*This over the counter flu medication post is sponsored by KYOTCs but as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you supporting the brands that support Sincerely Onyi*
It is now the time of the year when runny noses, coughing, sneezing, and fevers are everywhere we turn. As we embark into the dreaded cold and flu season in the United States, I cannot stress how important it is to be mindful of your health as well as the health of your children. As both a mother and medical professional, I know first hand how challenging it can be to care for a sick child, or even care for your family when we become the sick ones.
Get Prepared For Cold & Flu Season
This is why the little things, such as frequent hand washing and teaching your child to cough and sneeze into their elbow early on goes a long way when it comes to preventing the spread of disease.
As parents, it is also important that we practice self-care in addition to caring for our children because it’s difficult to be there fully for our children when we’re not feeling 100% ourselves. I’ve been the sick mommy, and know for a fact that our kids don’t care when we’re sick–especially young children.
Because even when we’re sick, they still expect us to be there to attend to their every need, and that’s why I do all that I can year round to ensure that I’m taking good care of me. When it comes to the flu, it can get particularly nasty, that’s why I avoid it like the plague that it is. Even if you’ve never been personally affected by the flu, it is still important that you be alert to the fact that the virus is all around us.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a sharp increase in states reporting widespread influenza activity. With last year’s flu season being one of the worst on record, and a recent article indicating that the flu has affected between 9 and 25 million people since 2010, it is even more important that we are diligent in our efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
When it comes to the cold and the flu virus, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. With both viruses presenting with similar symptoms, determining when you should head to the pediatrician, or when you should just keep your child home from school can be difficult.
Also, knowing which over the counter flu meds (OTC Meds) to give your children can present another set of challenges, especially when your child is dealing with several symptoms at once. When treating multiple symptoms, reading the drug facts on the label is important to ensure that you or your child aren’t taking two different medicines with the same ingredients.
Over the next six months, I’ll be partnering with KnowYourOTCs.org, to bring you important information about the safe use, storage, and disposal of over the counter products, in an effort to make it a little easier for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind this cold and flu season.
It’s Never Too Late To Get The Flu Shot
The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu and/or lessen the severity of it. Ensuring that you and your children are up to date with their immunizations is a great way to prevent your family from getting sick.
Make Sure To Dose Medicine For Your Kid’s Weight
Just because a medicine is over the counter does not mean that its safer to take than prescription medications. It is important to know how to administer over the counter flu medication to your children. Make sure to get in the habit of reading the Drug Facts label in its entirety before dosage the medication. Whether it’s an OTC flu medicine or a prescription medication, be careful to dose appropriately and use the syringe or cup provided. You can use this interactive tool to learn more about the Drug Facts label.
Avoid Giving Two Medicine’s At The Same Time
When cold and flu symptoms hit, parents often look to different over the counter medications for different symptoms. Avoid giving over the counter cold and flu medications that contain the same active ingredient.
Don’t Hesitate To Call Your Provider
If you suspect that you or your child may have the flu or a fever starts, it is important that you contact your family’s doctor right away, especially if you are considered high risk. High-risk individuals are those who fall into the following groups: children under the age of 2, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems and/or complicated illness/health conditions. Confirming a case of the flu within 48 hours will allow you to get a script for the antiviral.
Know Your Resources For Over The Counter Flu Medicine
If you or your child are experiencing a cough, chest congestion, sneezing, runny nose, or fever, KnowYourOTCs.org is a great online resource for safe use tips of OTC drugs for parents and children. The site also has a wealth of informational articles, like this one on when it’s time to call the doctor.
Finally, being prepared in case you or your little ones get sick can help make things a lot easier. For my family, I’ve built a flu-kit which serves as a handy resource in case one of us becomes sick. Making a flu- kit for your family is simple. All you’ll need is, OTC symptom relievers, a thermometer, cooling/heating pads, hydrating fluids, and antiseptic sprays and gels.
As a parent, I am always seeking ways to ensure that my family and I are in good health, but I also like to be prepared when we aren’t. Hopefully, these tips will help answer some of your questions and serve as a resource for you and your family throughout the year. Be well!