Fall is on the way. Changing leaves. Brisk evenings. Cozy sweaters. Cold and flu season.
While various viruses circulate year round, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter and colds are more common in the winter and spring. Covid-19 is a different, ever-changing animal that gets plenty of coverage at the moment, so we’ll largely sidestep that. (But none of the below tips could hurt, right?)
Keep reading for lots of tips and tricks from moms across America who have been around the cold and flu block a few times. Whether you’re a first-time mama or of the seasoned variety, you’re sure to find some helpful ideas.
Moms, afterall, are the experts on household sickness. We’re often the first ones on the scene when a child vomits in bed. We’re the ones who teach the kids to sneeze into their elbows instead of across the dining room table. And we’re the ones who keep on chugging when nastiness takes the whole family down.
Recently, a friend lamented that her whole family was sick. Her husband toggled between the bed and the couch, being sick. She, meanwhile, took care of the sick kids, fed the chickens and other animals and still enforced limits on screen time—all while sick, herself. (By the way… I personally think this situation is what electronics were created for and told her so.)
Cold vs. Flu
Every year, I struggle to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu. Maybe you do, too. If so, here’s a quick chart from the CDC:
Cold symptoms often are milder than the symptoms of flu and colds generally do not result in serious health problems. Here’s some great guidance from the Mayo Clinic on when to consult a doctor for a cold or the flu.
An Ounce of Prevention
A few simple, common-sense precautions may help your family avoid bugs floating around at any given time or help keep from spreading germs to others. Here are some thoughts from the CDC:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and keep your distance when you are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (and teach your children to do the same).
- Clean your hands. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Great resources here.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Be physically active.
- Manage stress.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat nutritious food.
A Pound of Cure
Sometimes, illness is simply unavoidable—especially if you have young petri dishes, er children, at home. What then?
Haul out the humidifier, thermometer, nightlights and chest rub and settle in for the ride, mama. While nothing can immediately banish viral and bacterial infections from your house, some home remedies might lessen the effects. Here’s a great list for colds. And another for the flu.
Make it easy on yourself, mama.
Teach the kids early how to throw some toilet paper into the basin before throwing up to avoid splashing. Layer sheets and garbage bags on beds of sick kids, so when there’s an accident, you can quickly strip one layer and get that little one back to sleep. And electronics? Offer them freely, without one ounce of mom guilt.
Below are other tried-and-true tips from moms across the City Mom Collective network…
Feel Better Soon