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Be Prepared for Cold and Cough Season

Fall weather brings a nice relief to the sometimes overwhelming heat of summer, but with the changing season comes a higher risk of contracting a cold or cough. Unfortunately, these viruses are prevalent until essentially the following spring, so ensuring you and your family are prepared for cold and cough season is essential.

Prepare Early

Although we don’t like to think about getting sick, chances are either you or someone in your family will end up catching a cold or cough at some point during the season. It’s important to take steps as early as possible to get ahead of any illnesses, or do your best to keep them out of the house.

  • Keep a stock of supplies and medicine. There’s nothing worse than waking up one day feeling sick and not having any relief available in the house. Make sure you have tissues, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and paper towels on hand, and go through your medicine cabinet to check for pain relievers, fever reducers, and other medications that will help during a cold, cough, or even flu. If you have some already, make sure they are not expired or that you have enough to get through an illness or two. Also, ensure you have a functioning humidifier in the house that is clean and ready for use.
  • Encourage everyone to practice good hygiene. Cold, cough, and flu viruses are spread easily by dirty hands. Everyone in the house should be sure to scrub hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, and do so frequently – after using the restroom, before eating or preparing food, when coming home, etc. A good tip for kids is to tell them to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while washing their hands.
  • Get a flu shot. The best protection against one of the nastier viruses of the season is to get your flu shot. While it may not guarantee you or a loved one won’t actually get the flu, it will help lessen the severity of symptoms and lower the risk of complications caused by the virus.
  • Disinfect the house regularly. While it isn’t necessary to disinfect every little thing in the house on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to routinely disinfect things in the home that are more frequently touched, like doorknobs, remotes, and phones.

Be Ready When a Cough or Cold Hits

Despite your best efforts, you or someone in the house is sick. It’s bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make things a bit more manageable.

  • Get help from others when you need it. When your kids are sick, it can be difficult to take off work, especially if it’s multiple days in a row, or you have an important meeting in the office. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, or neighbors for help if their schedules allow it. If you’re the one who’s sick, see if someone else can take the kids to the extracurricular activities so they don’t have to miss out – and you can get some much needed rest.
  • Stock up on groceries. Head to the store – or send a trusted person to go for you – and get lots of easy-to-make, healthy food. If you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is cook meals. Be sure you also have lots of comfort foods, like chicken noodle soup, and some healthy drinks to keep everyone hydrated.
  • Get some rest. Nothing makes you feel better quite like a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, when you’re sick, it can feel impossible, but there are many nighttime cold and flu medications available that can help you sleep (be sure you are medically cleared to use them – talk with your doctor if you’re not sure). Good sleep may also help keep you healthier, so be sure everyone gets sleep regularly even when not sick.

Cough and cold season may be unavoidable, but there’s no reason to make it more difficult on yourself. Start preparing now, but if you find you’ve come down with something and have trouble finding relief, visit us at one of our convenient area locations today.