I have not always been great about prepping our house in advance for cold/flu season. There have been many times in the past that one or all of us have fallen ill and I have to scramble to get the medicines that we need. A while back I decided I needed to take a more proactive approach – not only to try to prevent illnesses – but being prepared when we do fall ill.
One of the proactive things we did to try and keep our family healthy is to get the flu shot with our children, we often all go to CVS so they can see us getting the shot and feel less scared.
We also started taking Elderberry supplements, which has not only helped keep us healthy it does wonders for my daughter’s seasonal allergies! One of our favorites is Nature’s Way Sambucus Black Elderberry Gummies with Vitamin C and Zinc.
While these proactive steps have helped us immensely in keeping illness at bay, it doesn’t guarantee we won’t see any illness through the year, especially in the winter months. In order to be prepared for this, I have developed a system to be sure we are ready.
So to be prepared in August I will go through everyone’s medicine cabinets. Take stock of what we have, check dates, and get rid of anything that is out of date. Then I make a list of things we are low on or need to replace. Big thing is to make sure things like your thermometers are in working order, I don’t know how many times I have been rummaging around our house with a warm toddler trying to find one working thermometer.
Below is a list of the items that I try to keep in stock in my kids and the adult medicine cabinets.
My Kids Medicine Cabinet Staples:
- Kids Zyrtec for daily allergies.
- Kids Tylenol (My kids are getting older so we have switched to the chewable)
- Kids Motrin
- Daytime and Nighttime Mucinex Children’s Liquid – Free From Multi-Symptom Cold & Stuffy Nose (I love this stuff because it is dye-free)
- Children’s VapoRub with Cough Suppressant
- Kids Pepto
- Working Thermometer (I like to have one for each kid, I mark the cases with their initials to avoid cross-contamination)
Adult Medicine Cabinet Staples:
- Theraflu or the Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Day + Night Cold PowerFast Fizz
- VapoRub with Cough Suppressant
- Vicks VapoShower Aromatherapy Shower Tablet Bombs
- Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain Relief, Pain & Fever Reducer
- Sudafed PE Head Congestion + Mucus Non-Drowsy Relief Tablets
- Working Thermometer
Once I go through my cabinets to see what we have, I will try to stock back up to have at least 2-3 boxes or one big bottle.
I have found that small containers from the dollar store are helpful in keeping my extras organized. We don’t have a ton of storage space in either bathroom, but I can normally keep one box of each in our regular medicine cabinets and the extras go into the containers under the sink. The reason I like to have at least a couple extras of each medicine is to make sure we do not run out mid-cold, while Shipt and Curbside have made these ordeals much easier when mom is the one who is sick it can go a long way to making life much easier if everything is on hand.
While this is not medicine, another good tip is to make sure you have plenty of fluids stocked up PRE-Cold/Flu season! Pedialyte, Gatorades (I prefer the zero sugar ones), and lots of water!
In the past, I didn’t think I needed to buy medicines and things unless I was sick and needed them right that second. But I have come to realize as my kids get older, it makes life easier to be prepared, and my wallet doesn’t get such a shock if I can buy things over time in smaller amounts in advance. Rather than having to run out and get everything all at once because we absolutely need it. I wish I would have started this practice when my kids were smaller, live, and learn!
I hope this encourages you to make a plan to get prepared this year! To make it easier I made a shopping checklist with all of the medicines I mentioned above you can print that here!
And if you would like to read some more tips and tricks to surviving Cold/Flu Season take a look at this post from our archives: Tips for Surviving Flu Season – from a Pharmacist and Mom of 3!