Discovery Point Blog

September 14, 2020
Girl wiping her nose

Prepping for Fall Cold Season

As much of our attention has been focused on the COVID-19 outbreak for the past several months, it may come as somewhat of a shock to realize that fall cold and flu season is just around the corner. 

There are several steps you can take to prepare your family to fight the flu and common cold throughout the fall and winter. Act now to avoid being caught off guard if your child comes down with the sniffles or a fever.

Stock Up

The last thing you’ll want to do when you or your child begin developing cold-like symptoms is run to the pharmacy. Take the time to ensure your medicine cabinet is fully stocked now. 

First, check the expiration date of all over-the-counter medications and toss out those that are past their prime. Then, replace these items and pick up any others you may need to deal with a bout of the cold or flu (painkillers, cough syrup, lozenges, etc.). Make sure you have a working thermometer as well.

It’s also not a bad idea to stock your pantry for sick days. Crackers, cans of chicken soup, popsicles, and an oral electrolyte solution formulated for children are all good to have on hand.

Being sick takes a toll on the mind, and children who aren’t used to having to take it easy can get a little restless. Prepare an entertainment box so you can easily bring creative distractions straight to your child’s bed during those recovery days. Knitting or bracelet-making crafts are great screen-free ways to keep boredom at bay, as are puzzles and coloring books.   

Plan Ahead

Prepare a sick day plan so you won’t have to waste any time looking for options when a member of your family gets sick. If your child is the one who feels unwell, you’ll need to know who can stay home with them. Even if you work from home, you may need to make certain arrangements to ensure your child is cared for while you’re busy.

It’s also important to plan for the possibility that you may get sick. Have a few friends or family members on speed dial who you can ask to transport your child to their school or daycare and supervise them while you’re ill.

Do you know who to call if you or your child come down with symptoms that require professional attention? If you’ve recently moved to a new area or have changed insurance plans, now’s the time to get all of your medical data and physicians’ phone numbers in one place.

Encourage Healthy Habits

One of the best ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season is to give your body the care it needs to maintain a strong immune system. This means eating a varied diet containing plenty of vitamins and nutrients, as well as getting plenty of sleep each and every night.

The same goes for your child. While you’ve probably emphasized the importance of a healthy diet and quality sleep before, they may not have made the connection between healthy lifestyle practices and illness. Explain to them how good diet and sleep habits can help keep them from getting sick, which means more outdoor fun and more time with their friends.

Good hygiene practices have been at the forefront of everyone’s minds since the beginning of the pandemic. However, this topic can’t be emphasized enough, especially as children begin to establish habits that will last a lifetime. Remind your child to cover their mouth with their inner elbow when they cough or sneeze and to regularly wash their hands with soap for a full twenty seconds.

Finally, protect your family’s health by having everyone get vaccinated with the flu shot well before flu season sets in. Not only will it decrease your chances of catching the flu, but it also makes it more likely you’ll experience only mild symptoms if you do fall ill. The CDC recommends children aged 6 months and older get a flu shot before the end of October each year.

Are you prepared for cold and flu season? As the summer comes to a close, use the above suggestions to boost your family’s chances of staying happy and healthy throughout the cooler months.