Submitted Date 04/22/2019

From sniffling and sneezing to coughing, vomiting and body aches, the winter cold and flu season can take its toll on anyone. However, if you are like me and have a house filled with school-aged children, the cold and flu season can give a whole new meaning to the word stress. One will bring it home and then just when you think you have it under control, a new strain will come home with another one. It can be a never-ending struggle. Over the years, I have learned a few tricks to make things go a little smoother.

Have the Medicine on Hand

The last thing you want to do as a parent is run out at midnight to get some fever or cough medicine because your child woke up sick and you don't have anything in the house. Before cold and flu season begins, I hit the stores and the sales and stock up on everything we could possibly need. From fever reducers to cough medicine to sore throat lozenges and upset stomach medication, I stock up on it all.

I get home and put them all in a large-sized rubber case that is known as our medicine box. With children ranging in age from 2 to 18, I have a need for a large assortment of medication and it is nice to have it all in one location.

The "Puke" Bowl

Now, this may sound a little gross, but when upset stomachs, nausea, and vomiting hit my house, my kids have their own designated "puke" bowls that they keep by their beds when they are sick. While we all tell our children to throw up in the toilet, they can't always make it. For any parent who has cleaned up puddles of vomit or changed bed sheets at 3 a.m. when they are covered, this is a real lifesaver. The kids know they have their bowl and keep it close. This also works well for kids who battle with car sickness.

Forget the Apple a Day and Try Lemonade and Honey

Growing up in a British family, I was raised on hot toddies to help make the cold and flu season go away. As a mom, I have used the same thing for my children, minus the alcohol. Sore throats and the flu seem to be soothed really well with a cup of hot lemonade and a spoonful of honey. This helps keep the coughs quiet and soothes sore and dry throats. It isn't just for kids either and works great for moms too.

A Resting Area Outside of the Bedroom

When kids are sick, they don't like staying alone in their bedrooms all day and night. So, to make it easier while still making sure they rest, I create a resting area in the living room. Be it a thick blanket on the floor to rest on or a few blankets to cover them while curled up on the couch, this gives them a change of scenery, brings them out with you and still allows them to rest.

Always Have Activities on Hand

As adults, when a cold or the flu hit us, we would love to just stay in bed all day. Unfortunately, even when kids are sick, they can still have the energy level to not want to just lie in bed all day and it is necessary to find restful things for them to do. With video games and eBooks, this has become a bit easier over the years, but I still like to have some activities on hand. Things like word puzzles, coloring books or playing cards are great things to have stashed away. This way, when the kids are sick there is something new to pull out and let them enjoy.

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