials for flu season for when the kids, hubby or I come down sick.
My winter flu kit
I have mentioned some products below that I use with my kids, in no way am I saying you need or should use these products, this is just a guide. Please ensure you read the directions on all medications you use and talk to your doctor making sure you are giving the correct dosage for each of your family members.
This is a no brainer really, but it’s always a good idea to have too many in your stock pile than not enough, don’t forget to have some in your handbag and the car. I’m not a fan of hankerchiefs, I don’t like the idea of carrying around the stuff you blow out your nose in your pocket and reusing it, it’s just all very germy to me.
Hot Water Bottle
A hot water bottle can be used to help with chills and to warm up beds and soothe strained muscles which can occur from constant coughing and sneezing. These hot water bottles pictured below (my daughter likes to use it at night as her bedroom is so cold) have a snuggly knitted exterior, available online here.
I use this on my kids chest when they have a flemmy cough, to help soath any aches and give some relief. The kids also use the inhaler at school to help relieve the congestion of a runny nose. It’s especially good for those moments you don’t want to blow your nose while all is quiet in the class room.
Soap and hand sanitiser
It’s idea to sneeze and couch into your arm, to prevent the spreading of germs, but sometimes it’s an instant reaction to cover your mouth or nose with your hand, allowing droplets to fall into the hand which can then wiped over areas in the home. Have soap and/or hand sanitser to keep hands clean and to prevent further spreading of germs.
Use these to wipe over common areas in the home so the healthy people don’t pick up any sick germs, wipe over commonly used:
- light switches
- door handles
- remote controls
I use my own homemade reusable antibacterial wipes, see how to make them here.
To help relieve headaches but can also help with any aches and pains.
My kids like to use throat lozenges to help sooth sore throats. There are medicated and natural lozenges available, they dissolve slowly in the mouth and lubricate the tissues around the throat offering some relief.
I used a vaporiser reguarly during winter when my kids were young. I found they struggled with getting a good nights sleep when they had a chesty cough. The vaporiser/humidifier attempt to ease the congestion making it easier for them to sleep. Vaporisers below are available online here.
Lots of toilet paper
Because with the flu sometimes you need to deal with lots of trips to the loo, so you want to be prepared and not run out and have to make a quick dash to the shops.
Rehydration Ice Blocks
Rehydration Ice Blocks are formulated to replace water and electrolytes lost due to vomiting, diarrhoea and heavy sweating. Most chemists stock a variety of rehydration options like the ice blocks, or powder to add to water or already mixed in a range of different flavours. I keep a few in the freezer for the kids to suck on when needed. Another option are the Electrolyte sports drinks (gatorade etc), they will help you stay hydrated.
My kids take a multivitamin all year round, but I ensure they have it every day through winter. They have this to help maintain a healthy immune system and to support their growing bones. They have this after breakfast each morning.
Important to have on hand to help monitor fevers. I don’t use mine as much now the kids are older, I can tell by touch if they are unwell.
Crackers and Bread
When unwell it’s important to avoid food that can upset the tummy like fatty fried dishes, spicy or high sugar content foods. Have on hand some dry unflavoured crackers or keep some bread in the freezer so you can make dry toast for these moments.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is a wonderful winter warmer to have in the freezer, ready for those moments you are feeling under the weather. I make this up but don’t cook the vegetables completely as they go mushy when reheating. Then when you are ready to eat some defrost and when reheating it will cook the vegetables completely. View chicken noodle soup recipe here.
Comfort for the couch
Have a special throw blanket and pillow for the couch. Each sick person should use the pillow from their bed on the couch, make sure they don’t use cushions from the couch to help reduce spreading of germs. At the end of each day, put a new cover on the pillow.
Movies and TV’s ready to watch
It’s a good idea to have a few movies or TV shows recorded for family members to watch when they need to rest and relax.