Five Tips For Surviving The Cold + Flu Season With Kids


As some of you may already know, this cold/flu season has been tough for many families. Just when I thought my kids were in the safe zone, the cold bugs swept through my family starting from my oldest, then my middle child then the baby. To make matters worse, I struggled with cold symptoms throughout the weeks I was nursing my children, which meant I didn’t get the full rest and healing I needed.

I guess this is the reality of being a mom, we don’t get sick days no matter how horrible we feel.


And another reality of being a mom?

We are mom bosses and super heroes, we somehow manage to endure our own discomforts to protect and help heal our children. Our immense love for them makes anything possible, even if it means sacrificing sleep, work and other daily tasks to care for our little ones. Despite the fevers, non stop runny noses, coughs, and lethargic and cranky bodies, we survived the sick days and today I’m happy to share that we are fully recovered and healthy as ever!

The CDC indicates that there has been a sharp increase in states reporting widespread influenza activity, with 46 states now reporting. Further, the CDC has indicated there is a 60% chance that this year, the greatest incidence of flu will be late January, not late February like other years.

The CDC indicates that there has been a sharp increase in states reporting widespread influenza activity, with 46 states now reporting. Further, the CDC has indicated there is a 60% chance that this year, the greatest incidence of flu will be late January, not late February like other years.

In this post I want to share five tips for surviving the cold and flu season in partnership with KnowYourOTC’s, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating and empowering parents to keep their family healthy and safe. While it’s not easy to avoid getting sick altogether and to prevent sickness from spreading between family members, we can always prepare ourselves for speedier recovery and healing during the flu season.


1. Stay calm and hydrated

When I was a first time mom, I used to freak out whenever my baby came down with a fever or a cough. I was anxious, paranoid and always thinking about the worst case scenario. Today I know colds and flus are an inevitable part of a child’s life, and instead of allowing my kids to see the fear and anxiety in my eyes, I stay calm and keep them hydrated with lots of water and chicken soup.

This does not mean you ignore severe symptoms of course, but it’s important to keep the mood light and positive to reassure our children that everything will be okay. Use this time to cuddle more, read more books, watch a family movie, cook their favorite meal and give them extra love and attention.

2. It’s not too late to get flu shots

KnowYourOTC’s medical expert, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Mama Doc, reminds us that it’s NOT too late for the flu shot and the vaccination is the best way to both prevent getting the flu and/or lessen the severity of it.

I know there has been heated discussions surrounding the efficacy of the flu vaccine, but I personally vaccinate my kids every year and get vaccinated myself. I’m not a medical expert so I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that flu vaccines are absolutely necessary, but I do trust scientific research and suggestions by medical experts. For me, it’s just one way we can protect our family when colds and flus are rampant.


3. When using OTC product, be careful not to take two of the same ingredients

I know how difficult it can be when your sick child is battling multiple symptoms such as congestion, fever, body aches, sore throat or cough. When this happens, we often turn to multi-symptom OTC products that contain more than one ingredient.

When taking medications that contain multiple ingredients, be sure to read the Drug Facts Label carefully and make sure you’re not taking two of the same ingredient. For example, if the multi-symptom OTC product already contains acetaminophen, don’t give your child another dose of acetaminophen.

4. Read the Drug Facts Label carefully and only use as directed

I read and re-read the labels carefully, each and every time. Because there are so many OTC products out there, it’s important that we read each Drug Facts label carefully no matter how comfortable we think we are about the right dose, frequency of administration, etc. Here are some important reminders from KnowYourOTCs:

  1. Always read the Drug Facts label before administering any OTC medicine
  2. Never give oral cough/cold medicines to kids under the age of 4
  3. It’s important to see a doctor if you have suspected influenza on day 1 or 2, especially if you are considered high risk. The following groups are considered high-risk:
  • Children under 2 years
  • Adults over 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with complicated/severe illness and those with underlying health problems such as asthma, diabetes, heart problems and neurological conditions.

5. Teach your kids important prevention tips

It’s important to instill prevention tips on a regular basis whether or not we are sick to minimize our risk. Teach your kids to wash their hands frequently with warm water and soap, to cough into their elbow not their hands, to stay home and get plenty of rest when they are sick and to stay up-to-date on immunizations that prevent colds and flus.

You can also use sick days as a teachable moment to remind them the importance of living a healthy lifestyle such as eating a balanced diet, taking vitamins, and staying active.

What do you think about these tips? What are some of your tried and true remedies to keep your family healthy during the cold/flu season? 


Whether you or your family member is dealing with cough, chest congestion, fever, runny nose or sneezing, be sure to check out KnowYourOTCs page for more helpful information.

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7 thoughts on “Five Tips For Surviving The Cold + Flu Season With Kids

  1. These are great tips! Cold and flu season is so tough – especially with 2 kids in school/daycare. We’ve missed the flu (so far) but have had strep throat descend on our house. LOTS of conversations about keeping our germs to ourselves will hopefully make a difference!

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