Tis the season…for the season changing cold…ugh! With 2 boys 10 and under, you can best believe that germs run rampant around my house starting this time of year. What is it with boys and refusing to wash their hands?! I’ve said it a million times, and I stand by it…Boys are Gross!
Anywho, over the years, I’ve put together something of a Parent Survival Kit for these times. Some are common sense, and some are my own tricks of the trade, if you will…Let’s get into it!
- Saline Nasal Spray: First off, when noses get snotty and/or stuffed up, saline spray is a great way to keep things…flowing if you will. I know it is supposed to keep the mucus lining hydrated or some highly educated thing, but for me it just aides in the whole nose blowing experience that kids just absolutely love…Not! The one I have right now is the Walgreens Saline Nasal Spray, but really any will do. It’s just a salt water solution in a fine mist delivery bottle, but it’s worth having on hand! A spritz in each nostril and a tissue…or 12, and you’re good for at least another…half hour or so…
- Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer: Since I had my first son 10 years ago…geez, where has the time gone!…our Pediatricians have advocated the Tylenol/Motrin dosing every 4 hours, as needed. For my kids, Tylenol does little to nothing when they have a full on fever, so using it alone isn’t in my best interest. But I also don’t want to just dose them up with Motrin all of the time. So we do a shot of Tylenol (here I have a store brand: Healthy Accents Children’s Pain Relief Acetaminophen) and 4 hours later, a shot of Motrin (again, we have a store brand: Healthy Accents Children’s Ibuprofen). I’m perfectly happy to use the store brands from stores that I trust, but that really is up to you. I find that I am giving my kids far less medicine when we use this method, and that is always a good thing!
- Thermometer: A thermometer is a MUST have for parents, I don’t care how old your kids are. Shoot, I even use an ear thermometer like this * Braun ThermoScan 5 Ear Thermometer for my husband and myself! I find it to be super quick and easy and the kids don’t get all squirmy. I used to have the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology, but the ThermoScan 5 is definitely faster! It also has a power button so you can turn it off – allowing the battery to last longer. Braun is the best brand thermometer, in my opinion, and I will continue to repurchase them for my own piece of mind.
- Decongestant for the Under 6 Crowd: When you read the directions on all of the decongestants on the market, they all say not to use for kids under 6. Well, what are we supposed to do to help our little ones?! Our Pedicatrician recommends Claritin for kids when my 4 year old is snotty and snuffly. We have the Up & Up Children’s Loratadine Syrup (ie. Children’s Claritin) version right now. It says you can use it on kids 2+. I would have never thought to use this for a cold had my doctor not recommended it, so I wanted to share with all of the other parents out there.
- A Good Distraction: Who doesn’t need a distraction when they aren’t feeling their best? Adults and kids alike! When the kids are snotty and have scratchy throats, popsicles or freezie pops are just what the doctor ordered…right now we have these Mott’s and SunnyD Freezer Pops. The Mott’s ones are made using fruit juice and both have a bit less sugar than the standard freezie pops. I got these from my local Walmart. The kids love them, and they don’t realize that their sweet treat is actually helping soothe their throats. It’s a twofer folks! As a parent, you learn to have lots of these little tricks up your sleeve.
As an honorable mention, I wanted to point out that Baby VapoRub is good to have on hand. I use it at bedtime more as a relaxation technique than anything else, but I find that it really does help my kids sleep better when they are stuffy.
Although none of these things are cures for the sickies, they do lessen the blow, and who doesn’t want to do that when their kids are sick?!
What is in your must have kit when your kids are sick? I’d love to know!