How to Combat the Cold & Flu Season with Kids


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Braun Thermometers & Vicks Humidifiers. All opinions are 100% my own.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I absolutely love the joyful, festive feel of this season and wait for it all year. What I don’t look forward to is the sickness that comes with it. Winter in Canada is prime time for cold and flu viruses to thrive. I have two little kids – a daughter who goes to kindergarten (which basically means that she enters viral territory on the daily), and a three-month old son who is about to experience his first winter on earth. While I’m trying my best to take as many precautions as I can, I also know that some sickness is inevitable. In fact, my daughter has already spent one week at home with a bad cough and congestion. Let’s just say I’ve never wanted to spring to arrive sooner!

When my daughter was 11 months old, she had a febrile seizure due to a very high fever. It’s one of those moments that I will never forget. I don’t mean to scare any new mom reading this. Febrile seizures are not too common – only 2% – 5% of children between the ages of six months and five years have them. Nevertheless, they are a possibility that I think parents should be aware of. When my daughter had it, I panicked, didn’t know what to do and couldn’t even think straight. It only lasted for about 40 seconds, but those were the longest 40 seconds of my life… After that incident, I made it a point to obtain the necessary knowledge to recognize symptoms of fever, take proper temperature readings and to equip myself with tools that would help me get through this season as smoothly as possible.

Today I’m sharing some tips on how you can manage fevers and tackle the lack of humidity in the air for better health during winter time.

Braun Thermometer Review

Properly Identify, Control and Manage Fevers

Did you know that the definition of fever changes with age? For example, a normal temperature for a three-year-old may be considered a fever in a newborn. Having accurate information about temperature ranges is key in helping determine the appropriate response. Knowing the age-accurate temperature can help you decide whether or not, as a starting point, you should administer some over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen to bring your child’s temperature back in the normal range.

This means that having a good thermometer is essential. In the past, I have purchased and wasted a lot of money on digital thermometers that can’t seem to make up their minds about what my child’s temperature really is. The metal tip on such thermometers can be problematic, as it cools the area where the reading is taken and leads to inaccurate readings. You may have experienced getting a different temperature reading every time you use such thermometers, even within a span of a few minutes!

To make this process easy and to take the guesswork out of interpreting temperature, I’ve started using the Braun ThermoScan®7 Thermometer. The Braun ThermoScan®7 thermometer provides accurate and precise results thanks to its patented pre-warmed tip. The tip on the ThermoScan® is warmed before use to ensure professional accuracy.

Braun Thermometer Review

Taking temperature with this thermometer, which features Braun’s Age Precision® technology, is very easy:

  • Step 1: Set your child’s age with the Age Precision® button.
  • Step 2: Take the temperature from the ear or forehead, depending on which model you are using. A light and a beep indicate accurate positioning.
  • Step 3: The colour-coded fever indicator will help you understand and interpret the results and act accordingly. Green indicates normal temperature, yellow indicates elevated temperature and red indicates high temperature.

The thermometer runs on AA batteries and comes with disposable lens filters for multiple uses.

I can honestly say that I’m loving the reassurance this thermometer is giving me and would advise all parents to invest in this essential item that will last for years.

Vicks Humidifers

Humidify Your Home

Another characteristic of Canadian winters is low humidity, which gives us dry throat and flaky skin. The dryness in the air coupled with constant hot air blowing out of the ducts at home causes humidity levels to drop as low as 10% (drier than the Sahara Desert!). This in turn also helps viruses spread more easily. Using a humidifier is the best way to help fight against viruses, prevents dry skin, nosebleeds, stuffy nose and sore throats, all while helping to improve sleep.

This year, I am using the Vicks® FilterFree Cool Mist Humidifier and the Vicks® Warm Steam Vapourizer and loving them both! They help restore moisture in the air, which is particularly helpful at night to provide soothing relief for coughs, sneezes and congestion. Sleeping well is an important part of the recovery process as well.

Both cool and warm humidifiers offer the same benefits, so what you decide to go with just comes down to your personal preference. My master bedroom is one of those rooms in the house that gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. So, I am using the warm mist humidifier in the master bedroom this winter. The cool mist humidifier stays in my daughter’s bedroom and it’s perfect for that space.

Vicks Humidifers

There is one slight difference in the Vicks Cool & Warm Mist humidifiers. Cool-mist humidifiers help maintain overall room temperature in conjunction with Vicks VapoPads® soothing scent. Warm Mist humidifiers can work with VapoPads as well as liquid inhalants like Vicks VapoSteam® to provide cough relief and added comfort.

I add little scent and inhalant pads into these humidifiers to add soothing vapours to the air. Vicks VapoPads® provides up to 8 hours of soothing vapours and are available in menthol, rosemary and lavender scents. Vicks VapoSteam® also works with vapourizers and warm mist humidifiers to produce soothing menthol vapours.

Both humidifiers are also filter-free, which I love. Typically, filtered humidifiers remove minerals from the water and deliver invisible moisture into the air. The filters can get quite dirty though and has to be replaced. That is not the case with filter-free models that deliver visible mist. However, they should be used with demineralization cartridges to help prevent white dust.

Overall, Vicks humidifiers have greatly improved the quality of sleep for my family and I couldn’t recommend them more!

It can be tricky to stay healthy during cold and flu season but having the right tools to get through it can make the world of a difference.  I hope that you find this information useful. Feel free to leave me a comment below with your questions.

For more information or to purchase these products, visit http://bit.ly/InspriredAccountantVicks and http://bit.ly/InspiredAccountantBraun.

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