The fall means cooler weather, sweaters, PSLs and pumpkin patches. It also means the beginning of cold and flu season. Ugh. For a real life germaphobe, this can be very stressful to me. But I also take time every single fall, to prep my home for sickies!
I have a well stocked closet right outside my kids room which I restock at the beginning of the school year with all the things I might need. We also increase our immune boosting activities, including taking daily supplements.
What do I keep stocked?
As I mentioned above, I prepare my upstairs closet for all worst case scenarios so I can be ready at 3am when “disaster strikes”.
Of note: I’m just a regular mom, I’m not a doctor or nurse so PLEASE make sure you check with YOUR physician before using any product on your child and follow the directions.
I prefer the good ‘ole thermometers to take my kids temp orally or axillary (under the armpit). I find this is the best way to get accurate and consistent readings. I find the ear thermometers hard to use and the forehead scanners can be inconsistent. I do keep a forehead scanner on hand for easy to grab temps but when it matters, I always take it orally or axillary.
I personally use this Exergen Forehead Scanner when I need a quick temp. It gets great reviews and works well.
This infared forehead scanner gets great review, is rated #1 and is under $100.
But here’s the best for easy oral or axillary temps
I have one for each kid in case everyone is sick at the same time. I keep them in little organizer trays with extra probe covers
Fever Reducers and Anti-inflammatory
I make sure I restock our stockpile of Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Advil with extra measuring cups and syringes fully stocked. Right now, all three of my kids prefer the liquid version which makes purchasing easy!
Based on my doctor’s recommendation, I do not give my kids any over the counter cough medication. We actually use good old honey and lemon. I mix up 2 tsp of local, organic raw honey (I only give this to my kids who are OVER 12 months old) with warm water and some lemon slices. I give this to them right before bed for a natural and effective cough suppressant.
I also run a cool mist humidifier in their rooms all night. About an hour, before they head to bed, I crank the mist up to high and close the door to get the room nice and humid. For my big kids, I might run some peppermint oil and lavender oil (Note: I only use Doterra Essential Oils because of their known purity) in my oil diffuser right before bed as well!
Personal Protective Equipment
I keep a variety of personal protective equipment on hand, and yes, I did this PRE-COVID!! In order to reduce the spread of germs between me and the kids and between my kids, I take extra precautions. When dealing with vomit, I always wear a disposable gown, gloves and mask when cleaning it up or moving sheets to the laundry, to avoid it entering my mouth and to protect my clothes. If I don’t wear a gown, I usually change my shirt out so I’m not spreading germs to my other kids or to other places in the house.
So what exactly do I keep in the closet, here’s my list
I keep a small variety of cleaning products that I use when my kids are sick. I typically clean with vinegar and water, however, I can’t mess around when I’m trying to avoid the spread of germs so here’s what I keep on hand.
- Clorox Medical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner might be my most favorite product on the market. I use this in place of bleach. It kills so many germs in 30 seconds such as common cold, Coronavirus, stomach flu and influenza. This product can be used on porous surfaces such as fabric and carpet so great for spraying down the couch, mattresses and carpet.
- Purell Professional Surface Cleaner is another favorite cause it can be used on surfaces used to prep food, without rinsing. So this is great for kitchens! It also does not have harsh chemical smell.
- Lysol Disinfecting Spray smells SO bad, but it’s great for quick disinfecting on surfaces likes doorknobs and light switches.
Some known immunity boosters are
- Healthy Diet, eating healthy which means avoiding sugar, high fat and processed foods but choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins and antioxidants.
- Sleep. Read up on how much sleep our kids need at each age and stick to it. We have a pretty strict bedtime routine in order to achieve good sleep hygiene
- Exercise. There are so many benefits to exercise including weight loss, but exercise is also a great immunity booster So stay active, even if that means a short walk daily to get your blood moving!
- Outdoor time. Benefits of being outside include natural vitamin D and fresh air.
- Elderberry Syrup has so much good medical research behind it to suggest that this is a real immune booster. We take it twice a day during cold/flu season and increase it to 4 times a day when we get a cold or the flu.
- Vitamin C/Zinc/Vitamin D is a great combo for boosting immunity.
For stuffy noses
- Oilogic essential oil blend roller ball
- The softest tissue, Puffs Plus Lotion
- Nose Frida, nasal aspirator, the best invention ever!
- Saline, I prefer the mist for my kids. Each of them have their own bottle, clearly marked in order to reduce the spread of germs
- Vicks Vapor Rub for Babies
- towels and paper towels for quick/easy cleanup
- kids shirts that are a little too big for them for easy changing
- plastic bins/emesis basins and disposable bins for easy clean up
- trash bags
I hope you find this guide helpful when preparing for the upcoming cold/flu season.