Tackling cold and flu season
You don’t have to hibernate all winter to avoid getting sick! Our practical guide will help you prevent and treat illness swiftly this winter.
While 2020 has definitely made us extra mindful of hygiene and forced us to get used to staying home, we have yet to endure winter.
As the temperature drops, cold weather can not only make us vulnerable to cabin fever, but also to a range of nasty cold and flu viruses that are spread from being in close contact with others. Before you know it, the whole family is sniffling and sneezing.
In an effort to help keep your family healthy and happy, we’re sharing:
- Tips for preventing colds and flus
- Treating colds and flus
- Natural cold and flu remedies
- Tot Test approved cold & flu product picks
Scroll down to learn more!
Preventing colds and flus
There are several simple steps you can take to prevent colds and flus.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you’re sick to avoid spreading your illness
- When out, where a face mask (If reusable, be sure to wash daily)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 30 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap isn’t available, particularly after touching potentially contaminated people or surfaces
- Clean shared surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, phones, coffee pot handles and tap handles regularly
- Dry your hands with an air dryer or paper towel in public places because hand towels can spread germs
- Wash your hand towels regularly at home. If people are sick, give them their own separate hand towel to use
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth because you could have germs on your hands
- EXTRA avoid biting your nails! This is a tricky one for kids, so be sure you keep little nails trimmed and tighty
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow rather than your hands to avoid spreading germs to others
- Drink plenty of fluids, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get lots of sleep
- Avoid smoking and manage your stress, which can decrease your immunity
- Get a flu vaccine every year – it’s the single best way to prevent the flu
Treating colds and flus
Even if you follow all the steps above diligently, you may still get sick.
Here’s what you can do to ease your symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness.
- Resist the urge to overmedicate – a mild fever helps to fight infection and a cough clears your airways of infected mucus
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially hot ones such as herbal tea to relieve nasal congestion
- Flush out your stuffy nose with warm, salty water and a nasal irrigation kit
- Gargle several times a day with half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8oz of warm water to relieve a sore throat
- Avoid stress and strenuous physical activity
- Get as much rest as you can
- Elevate your head with pillows when you sleep to clear nasal passages
- Use a humidifier to help loosen chesty coughs
- If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness by one or two days – speak to your doctor to find out if they’re right for you
Natural cold and flu remedies
While some studies have shown the following remedies to be effective in treating colds and flus, most medical professionals maintain that none of them have been definitively proven to work and that more research is needed.
But if you’re open to natural treatment options, it doesn’t hurt to try!
- Chicken soup: A 2000 study found that it could relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections
- Honey: This incredible sticky substance has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Add a tablespoon of honey to your herbal tea to soothe your sore throat and cough (but never give honey to children under the age of one as it can cause botulism)
- Ginger: Two tablespoons of shredded ginger in a cup of boiling water may help relieve a cough and sore throat
- Garlic: The compound allicin present in garlic may have antimicrobial properties that could reduce the severity of your symptoms. Raw garlic works best!
- Probiotics: These healthy bacteria may boost your gut health and immunity. Add probiotic yogurt or probiotic supplements to your daily diet.
The Tot Test approved cold & flu product picks
At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depths questions about a product’s composition to ensure it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals we avoid.
For health and safety products, it’s important to find things that are free of BPA, BPS, Harmful Phthalates, PVC, Lead and other heavy metals.
All Tot Tested and approved, the below products are great to have during cold and flu season! Click here to view the full list of ingredients we avoid and why.
The Fridababy Breathefrida offers 3 functions in 1 compact package! Made with BPA, BPS & Phthalates Free plastic, it is a humidifier, diffuser and nightlight!
As mentioned above, biting an innocent hang nail could mean a week or two in bed with the flu! Keep little nails nice and trim with the Fridababy Nailfrida clipper and file set!
If you need to give your baby a dose of medicine to help ease their discomfort, we highly recommend having the Fridababy Medifrida on hand! The syringe id designed to work with a pacifier to help the medicine bypass tastebuds.
The thing we love about Objecto Humidifiers is how seamlessly they work with any home’s decor! Designed to deliver moisture into the air, they can also be used as a diffuser! Featuring all the bells and whistles (like timers, antibacterial water tanks and a filter-free design), they’ll be your best friend all year round.
Available in more colors
Made from super soft organic cotton, Alex + Nova reusable face masks are perfect for the whole family. Machine washable and easy to mix and match with any outfit, they’re a must-have for outings.
Sizes for ages 2 to adult
If you want a more playful (and personal) face mask option, you have to check out the custom tie dye masks from T H E M E!
Sizes for ages 2 to adult
Interviews, stories, and guides on thetot.com contain information that is general in nature and should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical condition or concern or plan on trying a new diet, supplement or workout, it’s best to first consult with your physician or a qualified health professional.