It’s that time of year again! Humans are getting and giving the common cold and flu. Check out our You and the Flu post on the seasonal flu, flu vaccines, and ways to prevent getting sick. Read on for ways to help manage cold and flu symptoms for yourself or your family.

Home Remedies 

  • Blow your nose frequently.
  • Get plenty of rest while your body is fighting off infection.
  • Gargle to relieve symptoms. We like to gargle with salt water in order to dry up any mucus and flush out allergens and bacteria.
  • Drink lots of liquids like water, tea, juice, or milk.  Hot tea is both soothing and healing.  Add lemon to the cup and honey only for children over one year (honey causes botulism in kids under a year).
  • Shower or bathe to help soothe and to clear up congestion.  Add a couple of drops of essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint to help clear out mucus.
  • Place hot or cold packs against congested areas.
  • Place an extra pillow under your head to elevate and relieve pressure on the nose and throat.
  • Avoid changes in air pressure (like airplanes or changes in elevation).
  • Use steam or a humidifier in order to loosen mucus.  Humidifiers help you feel more comfortable, moisturized air helps you to breathe easier, and the wet air may help prevent the flu from infecting others.  Flu germs are known to travel more easily in dry air, so humidifiers help decrease infection of other family members.
  • Be sure to eat easy-to-swallow foods like ice cream, popsicles, gelatin, pudding, yogurt, applesauce, or broth.  Chicken noodle soup is a favorite for cold and flu.  Boost your soup with some grated ginger and lemon.
  • As always, wash hands frequently.
  • Take vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and echinacea in order to boost immunity.  Some of the vitamins that help boost immunity can be found combined in some products.
  • Comfort is key in maintaining calm through symptoms. A comforting massage might help a sick kid or adult feel better. Use 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 4 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, and/or lemon for massage.

Babies

Babies are at a higher risk than older kids, so it’s important to pay attention to your infants’ symptoms. Be sure to contact your healthcare provider if your baby is lethargic, if they have a fever greater than 101° F, if they have a rash, or if they’re not eating or drinking.

Tips for Caring for Your Sick Baby

  • Use saline drops in your baby’s nose in order to thin mucus and shrink swollen airways.
  • If you haven’t already, invest in a suction bulb to clear your baby’s nose.
  • Make sure your baby is well hydrated. Babies under 6 months should be drinking breast milk or formula.
  • Elevate your baby’s head with a pillow or folded towel under the mattress in order to relieve pressure from congestion.
  • Humidity works really well for babies, too.

 

Teach your kids more about infectious diseases by downloading the CDC’s free graphic novel – The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak! Keep an eye on fevers and spring for the good tissues! For questions or comments, respond to this post or contact us.