Last year our family got hit hard by the flu and strep throat. I’m a realist and I knew with germs coming home from 3 different schools, it would be tough to get through the year without getting sick. I was just not prepared for the number of trips to the doctor that we actually made. I was definitely not happy that both my son and I were sick over Christmas. This year I plan to be better prepared to fight off germs and stay well during the upcoming cold and flu season. This is how to prepare your home for flu season.
Stock up on cleaning supplies.
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If someone in your family gets sick, you will want to keep surfaces as clean as you can to lessen the spread of germs. Be sure that the cleaning solutions you use will clean the germs. Most doctor’s offices will suggest using disinfectant wipes. Lysol and Clorox wipes are the commercial favorites. Green Works and Seventh Generation also make good disinfecting wipes.
Despite the many years of going to the doctors and taking my kids to the doctor. I didn’t realize how long some contagious viruses could linger on surfaces. Imagine our surprise when a doctor told us that the strep virus could live for up to 72 hours on a surface. I went home and disinfected our home from top to bottom. If you want to fight the germs you have to disinfect often. This is really important on items you may not readily think of such as toilet and door handles, phones, tablets, keyboards, library books, remote controls and light switches. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer for when you are on the go!
Stock Your Medicine Cabinet
The best time to restock your medicine cabinet for flu season is before anyone gets sick. The worst thing in the world is to have to drag yourself to the store when you are sick or your child is sick. Also, if you wait until you are sick you will pay a premium for cold and flu medicine. If you plan in advance you can get deals and coupons. You don’t have to buy every remedy there is, but if there are certain brands of medicine your family uses, buy some. I always keep a supply of Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Dimetapp and cough drops at our house. You just never know when you might need them. If you or your child wakes up sick in the middle of the night you will also want to have medicine on hand. Don’t forget to have lots of tissues as well!
Stock up on Comfort Food
In our home there are certain foods we tend to gravitate to when we don’t feel well. Simple foods like apple sauce, chicken noodle soup, Gatorade, ginger ale and crackers. I try to make sure we have a decent supply of these items in our home so we are not running around trying to get them when we feel miserable. The last thing you want to do when you are sick or you have a sick child is run to the store.
Know Important Numbers
The last thing you want to do when you or a member of your family is sick is to scramble to find important numbers. It is a good idea to keep a phone list with all the medical information you need ready to go for when someone is sick. It should include:
- The phone number and hours for your general practicioner.
- Your pediatrician’s hours and phone number
- Your local pharmacy hours and phone number
- Insurance Information
- Phone Number and Hours for your Local Urgent Care Facilities (Make sure they take your insurance!)
***Get the Flu Shot
I am not a doctor or medical professional. This is just a suggestion, not medical advice.
I believe that vaccinations are overall good, but I still carefully consider each one that we get for ourselves and our children. After the flu ravaged our house several times last year, we will be getting the flu shot. I have friends who work in the medical profession who get it for themselves and their kids and recommend it. Another reason is the flu strain has been extra deadly the last few years. If you have the vaccine and still get the flu, the severity of it is lessened. To me it is worth it to keep my family safe and healthy.
It is impossible to prevent every kind of illness that will go through the home of a family. What you can do is be prepared for when illness strikes so that you are not scrambling for the items you need when you or a family member are sick.