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Tips For Protecting Your Family During The Cold/Flu Season

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Did you know on average, elementary school kids get six to eight colds a year? Did you also know the germiest place at school is not the bathroom but the drinking fountain? Now that fall is officially here, how are you and your kids preparing for the upcoming cold and flu season? As a September baby, fall is my favorite season because it’s a season of intimate family gatherings, meaningful holidays and delicious fall recipes. However, I don’t miss the sickness that comes home from school and today I wanted to provide you with these important safety reminders in partnership with KnowYourOTC’s.org.

Here are 5 important tips to keep your family protected during the upcoming cold and flu season.

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1. Give medicine according to your kids’ weight, not age

If your child has a fever and you’re treating their symptoms with an OTC pain reliever, remember to dose them based on their weight, not their age. Find additional helpful tips from KnowYourOTC’s.org on how to safely treat a fever and be confident you are safely dosing your child.

If you find yourself wondering, “Should I send my child to school?” one morning, this is a helpful read from TODAY Parents, which can be a nice resource in addition to school guidelines.

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2. The difference between allergies and a cold

I suffer from seasonal allergies and I know how hard it is to deal with allergy symptoms that hit adults and kids alike. Often parents are left wondering, is that runny nose from allergies or a cold? It can be challenging to tell the difference.

Find an expert article on how to learn the characteristics between the symptoms of a cold and the symptoms of allergies here. And make sure to never give a multi-symptom cough and cold product to children under 4 years old.

3. Using the right dosage of liquid medicine

8 out of 10 parents have given their child the wrong dosage of liquid medicine at some point. Therefore, getting in the habit of reading the Drug Facts label before administering an over-the-counter medicine is incredibly important, especially because some medicines are multi-symptom.

If you are using liquid medicine, always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine- not a kitchen spoon! Be confident you are making smart, informed choices before treating your child’s symptoms, follow this link to an interactive tool on reading the Drug Facts label.

4. Vitamins and minerals

Our bodies need vitamins and supplements and it can be difficult to get the nutrients we need from the food we eat alone, especially if you have a picky eater in the home. For more information about common vitamins and minerals, click here.

5. Wash your hands regularly

But of course, prevention is the best medicine! This insight from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a motivating reason to make sure your kids are washing their hands regularly. “People, and kids in particular, touch their eyes, nose and mouth frequently, transmitting the germs on their hands into their bodies. Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best defenses against infections. It reduces the risk of respiratory infection by approximately 24 percent and gastrointestinal infections (e.g., diarrhea) by more than 30 percent.”

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I hope you enjoyed these tips! For more information about OTC medicine safety, visit KnowYourOTCs.org.

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