Cold and flu season tips: Best of Parent Hacks
Your kid has a cold or flu. Ugh. These tips should help smooth the bumpy (snotty! itchy! whiny!) cold-and-flu season road a bit. (We add to this list as new tips come in, so check back often.) -- Asha
Helpful tip from our sponsor, Contac
When your little ones are sick, you don't have time to get bogged down by cold and flu symptoms yourself.
While you can't cure a virus once you've contracted it, you can manage your symptoms. To keep you going, try a maximum strength OTC medication that contains both pain relievers and nasal decongestants.
Colds and congestion
- Use a vegetable steamer or a crock pot as a stand-in for a humidifier
- Lip balm protects tissue-irritated skin
- Baby wipes are good for parents' noses, too
- Empty formula cans make perfect bedside table wastebaskets
- How to make baby nose-wiping...fun?
- Handkerchiefs are gentler on runny noses than tissue
- Oversize long-sleeved shirt as parental snot guard
- Reuse infant incline pillow when your toddler has a stuffy nose
- Nosefrida nasal aspirator: A Parenthacker tells all
- Plug-in vapor thingies help congested kids breathe at night
- Use tweezers to grab crusty boogers
- Diaper cream soothes irritated noses
- The best way to wipe snot from a baby's nose
- Cut-off sock "leg warmers" keep sleeves snot-free
Hacks for a cough and sore throat
- Bedtime sore throat soother: Warm milk and honey
- Calm coughing without medication
- Indian 'toddy' helps sickies get to sleep
- Hot lemonade soothes a tickly throat
- Hot salt water quiets coughing
- Turn temperature-taking with an ear thermometer into a game of telephone
- Soothe a fever with a damp washcloth kept bedside
- Is the kid going to throw up? "Read" his lips.
- Stomach bugs and popsicles
- Vomit hack: Keep the training potty nearby
- Oral syringe helps kids "sip" water without completely waking up
- Bag clips keep freezer pops out of the plastic and lickable
- Tricks for keeping toddlers hydrated
- Make your own oral rehydration solution
Medicine dosage and storage
- Use extreme caution when giving cough- or cold medicine to children under 2
- Toolbox + padlock = safe, portable medicine storage
- Yucky-tasting medicine goes down easier with a chaser of flavoring syrup
- Entice your sickie with a medicine-dipped lollipops
- Mix medicine into Jell-O Smoothie Snacks to get it down the hatch
- How to administer eyedrops and take the temperature of a squirmy toddler? Talk amongst yourselves.
- Track medicine dosage right on the bottle
- Smaller dose of "children's" medication can stand in for the more expensive "infant" version
- Apply antibiotic ointment while the kid's asleep
- Bottle nipple as medicine dispenser
We've got a bunch more keep-the-kids-healthy hacks in the Health archives...have a look!