Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How to survive the cold and flu season

The Cold by Norman Rockwell
The Cold

We've had a jump start on the cold and flu season around here. Everyone in the family but Mike and Marcia have been sick. The whole town seems to have the same thing.

Over the years, I've learned a few things about dealing with those little bugs that go around.

1) Stock up the medicine cabinet. I'm so glad I already had cold and flu medicine, cough drops, tissues, and Vicks Vapo-Rub on hand.

2) Keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant handy. This will at least slow the spread of germs between family members. Remember to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, telephones, and computer keyboards. Those areas can be super germy.

3) Keep some easy meals on hand that hubby or the kids can make without help in case Mom gets sick. It won't hurt them to eat something warmed up in the microwave every now and then. I keep canned soup and frozen chicken nuggets for "emergencies" like this. The last thing I want to worry about when I'm sick is cooking dinner.

4) Set aside some "sick day" entertainment for the kids. I sometimes buy those DVDs for a dollar at the dollar store. They are usually old black and white movies and they are a fun treat. Another good idea is a new box of crayons and a coloring book. Even though my girls are probably too big for coloring they still think it's fun if they are sick.

5) Have an "emergency housekeeping plan". Realize that when you or someone in the family is sick, the usual housekeeping just won't get done. Try to do only the things that will take longer if you let them go, like laundry and dishes (or delegate them). The rest can wait. The dusting won't take any longer if it's been awhile since you last dusted. Just dim the lights a little. :) It's also a good idea if Mom gets sick to have some disposable plates and cups on hand. It's worth spending an extra dollar or two for you to have less to wash when you don't feel well.

I'm hoping you're all healthy and none of you will need this advice this year! :)


Hayley said...

What a great post! I haven't even really thought about winter colds yet, I'm still grabbing on to the last bits of summer sunshine while I can!

A great list to bear in mind for when they come along though, my mum always recommends echinacea (I think that's how you spell it) it's a plant extract. She always used to spike our drinks with it as kids to keep the colds at bay but it tasted so disgusting! I think you can get it in less-offensive pastilles nowadays!

Anonymous said...

What a great list!! In our house though we stock up on the homeopathic remedies and homemade chicken soup ( which I am in the process of cannin/freezing in single size portions). I never thought to stock pile tissues and cough drops though...GREAT IDEA!!! I'm also going to add paper plates and plastic cups to my grocery list for this week and then store them away. DH and oldest DS have what I call the "change of season cold" right now herbal tea ( peppermint or Yogi brand cold season tea have been working wonders for them) and I know it is n't long before it runs its course through all of us. Time to stock up on ecchinecea and orange juice!! lol

Anonymous said...

Great advice, thank you! Hope you are a lot better now too.

love, Tina :)

Stephanie said...

Those are wonderful ideas. I need to work on the "stock up on cold and flu supplies" thing.

Lorna said...

Thanks for the great tips - wish I had been more organised when the cold hit me on Monday.

Anonymous said...

I love the tips about paper plates, housekeeping, and entertainment for the kids. I hadn't really thought about doing those on sick days. Thanks!

Daughter of the King said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better. Great advice for how to get ready for the cold and flu season.

Kay said...

Chiming in too with "great ideas!" Sending them on to my ddil who has the stomach flu now, but will appreciate them later.

I'm getting over the first cold of the season and was glad I had chicken soup makings; Vit C and lots of hankies on hand.