Sniffles and snuffles. Coughs and sore throats. Red, runny noses and endless amounts of tissues. You groan as you hook up the humidifier and prepare to visit the pharmacy, yet again. A cold or flu has hitched a ride and has set up camp in your little one's body - talk about an unwelcome house guest!
There's no doubt about it - when your child has a cold or the flu, it's a bad time all round. Your child feels terrible, and you have to play nursemaid spending your waking hours (and some sleeping ones, too) cleaning up discarded tissues, fluffing pillows and making chicken soup. It's an issue that we'd all rather avoid, if at all possible.
The odd cold or flu will inevitably plague your house every now and again. But, the thought of sending your children off to school where the germs run as wild as the kids on a cordial high can be enough to want to douse them (and yourself) in a bucket of hand sanitiser.
Here are some tips to help prepare for the odd cold or flu.
Ensure Your Child is Eating a Balanced, Healthy Diet
The first line of defence against sickness is ensuring your child is getting their daily fill of the 5 food groups. A well balanced, healthy diet is jam packed full of lovely nutrients that are essential not only to your child's healthy growth and development, but for their immune system as well.
If you have a fussy eater in the family, there are a few tricks that you can do to help those lunchbox items get eaten, instead of returned home or hidden at the bottom of the schoolbag (yuck).
- Keep it interesting - make sure you mix meals up so they don't get boring.
- Don't give in to begging - once the door to negotiations is open, it's hard to close.
- Make mealtime fun - get the kids involved in the cooking process!
- Build the best environment - no telly or devices, eat at the table together.
Want more tips to help combat fussy eating? We've written a handy article on it - view it here.
Try to Keep Germs to a Minimum
A vital step in helping to keep colds and the flu at bay is to teach your kids about stopping the spread of germs. From the get go, show your kids how to wash their hands properly - just water won't do the trick, nor will a super-speedy wash. More than that, teach them that before every meal they should nip off and wash their hands - then they can eat. It might be tricky at first to get them into this rhythm if they're not used to it, but practise makes perfect.
If your kids are a little older, why not pop a travel pack of hand sanitiser in their bag? It's quick and easy to use and may just make the difference.
Put Together a Cold and Flu Pack in Your Medicine Cabinet
The last thing you want when a cold or flu strikes is to realise you're completely out of supplies. So, if you hear buzz that there's a bug going around, pop to the shops when you have a free moment and gather what you might need. If you're not sure, here is a list of items that may help to provide relief during a cold:
- Tissues for runny noses
- Paw paw for dry lips
- Manuka honey (perfect to mix into warm water for a soothing drink that may help relieve a sore throat)
- Saline nasal irrigation may help to help clear away mucous and help relieve nasal congestion
- Paracetamol (in case of aches or pains - it can also be used to help reduce fevers. If your child does have a fever, always take them to your healthcare professional to get them checked out)
Help to Aid the Recovery Process
If your little one does come down with a cold or flu, your first stop should be to your local healthcare professional. They'll check them out, and you can discuss your best treatment options with them.
If you're given the all clear to take them home, ensure that your child is getting plenty of fluids to help their recovery. Make a nice little nest up on the couch or in bed for them and let them rest.
If your healthcare professional prescribes an antibiotic to help them overcome their illness, you might find a children's probiotic offers support during and after their antibiotic therapy. As antibiotics attack bacteria, tummy troubles can occasionally occur as a side effect. Probiotics may help to support a healthy microbiome and digestive health.
Would you like to learn more about the potential benefits of probiotics for kids? If so, you can find more information here.
Did you know that Brauer has it's own range of probiotics for babies and kids? If you'd like to learn more about this range, follow the links below:
What Can You Do to Help Prevent Colds and the Flu?
A strong immune system is the key to helping your kids to stay healthy. As we said before, a healthy, balanced diet is essential - but what other options do you have?
Next time you're at the doctors, talk to them about potential vitamin supplements that may be beneficial to your child's immune system. There are plenty of them out there on the market - speak to the pharmacist when you're next in the chemist about what might be best for your child.
At Brauer Natural Medicine, we've designed our children's vitamin range especially to support your kids vitamin and mineral intake through some of the most critical years of their lives if dietary intake is inadequate. Brauer Natural Medicine Kids Liquid Vitamin D, Brauer Natural Medicine Kids Liquid Iron with Vitamin C and Brauer Natural Medicine Kids Liquid Multivitamin with Iron all contain ingredients that may help support a healthy immune system, and they're at least 99.9% sugar free! If you'd like to learn more about this range, you can do so here.
We hope that these tips help you to navigate the tricky (and often slightly sticky) waters of colds and the flu!
*All probiotic products: Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Vitamins can only be of assistance if dietary vitamin intake is inadequate.
*All vitamin products: Store below 25°c. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use if cap seal is broken. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner. Vitamins can only be of assistance if dietary vitamin intake is inadequate. If overdosing is suspected, immediately contact the poisons advice line on 131 126 or go straight to hospital. Brauer Natural Medicine Kids Liquid Calcium, Magnesium & Vitamin D, Brauer Natural Medicine Baby & Toddler Liquid Multivitamin and Brauer Natural Medicine Kids Liquid Multivitamin with Iron: contain Potassium Sorbate. Brauer Natural Medicine Kids Liquid Iron with Vitamin C: contains Potassium Sorbate. Not for the treatment of iron deficiency conditions.