Preparing for Cough, Cold, and Flu Season
As colder weather approaches, here is what you need to do to prepare, including how to navigate confusion on the shelf and stock your medicine cabinet before you get sick
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
October 30, 2023
Individuals in the US are estimated to suffer 1 billion colds each year. Family physician Dr. Leslie Gonzalez can help you get prepared for cold, cough, and flu season, from what to have ready in your medicine cabinet to tips on how to stay healthy this winter.
Now that cold, cough, and flu season is upon us, we know children can easily and often get sick. What can we do to get ahead of this? One thing you can do is support your immune system by taking vitamins and improving your child's bedtime routine. To help little ones transition to bedtime, Dr. Gonzalez recommends solutions with effective and wholesome ingredients like calming chamomile and natural honey, which can be found in Zarbee's Gentle Bedtime products. They're great because they come in multiple formats, like a melatonin-free gummy and a syrup.
Zarbee’s also offers a calming, gentle bedtime room spray with lavender and chamomile, which helps kids relax and unwind as they prepare for bedtime.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our kids still get sick. First and foremost, you should always talk to your doctor. One of Dr. Gonzalez's favorite hacks is to turn your bathroom into a steam room. If your child is experiencing a cough, the warm, moist air can help clear nasal pathways and relieve discomfort.
If your child is experiencing a fever, the good news is there are many different ways to treat it. First, you can use a cold compress to cool their body. And remember to give them lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. Then, two key ingredients can reduce a fever — acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Acetaminophen can be found in medicines like Children’s Tylenol or Infants' Tylenol. These products can start reducing fever in as little as 15 minutes. If your child is under two years of age, ask a doctor before using Infants' Tylenol. It's helpful these medicines come in various formats, from liquids in flavors like grape, cherry, or bubble gum to dissolve packs and even chewables.
Ibuprofen can be found in Children’s and Infants’ Motrin. In addition to reducing fever, Children’s Motrin can relieve minor aches and pains. And it lasts up to eight hours. For important product information, always read and follow the product label before use.
Now, for adults, just like kids, if you are experiencing a fever, consider acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For fast pain relief, Dr. Gonzalez recommends Tylenol Rapid Release Gels, which contain acetaminophen.
For a runny nose and sneezing, we first need to know if it’s from a cold or allergies. Allergy symptoms usually flare up when exposed to allergens you are most sensitive to and cause symptoms such as itchy eyes, nose, or throat. To identify the allergens that bother you, pay attention when experiencing these symptoms. With a cold, people typically experience a wet cough and potentially run a fever. Allergies don’t cause fevers, which is a primary difference to look for.
The good news is the ingredient diphenhydramine can relieve a runny nose or sneezing, whether from allergies or the common cold. This effective allergy and cold relief can be found in Benadryl Allergy Ultratabs, which are effective day or night.
Also, look for a decongestant like pseudoephedrine that targets sinus pressure and congestion. This can be found in products like Zyrtec-D and Sudafed Sinus Congestion. You can find them behind the pharmacy counter.
For more information on ingredients, dosing, and tips for making the most of your health, go to healthinhand.org.